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Pesmerga

Honeymoon Island State Park Agatized Coral Excursion

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Pesmerga

I typically hunt for fossils but who doesn't love fossil and rock/gem hunting at the same time? After reading about Sacha's trip and seeing the beautiful chert/agatized coral pieces, I had to have some of my own (and for the misses;)).

 

6/11/17 


After acquiring a daily state park pass, we drove around to the back of the island on the northwest beach and departed on foot with a plastic bag-thats it. Looking back, all I should have taken with me that day was my swimsuit and crocs because I was lugging around shoes and extra clothing all the way down the beach. The sky was overcast with a chance of light rain, so although visibility was down, at least we weren't getting roasted by the summer Florida sun. The beach was a lot nicer than Apollo beach (which we visited last weekend and found only 1 real fossil) in that it was somewhat developed and had soft, sugar sand up and down the coast. The water was murky and almost oily to the touch with 1' visibility  in the surf when the waves receded. Shell and fossil hunters could be found all down the beach in rocky/shelly confluences where the waves naturally brought things in. 

My first order of business is always to take large samples from the outset area. Within 15 minutes of searching on the surf line, we found our first piece of unimpressive coral and thus gained hope that this site would produce SOMETHING. So we carried on North down the beach for a few hours, passing by the fossil hunters, checking the high tide surf line and the low tide surf line for unusual black or blue rocks. We did see tons of tannish (limestone?) rock of which some contained fossils (pictured below) but we mostly avoided these. At one point when I found a shelly confluence, I waded a few feet into the water and looked for fossils the best way I know how-scooping with my long arms. I know, I should be using a professional sifter, but that will come along later once I can afford one :D. After only a few more unimpressive fragments of coral, we continued north until we found a huge outcrop of shells from the high tide line which was sitting in a shallow, draining pool of water (I call them cesspools). I found one of the first "gems" in this area right inside a tiny valley left from the draining pool of water. Then another, one that looked like an arrowhead (by coincidence) quickly made it to my pockets. Strangely, we were finding more things as the day went on, but at this point we were maybe a half mile from the outset area and my plastic bag was starting to break from the weight of my shoes, shells, and rocks. After reluctantly deciding to turn back for the sake of potential rain, actually it was only because the misses wanted to:P, I decided to double check with a quick eye over the same areas that we had so carefully searched earlier. As the tide was slowly rising, larger and nicer chunks of this coral was being exposed so I rushed to grab a few more prize gems even though the plastic bag was sagging with over 20 lbs of weight. We safely got these back to these east coast, and now I am working to desalinate these. 

I would like to polish some of the gem pieces, who would be the best person to talk to about that? The geode and a few of these slabs look promising, but they are so beautiful and I have no experience with rock splitting so I am hesitant to split these yet.. Here's a cool geode cracker in New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcKjd-MLXPM


I was very surprised at the quality and quantity of the coral that I left with that day and can say I have collected enough from that site to last a lifetime. I highly recommend this site to rock and fossil hounds alike.

Sorry to keep everyone waiting, here are the pictures one at a time!:
#1

20170612_204411 edit.jpg
#2

Not sure about this one, no obvious physical features define it other than its circular and a flat disc. Not even sure this is a fossil.

20170612_205057.jpg

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Pesmerga

#3
A type of gastropod? In the tan matrix.

20170612_205321.jpg

#4
Beautiful rock. It has the agate "hole" on the left, some fossil coral in the center, and on the right seems to be a leftover impression from coral eroding away?

Pardon my lingo, complete amateur here.

20170612_205454.jpg

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Pesmerga

#5

The largest rock, I can only wonder what it looks like inside:blink:

20170612_205554.jpg

#6
Other side of largest rock.

20170612_205619.jpg

#7

My personal favorite, it has the most contrast and color of all the other pieces IMO. Also has a crack that would be wide enough to fit a small wedge inside to split it:D

20170612_205733.jpg

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Pesmerga

#8
Another rock with possibly a gastropod in it? This also had the blue specks of coral on it, so my original intention was to crack this one open but maybe I won't do that now.

20170612_205841.jpg
#9

The prettiest gem, this one seems to be an agate geode as I can see the amber crystal inside the hole in the picture.

20170612_210057.jpg

#10

Now for the gems as I've called them. The misses immediately wanted the center back one so I joked I'm going to put in on her wedding ring.

20170612_210213.jpg

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Pesmerga

#11
Last one, 

Enjoy people!

20170612_210238.jpg

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FossilDudeCO

GREAT finds for Honeymoon.

I have a condo on Clearwater Beach and head up there from time to time, never found more than the tiny little bits!

 

Congrats!

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Pesmerga

Thanks FossilDudeCo, this definitely was way more than I could ever hope for in a single trip!

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WhodamanHD

I think two is an echnoid, nice finds!

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Pesmerga
10 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

I think two is an echnoid, nice finds!

Thank you for the i.d. This one is a first for me

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flmermaid744

Wow, a friend and I are actually headed there tomorrow. Glad to know there is some hope of finding some coral perhaps.Thanks for sharing.

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Pesmerga

 

12 minutes ago, flmermaid744 said:

Wow, a friend and I are actually headed there tomorrow. Glad to know there is some hope of finding some coral perhaps.Thanks for sharing.

Good luck! There's got to be something left from my trip:ighappy:

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flmermaid744

Yeah I did find some, not a lot. The heat was horrible but it was still fun. What I found isn't nearly as pretty as the coral I get from the Withlacoochee. But I still love looking.

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ynot
34 minutes ago, flmermaid744 said:

Yeah I did find some, not a lot. The heat was horrible but it was still fun. What I found isn't nearly as pretty as the coral I get from the Withlacoochee. But I still love looking.

It is always neat to have similar fossils from different places to compare.

Where are the pictures?

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