Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shark!!! (teeth anyway)

While exploring the beaches in Florida we decided to check out the self-proclaimed "Shark Tooth Capitol".  Caspersen beach is in the town of Venice - south of St Pete and north of Sanibel/Captiva.  We had spent a few hours in the morning on Sanibel and decided to head back to the mainland for some lunch (there is an Aurelio's Pizza in Ft Meyers) and then head further up the coast. 

There had been a few postings on Trip Advisor about hunting shark teeth in the area, so we stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of supplies.  The locals use a long handled wire basket to dig in the breaking surf...we used a pasta colander and a kitty litter scoop.  We also had a small lingerie bag to place our finds in.  I would bring a pill container or bison tube next time as the shark teeth can be tiny.

The beach here is free - no toll bridge to pay and no parking meters!  (Sanibel is $6 for the bridge and $2 an hour to park IF you can find a parking space!)  There are picnic tables but we didn't see any concessions in the area we were.  There are a few more public beaches along this stretch of coast so maybe there were washrooms and food available somewhere else. 

The whole process is to scoop up the sand/shells/rocks/teeth along the shore break, seine the sand out and pick through what is left looking for the teeth.  The beach has dark colored sand here so you can dump your finds up on the beach and pick through them there if you would like.  We spent about 1 1/2 hrs here - would have liked to spend more time but there were storms rolling in.  Didn't want to stand in the water during lightning!
Sorting through the finds - nice shells here too!

Shark teeth we found

This was a free and fun way to spend some time while on the Gulf coast of Florida.  We will definitely return and plan to spend more time here.  We also located a dive operator who will take certified divers out looking for Megalodon teeth!  There is supposed to be a fossil bed located off shore where these items come from.

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