July 14-18, 2006
Welcome to the Redneck Yacht Club
Traveling to the cliff exposures, redneck style
Entry into the Redneck Yacht Club
Yes, this last trip has gained me entry into the Redneck Yacht Club! I’m so proud! Yehaaaa!
It was that time of year again, where Paul and I do fossil presentations near Philly PA, and then head
down to Maryland to do some hunting. This time was a little different. I now have the fossil ski
(formerly known as the jet ski), which can literally do circles at 50 MPH around Paul’s boat, which
I like to call the “Sea Slug”. So, when he mentioned about bringing his boat, I said of course not!
Lets just use the fossil ski for a few days, and fly to all kinds of cliff exposures throughout MD
This all sounds nice in theory, at least to me. However, there is one part of this equation I need
to explain. We were also meeting up with Paleoscan, who has a place down by the cliffs. Now, the
fossil ski holds 3 people… 3 “normal” sized people… Paul is kind of on the big side, just big all
over (sorry Paul)! Paleoscan power lifts, and is therefore not a small person either... So, the
complete equation looks like this:
Paul + Paleoscan + Little me + Fossil Ski = Floundering/Sinking Fossil Ski
All was not lost though… We still used the fossil ski. I came up with a wicked idea… I ran to the
nearest boat store and bought one of those towable inner tubes. The equation now looks like this:
Paul + Paleoscan + Little me + Fossil Ski + Inner Tube = Floundering (but floating) Fossil Ski
+ Little me on inner tube being beat to death by crab traps and waves and jumping rock fish.
The system actually worked out pretty well. We could get to any cliff exposure anywhere within
minutes, and Paul and Paleoscan had a comfortable ride. The only drawback was I being stuck on
the inner tube for long stretches… Inner tubing sounds like fun, and it is, but after hanging on
one for over 15 minute stretches at high speeds, being beat by waves, getting airborne on occasion,
running over crab traps that Paul “didn’t see”, almost getting your head chopped off by the occasional
jumping rock fish, and having a constant stream of spray hit you, makes tubing become old fast!
This is why I gained entry into the redneck yacht club. I believe this is the only time inner
tubing was not used as a recreational activity, but a mode of transportation.
Anyhow, we hit numerous spots all over the bay and rivers, many places one can’t easily get to.
Paleoscan did the best with 3 roughly 1 to 1.5” mako teeth, and a transitional tooth (it looks
like an otodus but is halfway serrated) from a secret spot where these strange teeth can be found,
and a nice C. subauriculatus tooth ~2” in size. Paul did second best with a ~1.25” mako, and the
blade of one of those transitional teeth. I did the worst with a beautiful ~1.25” mako a decent
cow shark tooth, and maybe a complete cetacean vertebra still in the chunk of matrix (I have to prep
it to see if all the processes are there). The Calvert Marine Museum also did well. Paul spied an
articulated fish fossil (missing the head) in a chunk of matrix. We quickly delivered that to the
museum, as those fossils are VERY hard to find and is probably scientifically valuable.
Overall, I think we didn’t do so hot, but it is mid summer. Sea nettles are out everywhere, red
algae is in the water making it murky, lots of aquatic plants are washing up covering the beaches,
and sand is covering allot of the good collecting areas. Even though we didn’t find that much for
3 days of collecting, we all still had a blast… except for the groundhog incident!
They love digging for fossils
Cove Point Light House
Waiting out a storm at Parkers Creek
The groundhog incident:
I didn’t mention the Groundhog incident? Well… on the rivers, there are always numerous of downed
trees fallen from the cliffs and splayed out into the river, which create barricades along the beach.
While negotiating such a barricade, I noticed a branch next to me shaking. Assuming it was a fluffy
woodland creature, or even a snake near the base of the tree, I shook the branch, to let it know I was
there and to also allow it to scamper away. This happens allot on the rivers, snakes and fluffy
critters love those downed trees. However, what doesn’t happen allot is the following. As soon
as I shook the branch, the branch shook violently back as I heard noises above me. I quickly
glanced up, over my head to where the branch was leading, and saw a groundhog perilously hanging
on for dear life, just inches from my head. As I was thinking “#^&*$&! #*$%!! This thing has
sharp claws!! #$$%!!! It’s going to fall on my head!!” I quickly rolled out of the way unscathed
as the poor critter caught its balance and darted to the base of the tree. So now I have to look
for snakes at my feet and falling groundhogs in trees above my head. Fossil hunting is
Some of Paleoscans makos
Some more of Paleoscans finds. The tooth on the right is actually a transitional tooth, it has tiny serrations
running halfway up the blade.
My mako. This came out of a slump from zone 13 and never touched the water.
A chipped cow shark.
Here is the fish, some vertebras can be seen in this image.
Ending the day Redneck style.
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