Water Temp on the
bottom in 100'
Current on the
Bottom in 100'
Bouy data Obatined from
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|Welcome To Charleston Diving
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CharlestonDiving.com is a lowcountry diving community website. This site is to provide the necessary resources for all lowcountry divers. It is not dive store specific; however it will cater to all dive stores by posting both class and trip schedules, as provided by the respective dive stores.This site will also have numerous diving discussion forums. There will be many specific dive related discussion forums, as freshwater diving, river diving, Wreck diving, fossil diving, cavecavern diving, spear-fishing, and any other pertinent topics.
Be sure to register as a member for the discussion forums, and begin contributing to the discussions and aiding others in the different diving experiences. This site will always be in a constant state of change, with topics of discussion being updated daily, so check back often.
||SC 2007 big fish Leaderboard
| This is the official Charlestondiving.com Leaderboard for 2007.
Gumshoe is running the show and is final say on rules and fish entered.
Rob, 5/12, 40lbs Gutted. Witness, Hoppy
Chris, 4/3, 12lbs 6oz. Witness, Will
Scamp Grouper Craig, 4/3, 19lbs 8 oz. Witness, Will
Bug Hunter 22lbs 4ozs witness craig
Large Barge 9lbs. 10ozs. and aprox. 29"
21Lbs 8oz. Witness Rick
Chris, 4/3, 4lbs 10oz., Witness Will
Craig, 3/31, 11lbs, 6 oz., Witness, Will
Craig, 4/3, 20lbs, 6 oz., Witness Will
Yellowmouth Grouper Craig, 3/31, 9lbs 8 oz. Witness, Will
||Fossil and Shark tooth Diving in South Carolina
| Fossil diving in south carolina is some of the best in the country. Expect a lot
more content in this area Soon. In the meantime check out the pictures and the
Fossil discussion. Many thanks To Paul Culver for writing the following Primer
for South Carolina Fossil Divers.
How to be a Cooper River fossil diver by Paul Culver
Fossil diving in the fast, dark waters of the Cooper River in South Carolina
can be an exhilirating and rewarding challenge for adventurous divers. Between
2-15 million years ago the eastern half of South Carolina was covered by a shallow
sea. Huge predators plied the shallow coastal waters and large mammals moved
in to forage in the coastal swamps and bogs as the sea receeded between 10,000
and 1.6 million years ago. Evidence of their existence can still be found today,
especially by local divers in rivers and tributaries which have cut deep into
the geological layers of the Ashley marl and the Hawthorne formation, a layer
containing a mix of of fossils from four epochs: the Oligocene, Pliocene, Miocene,
and the Pleistocene. As huge marine predators such as the Carcharocles megalodon
and other ancient shark species of the Miocene-Pliocene epochs(2-15 million
years ago) fed or died, their exfoliated teeth dropped to the sea floor and
later became part of a fossil record that, as the sea retreated eastward, mixed
with the bones and teeth of amphibians and large land mammals of the Pleistocene
epoch(10,000-1.6 million years ago) such as beavers,horses,giant sloths, bison,
mastodons, and even saber-toothed cats among others. Although this is a very
simplified description of the geological layers formed by the last 15 million
years of SC coastal ecology, the result is a wonderful mixed bag of incredible
fossils that have been eroded from the geologic layers of the Cooper River and
lie in expansive fossil beds waiting to be discovered by diving enthusiasts.
Diving the Cooper River is not to be taken lightly. Care needs to be taken
when choosing tides for your dive plan (unless you want to end up in Charleston
Harbor!). Diving the East Branch of the Cooper seems a little more forgiving
while the West Branch has not only tidal influence on current, but also at times
increased current from water drawn through the Jeffries hydroelectric plant
at the head of the Tailrace Canal. Usually the best tides to dive for good visibility
are the last hour and a half of the ebb(outgoing) tide and the first hour and
a half of the flood(incoming) tide, with time for a sandwich and a tank change
in between. Be aware that eddies, extreme tides, and dead low tides can cause
visibility to drop to zero due to suspension of algae in the water column. Except
during extreme tides or abundant rains when turbidity from silt can be a factor,
visibility seems to be affected by two factors: suspended algae and tannin.
