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Lee Taylor

I am always interested in hearing about (and seeing photos of) tools used for fossil hunting. I have used all sorts and I currently received a new device for underwater viewing. It is called a Bathyscope.

 

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Lee Taylor

Another device I plan on using this summer. It is an underwater viewer designed for gold hunters. It uses magnification and battery powered lighting

 

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A video of actually using these tools for fossil hunting would be much more appealing:D

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Bone Daddy

FWIW, I have tried a similar device with limited effect. Granted, mine was a home-brew affair, put together using a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a plexiglass bottom. For the dark tannic waters of Florida's rivers, it proved to be of little use. The main issue for me was light. If my bucket-viewer had some type of very bright light on the bottom, then it might have been more help. 

 

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Lee Taylor
1 hour ago, Bone Daddy said:

 limited effect

 

 

Yes I had that thought. Currently I am hunting water that is 4' deep or less. I use my scuba mask and snorkel. When the water gets down to 3 feet, I think I can speed things up by using the Bathyscope. Have not tried it yet, will let you know. It has a rubber seal that goes on your face like a scuba-mask skirt. I will have my scuba mask around my neck so I can put my face right on it if it looks promising. I will also be trying the white 4" tube-scope (scroll up). It has a magnification lens and battery powered lighting. Again I will have my trusty scuba mask around my neck for close inspection and retrieval.

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Uncle Siphuncle

I haven’t inspected the devices figured above, but based on experience with flounder gigging equipment and home spun bucket style fossil viewers, I think lighting would be most effective if located on the bottom of the device, outside of the chamber, wetted.  This would best eliminate glare.  Might also be good to have bosses or short legs to help prevent scratching the lens on rocks.  Perhaps the light source could be integrated into said legs/bosses so as to protect it from hits as well.

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Lee Taylor

I received an email stating the "mag scope" has shipped. I am a gadget nut. I found another tool I like the looks of.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
On 5/5/2020 at 7:32 PM, Lee Taylor said:

I am a gadget nut. I found another tool I like the looks of.

Hey Lee ... Nice ....that looks rugged. You know there is a guy on the Facebook fossil forum that uses this ridiculous scoop style shovel with heavy-duty metal pitchfork teeth welded to the front and an aluminum expanded metal diamond mesh welded between them. I drooled over that one.

 

--> Nice to see you snooping around the forum again.

 

Good luck out there ....

 

Cheers,

Brett

 

PS. Speaking of rigs .. I made myself an upgrade as well ... battery POWER !!

 

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Lee Taylor

NICE rig Brett! I used battery power for a while. The canoe I used proved to be "too unstable". It is manageable, but I had forgotten how "tippy" they are. I have a flat bottom boat now days. It is a 16' Lowe Stryker with a 50hp 4-stroke, side console, with Lowrance, and a trolling motor. In hindsight I should have gotten a tunnel-hull with an outboard jet-drive. I really LIKE that scoop you are using! Does it work worth a flip? Mine do not. I will be lowering my re-built engine into my jetski either today or in the next few days. I use it to snoop around for potential gravel beds.


This is my flat-back canoe with Minn Kota

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This is my 1000cc 4-storke coming out of the hull. I have rebuilt it and it is ready to be installed.

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Lee Taylor

Here is my jet-drive. At this phase of the game, I am completely sold on jet-drives. Why? Because they are EXTREMELY maneuverable and your engine does not hit the bottom (or stumps)

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Lee Taylor

Here is a tunnel-hull jet-drive style that I admire. This boat will "fly" over skinny water, shallow water, stumps, logs, you name it. And it will turn sharp. VERY sharp and quick

(I am tired of replacing props)

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Lee Taylor
On 5/4/2020 at 9:34 AM, Uncle Siphuncle said:

I haven’t inspected the devices figured above, but based on experience with flounder gigging equipment and home spun bucket style fossil viewers, I think lighting would be most effective if located on the bottom of the device, outside of the chamber, wetted.  This would best eliminate glare.  Might also be good to have bosses or short legs to help prevent scratching the lens on rocks.  Perhaps the light source could be integrated into said legs/bosses so as to protect it from hits as well.

 

 It is designed so that the lenses (mine has two, no focal power, + 5x magnification) do not get scratched. It came with lighting.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
3 hours ago, Lee Taylor said:

This is my flat-back canoe with Minn Kota

Oh man .. so many toys.. You have so many. I mean tools, I meant to say tools.

 

But man that trolling motor mounted on the transom looks amazing. These polyethylene kayaks like mine are not built for a transom mounted motor and I'd be halfway in the water submerged with the way it is built currently. It does track better in the water with the semblance of a keel at the stern. It is not really a rough water rider but I've been in 2-3 foot swells and the trolling motor acts like an outrigger in those situations and helps with the boat being less tippy. 

 

I have two batteries so I mount the other battery opposite the motor and it does ok to act as ballast. The river and sometimes my southern route through a bit of ocean can get dicey. But the motor has helped immeasurably in heavy tides or current when river crossing. The 10 miles round trip doesn't kill me anymore.

 

Cheers,

Brett

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Uncle Siphuncle

I love these equipment threads.  I have a habit of developing my own, purpose built equipment as well.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
21 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

I love these equipment threads.  I have a habit of developing my own, purpose built equipment as well.

