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  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
Bruce Skubon
Hello all, I am going to visit a friend who lives in Tampa at the end of the month and there are going to be days where she has to work and I have nothing to do. I was wondering if anyone knows of some places where I can find some agatized coral or any other interesting items? Thanks for your help!

Tom K.
Hey Bruce,
I think Guri may have some info on that area as he lives in Fla.and has a web site on collecting there.

Been in any traffic jams lately?? LOL

Tom K.
Honeymoon Island at low tide is one area you can look. Also any dredging in the area would be worth a look at
Joe D.

As RD said, Honeymoon Island is still a good bet for some interesting material. The agatized Coral was dredged from the bottom of the bay during construction of the Caladesi Causeway in the late '60's. Honeymoon Island is on the Gulf Coast of Florida, near the Tarpon Springs area. Drive to the northern-most point of the island and park at the northern point of the parking lot. You will see a little "hut" where you park. The best collecting for agatized black Coral is to the left of the hut as you're standing there with it in front of you. The best sea shells are to the right. You may only collect "uninhabited" sea shells, but can pick up as much coral as you like. It used to cost $4 to get in but that may have gone up.

There are several exposures of the Tampa limestones which produce silicified Corals and Mollusks, the best known of which is Ballast Point on Tampa Bay. There used to be plentiful Geode type encrusted pieces that were great looking when cut open but most of the areas where they came from are now unavailable. Access to Ballast Point might be a problem now also.

Joe D.
Mike Streeter
For a picture of the area that Joe mentioned on Honeymoon Island, including the northernmost structure, click to the following link:
Click Here

Bruce Skubon
Thanks guys! I think we are actually planning on going to honeymoon island to fish and enjoy the night life =) PERFECT
Gary Maddox

Pretty much any collectible material in Florida has to be dug up from depth, except for river bank (Suwannee River & Withlacoochee Rivers in North Florida) or rare beach exposures (i.e., pre-development Ballast Point shoreline). Many collecting sites down here open up for a short period of time and then are closed forever.

If you have time to kill, you might try driving around the Tampa Interbay Peninsula (including the Ballast Point area), looking for any recent excavations. Most of the time you won't find any likely prospects, but in years past I have collected agatized coral geodes south of Gandy Bridge on the west side of the peninsula when dredge & fill operations brought up specimens, as well as in the "classic" Ballast Point area. Small pieces and geodes can sometimes still be collected along the shoreline at the Ballast Point Park during low tides (but they frown on digging holes). Once a local Ballast Point resident brought in a backhoe and dug up his backyard, then invited rockhounds to collect all they wanted for a reasonable per-pound fee. Those days are long gone, as this area (and his old "Florida Cracker" - style home and neighborhood) are now covered with million dollar-plus homes.

Local collectors keep a watch out for excavations related to utility work around Ballast Point and other areas likely to produce agatized coral specimens. I have heard of locals bringing camping lanterns and collecting all night from excavations which were gone the next day! Nice agates have also been found in several past excavations as far north as New Port Richey.

Good luck - let us know what you find!
Guri Z.
Bruce, I wish I had seen this sooner. Everyone before me has pretty much said what I know about the area and Honeymoon Island. The pieces will look very nice when cut and polished. I've had fun collecting there, I'm sure you will too. If you have any more questions, just ask!

Well, I went looking on Honeymoon island yesterday and found a little bit for the short amount of time I was there. They are doing some sort of "beach restoration" by the north parking lot so you can't access that part of the beach. I had to walk a ways north of the building and look along there. I did notice they have removed a lot of the rocks from the beach and placed them in piles and I might have to search through the piles. A little rain would help clean the piles off. I will try again soon!
Tom K.
Hey Bruce,
I see you got all the info you need now all you need is a little luck!!

Good hunting and stay away from those darn traffic tie-ups!!

Tom K.
Bruce Skubon
Well, my vacation is over...I am sitting at the Tampa airport waiting for my flight. FYI, WiFi is still free at this airport!! I didn't get caught in any traffic tie-ups down here but I am sure stuck in a people tie-up. The 5:30 flight has not got here yet and so all the people are still waiting and I think a lot of them might get stuck on my 8:28 flight =(

Anyway, I found lots of the agatized coral thanks to all of your help! I had to leave so much of it behind because my luggage could only hold so much weight!! I knew I should have brought a much bigger suitcase! I was thinking of leaving some of my clothes behind or just mailing the rocks to myself but I didn't have time to do that today. I wanted to spend as much time as I could at the beach.