Suspended algae levels are directly related to water temperature. Therefore
it goes without saying that diving the Cooper in the winter and enduring cold
water temperatures is rewarded with awesome visibility. The heat of the summer,
when water temperatures hover near 86 degrees, causes visibility to plummet
as suspended algae can make it appear like you are diving in a blizzard white
out. It's very hard to see your hand in front of your face, let alone fossils
on the bottom. Tannin on the other hand doesn't seem to be any problem. Yes,
it will cut down on light penetration or optical clarity of the water, but it's
the tint or stain that you notice to the water instead of physical particles
suspended in the water column that definitely inhibit visibility or disperse
your light beam. The Edisto River is a good example of tannin stained water.
So now, with a little background, let's go divin'! First get yourself a good
tide chart that shows the tides' varying stages and their time differentials
off the Harbor tide. These are available at most local dive shops. You may need
to buy one of those charts of the Cooper River from Walmart so you will know
landmarks that are used on the tide charts if you are not familiar with them.
You will need something to help pull you along the bottom in the swift current...so
take a long , cheap screwdriver and drill a hole in the handle to add a lanyard
for your wrist. This simple tool will become invaluable for various tasks. I
use mine to help anchor myself to the river bottom and to pull myself along
to cut back on exertion when there is a stronger current. This seems to make
my air last much longer. Also if you need to adjust your gear or rest, just
anchor yourself to the bottom with your screwdriver and adjust away without
worry of being swept down the river. Use at least a six C cell primary light.
If you can afford an HID light, get one for river diving. They are particularly
picky, but fantastic for the dark river. You'll also need a tag line anywhere
from 50-75' behind the boat in case you come up and miss the boat. And don't
think it can't happen. Don't forget to put your motor in gear or raise it out
of the water, or the current free spinning your prop will wrap up your tag line
shortening it greatly and making for a real mess. And I strongly recommend polypropylene
rope, as it floats quite well. Also get a good danforth type anchor so you can
anchor well in sand, clay, or mud and a collection bag for your finds.
OK! Let's go! Find a spot you would like to try or pry the location of a good
fossil bed from someone and check your tide chart. Get there about two hours
before your chart says it will be low tide where you want to dive. This gives
you a good hour to anchor, drink some gator aid and get geared up. Put up your
dive flag, put out your tag line, and get in the water about an hour and fifteen
minutes before low tide AT YOUR LOCATION. Go down the anchor rope with your
dive buddy and set the anchor if you don't have a bubble watcher in the boat.
Then work into the current along the bottom looking for fossils and artifacts.
I work into the current so if I have to surface early or if there is still a
little current at the end of my dive, I can just float back to the boat. When
you are ready to surface, watch your gauges. At 15 feet, do a SAFETY STOP. There
is a lot of traffic in the Cooper River,especially on the weekends and holidays,
and the River is narrow in places. Weekend warriors don't all know what a dive
flag is. Coming to the surface is probably the most dangerous part of fossil
diving, so BE CAREFUL!! I highly recommend a safety sausage. Once you've listened
for boat motors at your 15' safety stop, ascend waving your hand or "swingin'
your sausage"and get back in the boat to refresh yourself and get a fresh
tank to dive the the first hour or so of the incoming. Congratulations! You
are now a fossil diver!
|South Carolina Dive Shops
There are several Dive shops in South Carolina. I've
attempted to compile a list of different shops and what they offer. Dive shops
feel free to send your info for me to add.
Atlantic Coast Dive
209 Scott ST, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
335 Savannah Highway,Charleston, SC
Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Medic First Aid, DAN O2, Rescue Diver,
Dive Master, Assistant Instructor, Instructor Development Course, Specialty
International Diving Institute
Campus & Dive Site
1400 Pier Side Street, Bldg 190
Monday - Friday 7:00am - 5:00pm
Corporate Office & Retail
206B East 5th N. Street
Summerville SC 29483
Monday - Friday
Saturday-10:00am - 5:00pm
Sergio A. Smith, CEO
4091-B Highway 17- Business, Murrell's Inlet, SC
"Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Medic First Aid, DAN O2, Rescue Diver, Dive
Master, Nitrox Diver, PADI Specialty Courses, TechRec"
3552 Highway 17, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Advanced Open Water, Medic First Aid, Rescue Diver, Nitrox Diver, PADI Specialty
1501 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach,
Discover Scuba, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Medic First Aid, Rescue
Diver, Nitrox Diver, PADI Specialty Courses
SCUBA CENTER of
2 PROSPECT ST.
Classes: Open Water To Instructor, Plus 42 Specialty Courses
“Cooper River Gators” I do Cooper River trips on weedends