Shark Tooth Hunting

As Tropical Storm Bonnie moved through South Carolina, we in Wilmington were left with some gorgeous sunny weather Memorial Day weekend. The sun was high in the sky as the participants arrived. That morning’s trip was on the Cape Fear River/Sharks Tooth Island to hunt for sharks teeth. Our group that day was two amazing families, both with young children. From the moment the youngsters arrived there spirits and energy level were through the roof.

After a brief safety orientation, off we went. As we paddle to our stop, our group passes by a tower in the channel just off the boat ramp where a Osprey nest is located.  The mom, dad, and their chicks live there in this huge nest. The mom stands on high alert as she intently watches us paddle by the tower. Upon arrival to our first stop, Sharks Tooth Island, the group gathered as I showed them how to look for prehistoric shark’s teeth and fossils. Quickly we began to find sharks teeth that were keepers; best of all, they were from different prehistoric sharks. While we were walking the island looking for shark’s teeth, a smooth looking rock caught my eye. After further investigation we come to find it is a 2 inch long 1 inch wide prehistoric Great White Shark’s tooth. The biggest sharks tooth I have ever found. While out on the beach we also found fossilized gastropod casts of shells that were preserved remarkably well. In all this was a great day for fossil hunting on the beaches of Sharks Tooth Island.

After a short paddle we landed at Keg Island. Here we observed White Ibis searching the mud flats for lunch. Many fiddler and marsh crabs covered these beaches. As we walked the beach of this beautiful island, the crabs dispersed as if they were making a pathway just for us. This island may not have held many sharks teeth, yet what it lacked it teeth, made up in wildlife. As the children began to crash from a full day of beach hunting the group set course for home. What a wonderful opportunity to find the treasures we did while creating amazing memories to last forever. In all it was a great day, with a great group of people.

The next day Don and I had the honor of guiding UNCW Professor Roger Shew and an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCW (Olli) group. That day Professor Shew taught us about the different casts and fossils of prehistoric sea creatures and sharks teeth. We learned that the sand dug up from the Cape Fear River is 35-40 million years old. Meaning all the fossils found were that old as well. That day the Olli group members found some really cool fossils and we learned some amazing information about the area.

Don & Diane Harty own Mahanaim Adventures.  They specialize in helping families and groups to have “Positive & Memorable” outdoor adventures.  Whether these are wildlife view adventure, camping adventure or a simple kayaking adventure.  They provide kayaking adventures on Town Creek, Cape Fear River, Fort Fisher Basin, Masonboro Island, Black River, Holly Shelter Creek and Moores Creek.  Contact them at for more information about all of their adventures. (wilderness survival info)


This Blog was Written by Sam Law. I am Mahanaim Advenures new intern for the summer of 2016. I am a Park and Recreation Management Student at East Carolina, Go Pirates! I love the the ocean and outdoors more than anything. This coming summer i will be writing a blog similar to this each week to let everyone know about the awesome adventures and encounters we have. I hope to see ya’ll out paddling this summer.