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First Meg Ledge Trip (North Carolina)


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Barnaby'sdad

I got to do my first Meg Ledge trip yesterday. The weather was nasty on the “offshore” ledge, so we hit the “inshore” one. So ~25 miles out instead of ~40.

 

All three dives were at ~100’. The attached pictures contain the haul from my final dive of the day. Almost got a 6” tooth. I’m curious to see how they look after they’ve been cleaned up.

956C37F0-5806-4759-9326-2425D5D936EF.jpeg

2A06EF9B-B535-4665-9F5B-9D867357D594.jpeg

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Nice haul! Looking forward to seeing them cleaned!

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Looks like a couple Parotodus. Nice.

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Great finds!

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Barnaby'sdad
2 hours ago, Al Dente said:

Looks like a couple Parotodus. Nice.

 

Thank you. I thought they looked neat and different, but I wasn’t sure what those two were. They were (clearly) the best condition of the bunch.

 

I’m going to take my time with cleaning them (I’ve seen pictures where people manage to bleach them out a bit). I just soaked them in water last night. I’ll do maybe 10% white vinegar mixed in later today.

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Uncle Siphuncle

Jealous!  I’m mixed gas certified, but considering unpredictable conditions getting to the ledge, I can’t stomach the risk of a wasted plane ticket and burned opportunity cost of going there, compared to more predictable venues elsewhere.

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1 hour ago, Barnaby'sdad said:

I’m going to take my time with cleaning them (I’ve seen pictures where people manage to bleach them out a bit). I just soaked them in water last night. I’ll do maybe 10% white vinegar mixed in later today.

 

Keep checking the teeth in the 10% vinegar.  Even though that is a low concentration of a weak acid, you can still discolor your teeth, dull shine etc. if the teeth are left in the vinegar too long.  Unfortunately, I've done that a few times.  As the funk begins to soften and loosen, you might also try a soft bristle tooth brush to get some of the funk off.  It is always best to try whatever you want to try first on a tooth or teeth that you really don't care about as a test.  If your cleaning method doesn't work out, you haven't messed up your better teeth.  This may take longer but if you are patient you will get better results.

 

Marco Sr.

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Barnaby'sdad
19 hours ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Jealous!  I’m mixed gas certified, but considering unpredictable conditions getting to the ledge, I can’t stomach the risk of a wasted plane ticket and burned opportunity cost of going there, compared to more predictable venues elsewhere.

 

I put off diving there for a while for the same reason. I went down for one day and the boat left the dock. It could just as easily gone the other way (several boats weather cancelled the previous day). 

 

I’ve talked with people that planned an entire week of ledge dives and didn’t make it out there once due to the weather. Unless you were going there for a family vacation anyways...that’s a lot of money (hotel and flight) down the toilet.

 

18 hours ago, Andy B said:

How was the diving itself? Bottom times? Nice teeth BTW!

 

 

It was pretty cool once you got out there (It’s a lengthy boat ride to get out there).

 

The “inshore” site had no current, which surprised me. “Offshore”...I’ve heard that it can be pretty dicey.

 

From the surface to about 20’...you get tossed around a bit (ex. Chilling on the “hang bar” during your safety stop). 

 

Visibility was 40’+ and the water was 81*. Heading down the rope to the anchor chain...I could start to make out the bottom by 50’ or so. By 60’...you could make it out pretty well.

 

For planning purposes (assuming conservative computer setting, “offshore” ledge, and EAN 32 usage)...you’re looking at about a 22 minute bottom time. Recommend HP cylinder usage for the extra gas (I ran HP 120’s and an AL40 pony bottle). 

 

You’re expected to “plan your dive and dive your plan.” The boat I went on, as well as others that I’ve seen specifically say that pony bottles are for emergencies only...not to extend your bottom time.

 

Profiles:

 

1. 101’ max depth, 27 minutes, 79’ average

2. 98’ max depth, 28 minutes, 77’ average

3. 96’ max depth, 28 minutes, 77’ average

 

I never got within 4 minutes of hitting my NDL, which is what I expected (I’m a gas hog). 

 

It was a LONG boat ride and a LONG day though, given how little time you’re spending in the water. By comparison, my shorter tooth dive on the Cooper River was 45 minutes and the longest 1hr 15min.

 

I think that it’s a great bucket list dive for anyone that’s a self-sufficient diver (you’re not likely to be buddy diving and you have to be diligent about monitoring your gas level and NDL) and interested in fossil hunting. It’s on individuals to decide whether the “juice is worth the squeeze”/worth for going back and doing it again.

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Nice finds, congrats :fistbump:

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13 hours ago, Barnaby'sdad said:

 

I put off diving there for a while for the same reason. I went down for one day and the boat left the dock. It could just as easily gone the other way (several boats weather cancelled the previous day). 

 

I’ve talked with people that planned an entire week of ledge dives and didn’t make it out there once due to the weather. Unless you were going there for a family vacation anyways...that’s a lot of money (hotel and flight) down the toilet.

 

 

It was pretty cool once you got out there (It’s a lengthy boat ride to get out there).

 

The “inshore” site had no current, which surprised me. “Offshore”...I’ve heard that it can be pretty dicey.