On Saturday I used Joe's field trip report and drove down to Venice beach from Palm Harbor and went shark tooth collecting. That was so much fun!! I could do that for days, too bad the sun sets early this time of year. I found a few nice ones, nothing large. I had to get advice from this 10 year old kid on how to find them. Since I didn't have one of those fancy aluminum things I bought a strainer from the dollar store. It actually didn't work that bad. I will post some pics of my trip and what I found when I get some time.

Thanks again for the help!!

Bruce..back to cold PA
Al O
Hello Bruce,

Good to hear you found what you were looking for and had a good time. Speaking of cold PeeAy, the first snow of the season hit in the wee hours of the morning today. There is about an inch or so of the white stuff all over everything here.

Best Regards,
Al O
Joe D.

I'm glad you had fun in the Sun. I went collecting everyday for a month down there last February in the Venice area. I never found any whole "MEG" teeth but I did find 5 pieces of them, one a few inches in length and 2 inches high. I wanted to get to the "Bone Yard" on Peace river when I was down there but never got around to it. I didn't have my canoe anyway so it would have been pretty hard to find anything of value at the beach there on the river road. The Peace river still gives up plenty of MEG teeth to those adventurous enough to brave the Gators.

I'm going to wire wrap a few of the teeth I found there last year. I brought home a few thousand teeth from last year alone. I got a few down in the Chesapeake a few months ago also.

It sounds like you had a good time at Honeymoon Island and Venice.

Joe D.
Joe D.
Al O,

We didn't get any snow here in Bucks but the cooling weather finally may put a finish on the "Endless Summer" we had this year. The rain is always welcome here but I think for now we will leave the white stuff to you folks. I don't mind the snow when it happens here in February, since I'm generally not in residence here since we retired 10 years ago.

Are you still collecting fossils? I think I am one now. I have been feeling the petrification process coming on more every year. I can't climb trees or jump over down ones or boulders anymore. Every thing in my way now makes me figure out a way around it, rather then over it. My Achilles tendon took 2 years to heal and I am just now getting to jump off rocks and step off curbs without wincing with pain. I think walking in my crick has been beneficial to my legs and my other parts.

I identified that quarry I was talking to you about and even collected there a few times before the owners changed their minds and rescinded their permission. I proved there was Topaz and some nice Quartz points in it. It lies in the same mountain range as the one up along the Delaware river that also has reported Topaz in it. That makes 2 in the state that I'm aware of.

Joe D.
Tom K.
Hey Bruce sounds like you did good and had a good time too!

I hate to but I have to ask what "WiFi is?

Tom K.
Joe D.

Didn't you ever hear of the thing called Wireless Internet. It was the big rage for a while until people found out how insecure it is. You can down the street with your own PC and intercept every-ones business that is using it. That is if you know how.

Joe D.
Guri Z.
LOL at the Wifi joke!!
Tom K.
Joe D,
I know you must have just explained what that WiFi thing is and the best I can tell it has something to do with wireless internet?
I know I can be dense at times but I still don't know what it is??

It must be one of those modern computer lingo things cuz Guri got a kick out of it!Pfffffftt!!!Snot nosed kids anyway!!!LOL

Tom K.
Snot nosed old men anyway!!! LOL!!

Look'e Tom...
Click Here
Joe D.

It means you don't have to plug your PC into anything to get on the Inferness. It's a little better then a wireless modem or using your cell phone to connect to the Inferness.

P.S. I was using the Internet before Al Gore invented it. It seems the Government had it all along, they just didn't know it until Al told them. You see it was a secret only us military fellows knew about until Al told everybody. He must be related to Hillary somehow, they both think and act alike. It could be worse they could be California Congress members or even worse from Texas.

My Genie called me down to the basement to make a few more pendant blanks and I made another Petrified Wood "cross" that came out good, so I wire wrapped it. I gave the last one I made to our pastor. I also made a few neat green hearts out of Amazonite I collected last year at one of my old haunts. I cut it along a different plane so when viewed from the side it just shimmers something wonderful. Feldspar, Corundum and Rutile that I have collected from there also show this wonderful shimmer when cut along the right plane. My oldest granddaughter loves the pink Microcline Feldspar when the shimmer is present.

Joe D.

Joe D.
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