Oh well .. we have nothing but time..  show and tell ??  haha 

 

giphy.gif

 

Cheers,

Brett

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Lee Taylor

The canoe worked fine with just me in it but when I had another in it we would eventually both lean in the same direction and suddenly we would be struggling to not tip over. It seems there is a downside to everything. How is the fossiling in Savannah? I will be putting-in the Edisto river soon. I want the water level to be 3 to 4 feet. I prefer 3. Either way I will use my mask,  snorkel, wet suit, weight belt, and scuba boots. Getting my face close to the bottom and fanning the sand is what I usually resort to. It is fast and requires not much labor. My new Bathyscope looks like it may have some promise. My new tube scope not-so-much promise. (long story). I will find out. I have a side console on my boat so I see the Bathyscope as something I can use to get a better look at the bottom just by leaning over the side of the boat. When using scuba we use to drag a long skinny aluminum tube and we could "feel" the gravel. We also used closed circuit under water cameras. They proved to be more trouble than they were worth. It's easier to just send a diver down.

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Lee Taylor
1 hour ago, Brett Breakin' Rocks said:

Oh man .. so many toys.. You have so many. I mean tools, I meant to say tools.

 

I am definitely a gadget person no matter what I am interested in at the time

Here is how I use the jet ski:
 

 

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Lee Taylor

Here are some more river hunting videos. In these vids I am using my ski to find and mark gravel beds for the warmer weather:
 

 

 

 

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
1 hour ago, Lee Taylor said:

How is the fossiling in Savannah?

Nice videos ....

 

You know .. I used to head up in that direction often but I've been staying closer to home. Generally it is good after a good rain and we have the large boat traffic regularly tearing away at the river banks. And we were at flood stage recently for weeks.

 

The Army Corps has started though, rocking up more of the river, and one of the larger 'beaches' is going to take a hit. But honestly, I've walked miles of the river so I have a few choice spots that I still call my own and most of the teeth in these images were just sitting on the beach after someone, sometimes many people have gone walking right by ... I'm partial to good vertebrate fossils too. 

 

The river is definitely seen a great deal more traffic in the last few months, a lot of people using the social distancing to hop in their boat and give fossil hunting a try. 

 

The early bird usually gets the worm here ...  these are from the quarantine hunts.

 

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Lee Taylor

Oh yeah... those are some really nice pieces. Check out these old photos of a jar I kept some of my finds in. Have not found a date on the photo yet. Have no idea where this jar got  off to

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Bone Daddy
6 hours ago, Lee Taylor said:

Here is a tunnel-hull jet-drive style that I admire. This boat will "fly" over skinny water, shallow water, stumps, logs, you name it. And it will turn sharp. VERY sharp and quick

(I am tired of replacing props)

key-features-2-x-2_202630.jpg.0365d27f87bc61f1beb4626c87e007f8.jpg


OK, now I know who I want to go fossil-hunting with. :thumbsu:

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Bone Daddy
1 hour ago, Lee Taylor said:

The canoe worked fine with just me in it but when I had another in it we would eventually both lean in the same direction and suddenly we would be struggling to not tip over. It seems there is a downside to everything. How is the fossiling in Savannah? I will be putting-in the Edisto river soon. I want the water level to be 3 to 4 feet. I prefer 3. Either way I will use my mask,  snorkel, wet suit, weight belt, and scuba boots. Getting my face close to the bottom and fanning the sand is what I usually resort to. It is fast and requires not much labor. My new Bathyscope looks like it may have some promise. My new tube scope not-so-much promise. (long story). I will find out. I have a side console on my boat so I see the Bathyscope as something I can use to get a better look at the bottom just by leaning over the side of the boat. When using scuba we use to drag a long skinny aluminum tube and we could "feel" the gravel. We also used closed circuit under water cameras. They proved to be more trouble than they were worth. It's easier to just send a diver down.

 

One thing I have considered, but have not tried yet is one of those BRIGHT hand-held spotlights, something one million candlepower or greater. Fashion some kind housing/tube to keep water splash out of it and use that illuminate the river bottom (assuming turbidity is low). I haven't tried it because the waterproof ones designed for divers are way above my budget, and the cheaper ones are still a little more than I am comfortable paying for something that might end up being of little use.

 

My stepson and I have both tried various dive lights and bright flashlights (some not waterproof and placed inside a ziploc bag), and nothing seems to penetrate those tannic waters more than a foot or so.

 

 

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Lee Taylor
3 hours ago, Bone Daddy said:

 nothing seems to penetrate those tannic waters more than a foot or so.

 

Right... I complete relate to that. When I was Scuba fossiling, the first thing I would do when I got to the bottom would be to see if I could hold to the bottom and not get pushed by the current. If he current was mild and I could stay in one place I would check my visibility (Yes I have ultra bright underwater flashlights). If I could not see the bottom (at this point I am laying on my stomach) I would then place my face, with mask, ON the bottom. I would slowly move it away from the bottom, all the while shinning my flashlight directly between my mask and the bottom (which now was a distance of about 2 inches). If I found it difficult to see, the dive was now over. If I got my face 5 or 10 inches from the bottom and it was still difficult to see, the dive was over. I needed about 18 inches of reasonable visibility to make the dive worth my while. Usually the viz was not a problem. (because of the very bright lights). My friends that dive Beaufort and down that way have it much worse from a viz perspective.

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