 

From the surface to about 20’...you get tossed around a bit (ex. Chilling on the “hang bar” during your safety stop). 

 

Visibility was 40’+ and the water was 81*. Heading down the rope to the anchor chain...I could start to make out the bottom by 50’ or so. By 60’...you could make it out pretty well.

 

For planning purposes (assuming conservative computer setting, “offshore” ledge, and EAN 32 usage)...you’re looking at about a 22 minute bottom time. Recommend HP cylinder usage for the extra gas (I ran HP 120’s and an AL40 pony bottle). 

 

You’re expected to “plan your dive and dive your plan.” The boat I went on, as well as others that I’ve seen specifically say that pony bottles are for emergencies only...not to extend your bottom time.

 

Profiles:

 

1. 101’ max depth, 27 minutes, 79’ average

2. 98’ max depth, 28 minutes, 77’ average

3. 96’ max depth, 28 minutes, 77’ average

 

I never got within 4 minutes of hitting my NDL, which is what I expected (I’m a gas hog). 

 

It was a LONG boat ride and a LONG day though, given how little time you’re spending in the water. By comparison, my shorter tooth dive on the Cooper River was 45 minutes and the longest 1hr 15min.

 

I think that it’s a great bucket list dive for anyone that’s a self-sufficient diver (you’re not likely to be buddy diving and you have to be diligent about monitoring your gas level and NDL) and interested in fossil hunting. It’s on individuals to decide whether the “juice is worth the squeeze”/worth for going back and doing it again.

It sounds like you scored in terms of conditions. It's a shame you have to carry a pony bottle just because of the bad safety record. There's really no reason a 100' dive should be that dangerous...but then again...

 

Thanks for the good and detailed info. I did a "fun" dive with my buddy off the beach in NJ this weekend (our first in NJ). We couldn't get to the rock wall we had planned to dive so we just used our rented tanks off the sand. We figured we'd see some crabs or a Flounder or Ray. Visibility was 5 feet and then we hit a thermocline and it went to zero. It was eye opening how quickly you can get turned around and begin to doubt your compass when you don't have the bottom as a reference. I wouldn't want to be in that situation at 100' in strong current.

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Barnaby'sdad
2 hours ago, Andy B said:

It sounds like you scored in terms of conditions. It's a shame you have to carry a pony bottle just because of the bad safety record. There's really no reason a 100' dive should be that dangerous...but then again...

 

Thanks for the good and detailed info. I did a "fun" dive with my buddy off the beach in NJ this weekend (our first in NJ). We couldn't get to the rock wall we had planned to dive so we just used our rented tanks off the sand. We figured we'd see some crabs or a Flounder or Ray. Visibility was 5 feet and then we hit a thermocline and it went to zero. It was eye opening how quickly you can get turned around and begin to doubt your compass when you don't have the bottom as a reference. I wouldn't want to be in that situation at 100' in strong current.

 

I need to clarify that you are not required to carry a pony bottle.  A lot of people choose to carry one. Where I was going with my previous post is that they don't want people using a pony bottle as a bottom-time extender. i.e. Treating it more like a stage bottle than a bail-out/emergency alternate air source.

 

It's not that it's a 100' dive that's an issue.  The issue is that if you're at ~100' looking for teeth and you went into it (or gained while you were down there) the mindset of "I've got 1,xxx PSI left (which would be plenty of gas for a typical recreational dive profile)...I'm going to hang out a while longer and use my pony bottle on the way up..." you're going to run into trouble at some point.

 

Keep in mind that we aren't talking a "free" ascent from 100' like you would typically make on a recreational dive.  You're following the full length/scope of the anchor line. Due to local current strength, you need to maintain contact with the anchor chain and rope all the way up to the hang line for your safety stop.  You then make your way hand over and hand from the Jon line towards the back of the boat...and if being used...get over to the tag/trailing line (we didn't need one yesterday) from the back of the boat.

 

You will likely use more gas than you expected for the first ascent of this type that you complete, so you will need to plan on having a reserve.  If you go on your pony bottle on the bottom while searching for teeth...you will blow through your x < 40 cf tank and find yourself using the emergency "hookah" gas supply during your safety stop (if you're lucky).

 

 

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Barnaby'sdad
On 8/4/2019 at 8:23 AM, Barnaby'sdad said:

 

956C37F0-5806-4759-9326-2425D5D936EF.jpeg

 

Thank you.

 

Calling it quits for now. I’m happy with how most of them turned out (arranged the same as the original picture). I think the plant tooth ended up being the nicest large tooth of the bunch. 

 

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Mark Kmiecik

I think all of them turned out fairly well considering what they have been through. Nice find. Juice worth the squeeze? I'd say yes.

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Barnaby'sdad
10 hours ago, Mark Kmiecik said:

I think all of them turned out fairly well considering what they have been through. Nice find. Juice worth the squeeze? I'd say yes.

 

Yup. I went into it with the thought that I’d be happy if I could go home with one 4”+ tooth. I managed that and then some.

 

I’d be back down there this weekend if it wasn’t a 5+ hr drive. Jonesing for some more teeth, lol.

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