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ShoreThing

Calvert Cliffs...in the winter?

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ShoreThing

So I am pretty new to this whole shark tooth hunting thing, but after my first time at Venice Beach I was hooked. Unfortunately I live in PA, so a trips to the beach are far and few between. Anyway, with the semester ending soon I will have some time 'off' for a few weeks and wanted to get some advice about maybe taking a day trip to Calvert Cliffs. If I go I plan to go to Brownies Beach and spend the day. I'd like to plan to go mid-week on a day when the tide is receding around sunrise, head south for a few hours and make my way back before it comes all the way back in, take a break for a bit and then do some more looking as it is going back out before dark and I head back home. Does this sound like a decent plan?...I'm also not sure how/if the cold weather effects the soil around the cliffs. Does it freeze and get much harder, thus teeth are not as easily exposed and kicked into the surf? I'd appreciate any advice you have! Thanks!

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Tidgy's Dad

Can't help, but Just wanted to wish you a very warm welcome to TFF from Morocco! :)

We have plenty of members who'll be able to help who'll be along when they wake up in a while, I'm sure. 

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FossilsAnonymous

Just up from hibernation.. You can go, just be prepared for icy cold water and wind (waders or boots) a heavy leaf covering. On the bright side, there are less people and the tide goes out further, which in my case exposes more fossiliferous material.

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Darktooth

I have been there in the months of January, February, and March. I try to check the weather before I go. I would stay away if there is strong winds forecasted, as this tends to make the tide higher than normal, and that can make things dangerous. Otherwise you should be fine. 

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ShoreThing
18 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Can't help, but Just wanted to wish you a very warm welcome to TFF from Morocco! :)

We have plenty of members who'll be able to help who'll be along when they wake up in a while, I'm sure. 

Thank you, it's great to be here. I am gaining new knowledge already!

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ShoreThing
16 hours ago, FossilsAnonymous said:

Just up from hibernation.. You can go, just be prepared for icy cold water and wind (waders or boots) a heavy leaf covering. On the bright side, there are less people and the tide goes out further, which in my case exposes more fossiliferous material.

I hope you enjoyed that hibernation! Good call about the leaf covering, I would have never have thought of that. I guess it makes it that much more of an adventure! 

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ShoreThing
8 hours ago, Darktooth said:

I have been there in the months of January, February, and March. I try to check the weather before I go. I would stay away if there is strong winds forecasted, as this tends to make the tide higher than normal, and that can make things dangerous. Otherwise you should be fine. 

Thanks @Darktooth I will check the forecast for sure. I don't want to make the trip just to be miserable for a few hours. I know that CC teeth are somewhat smaller compared to other sites, but what can I expect to find?

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KimTexan

I was at Brownies (now called Bayfront on maps) in October. 

This is a trip report. I think I got pretty specific about how I found the teeth I found. They were small teeth, but for my first trip there I was reasonably happy.

 

 

I also made a Matoaka trip report. I should have made two reports one for the museum and one for the beach. My finds are towards the end.

The Museum pics will help with ID of a lot of your finds though.

 

In in my opinion trying to do all that in one day sounds like a lot, too much. I thought I’d go spend a few hours at one and then hop to the next beach in one day. It never happened.

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FossilsAnonymous

Hey @ShoreThing you can check some of my posts from my profile from my own hunting trips if you want to check those as well. @KimTexan's posts are pretty reliable though for ID

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Darktooth

The fossils that come out of the Calvert cliffs are Miocene marine life. So there are many different sharkteeth, shark vertabrae, whale, dolphin, porpoise, seal, fossils which Include, teeth, vertabrea and misc. bone. Also various shells, coral, etc. And yes, megs can be found there too.:)

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racerzeke

I personally find it better because there is a heck of a lot less traffic and it's rather peaceful. Unless the temperatures are extremely low I find myself warming up rather quickly with just a few layers because of how much I'm walking and wading through the water (I guess it depends which site along the cliffs you want to visit). Another issue is that the cliffs will freeze overnight and when the temperatures warm up a bit during the day they will thaw and that's when they could potentially fall so there's that danger... not particularly sure if it's more dangerous in the winter but that's when I've seen cliff falls myself and even if there isn't a large fall I'll notice small chips and water flowing from the cliffs when they thaw during the day. So just be aware of that!

 

The tides are usually a lot lower but as mentioned before with the passing of fall there can be a ton of debris. I haven't been hunting the cliffs terribly long but it seems with each season and each trip something completely different is thrown at you. 

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ShoreThing

Thanks @KimTexan I will check out the video in a few minutes. I'm glad you were happy with your first trip. I do agree that my original plan may be a bit much, I will probably slim it down. I hope to get there next week and will post a recap for sure!

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ShoreThing

Thanks for the insight @racerzeke. I plan to dress in layers so that I can take some off I get too hot. I'll keep my head on a swivel and make sure not to get crushed :)....I plan to hit Brownies first, then maybe head down to Matoaka in the afternoon. I see there are some roads that lead to the cliffs (Scientists, etc.). Do you know if there is public access down the cliffs at any of these? Also, I want to be respectful to the locals, are there any do's and don't that you think I should know? Thanks!

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ShoreThing

@Darktooth Thanks, I am pumped! I can't wait to get out in a week or so.

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Darktooth

Personally I wouldn't try Brownies and Matoaka in one day. If it was me, I would stay at Brownies as long as possible. I would walk back and forth along the cliffs till my legs turned to rubber. I would look in every nook and crany. Check all the debris piles. Some nice fossils can be found in the debris. Thats just me.

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racerzeke

I agree the debris is covering the beaches at the moment and you can spend one day picking through the clay and dirt chunks in a 10 x 10 area let alone the entire exposed beach. As fun and nice as it is it can get quite mentally exhausting as counterintuitive as that sounds :ighappy:

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Darktooth

I am actually planning on going sometime in January. It has been far to long since I have been there. The last time I went I found a two inch meg within a very short time of rounding the first corner of the cliffs. It doesn't always happen like that. But it is always a good time. 

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ShoreThing

@racerzeke @Darktooth Awesome, thanks guys. It sounds like you both have a lot of experience there and have come up with some nice finds, I can't wait to go. I plan to bring a small hand trowel, a smaller screwdriver, and regular trowel. I also may try to sift a bit as well (I got bored this weekend and built a floating sifter), any advice on focusing on the shell line or could there be some luck if I wade out into the water a ways?

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racerzeke

That’s tough.. others with more experience may be able to provide more insight. Like I said I had tremendous luck last Spring just collecting the surf. My last few trips have been busts compared because the dynamics of the beach changed so much. The tides get a bit lower around this time which sounds great but if all that’s exposed is clumps of Clay it makes hunting tough. I’ve never sifted but I’ve seen people with sifters, rakes, shovels, heck even a full size pick axe (performing questionable digging into cliff falls). A head lamp is a must if you get there before 7 AM~ as well.

 

Most people I've seen with nicer teeth also carry little equipment and their best tool is their eyes & focus.

 

I carry a little colander from the dollar store that I use to pick up teeth kicking in the surf or in the water because if my hands/gloves get saturated it’s not that pleasant especially with the temps as of late.

 

Good luck and definitely keep us updated! 

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ShoreThing

@racerzekeThanks for the info and for sharing your experiences and knowledge! It sounds like it there are multiple ways to find them, and it is all about getting out there and spending the time. I will keep you updated and let you know how I do for sure! Thanks again!

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