Archeology – Learn About It

Archeology? Think about the adventures of Indiana Jones. How many of you recognize the name Jaques Cousteau?? In case you don’t, Jaques was a diver and environmentalist that dove all over the world and brought us some of the worlds first underwater video. So imagine if Jaques and Indiana had a brother? Good chance he might be an underwater archeologist.

People often ask me are there many wrecks in Lake Erie? That’s a big you betcha! Followed by; Can you see anything down there? I’ll be honest, some days the visibility is better than others. So anyway onto the topic at hand. I belong to the Maritime Archeology Survey Team (MAST). MAST members conduct surveys of the wrecks of Lake Erie. This means taking measurements of wreck features, their location and inventorying the items on the wreck. Remember Jaques and Indy? That’s a MAST Member.

archeology scuba diver archeology MAST diver archeology MAST diver

MAST routinely holds classes to teach divers the basics of underwater archeology. Got any guesses as to what might be coming up? That’s right, the Nautical Archaeology Workshop. Here you can learn the basics of ship design and construction, the legal aspect of artifacts, measuring and documenting findings.

The training involves listening to speakers on all aspects of ship wreck archeology, land based measurements and an in-water practice session this summer. Students must be at least 16 years of age.

By this time your thinking more, more, more info. No problem. You can check  the LINK to the MAST web site for class information and registration materials. Want more first hand information about wreck diving and underwater marine archeology – invite me out for coffee. Just joking, sort of, send me an email with questions. Maybe I’ll see you at the class.

UPDATE – Hey Guys, You’re Not Forgotten!

UPDATE – Since this post was released, the Megalodon Tooth Necklace inventory has been expanded. An additional 4 pieces have been added. All the new pieces are large in size and include some on leather. Happy shopping!

Hey Guys, you’re not forgotten! I know that guys can be iffy when it comes to jewelry. Some like to wear jewelry and others – NOT! But for you guys that have wondered if a piece of Ocean Sands jewelry is for you, I just put up a couple of the first larger pieces in the on-line store that might be of interest.

Each of these teeth are wire wrapped using 14 wire gage corrosion resistant aluminum wire to match the hefty size of the tooth. The chain is a 7mm wide curb style and 20 inches long. It provides plenty of mass to compliment the tooth yet have a beefy appearance to it.

Both teeth are pretty weighty in spite of the missing portions. Imagine the weight of these teeth complete – WOW!

The smaller 31.0 gram tooth is amazing with the missing enamel. The missing enamel exposes the inner composition of the tooth. Which is something not often seen is Megalodon teeth.

So if you’re wondering why there are only two necklaces in stock, teeth this size are more difficult to find. Larger teeth can be much more susceptible to damage. You’ll notice the damage to the two teeth shown in this post.

In addition, it took some time to find a chain that would compliment the mass of these larger teeth and wouldn’t break-the-bank. There are more of these larger teeth to be released. They’ll be worked on soon. So don’t despair there are only two!

This should give you a good reason to keep checking the on-line store in case one of these Meg’s doesn’t suit your fancy. These two are now in stock ready for purchase. You don’t have to wait for your very own Ocean Sands Megalodon Shark Tooth necklace. Happy shopping!

New Design Earrings – Shark Tooth, Now Available

NEW DESIGN Earrings! announces the release of a NEW earring design. The initial set is made of:

  • 2 – Prehistoric shark teeth, approximately .6 Gms each.
  • Tooth length: 11/16″ to 3/4″
  • Mounting: 20 Ga. round silver plated wire
  • Earring Wire: 20 Ga. round silver plated wire in a 2″ Marquis form

Tom Szabo recovers prehistoric shark teeth and other materials while scuba diving off Venice, Florida. These prehistoric items are found in 25 to 30 feet of water. The shark teeth in this pair of earrings came from his “haul”. Tom hand made this new design pair of earrings in this new design. His studio is located in Concord Township, Ohio, . More inventory will be made available soon.

The new design earrings compliment’s Ocean Sands line of jewelry. Ocean Sands jewelry also includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The featured center pieces are from prehistoric: shark teeth, manatee and whale bone from the Miocene and Pliocene eras. These eras date back 2.5 million to 26 million years ago.

The Ocean Sands line of jewelry can be seen on the website: and at To purchase Ocean Sands jewelry, contact at 440-354-2535 or visit the website. Locally, Ocean Sands jewelry can be purchased at Craftsmiths in Perry Township, Ohio and Starfish And Coffee in Painesville, Ohio. This new set retails for $31.95 + tax.

Prehistoric shark tooth earrings

NEW DESIGN, ST1.2 ER MA-2 S; Prehistoric shark tooth earrings (.6 Gm each, 11/16′ to 3/4″ long) on 20 Ga. Silver Plated Marquis wires.

NEWS: At Craftsmiths!


Jewelry Outlet Announcement announces the Ocean Sands line of Jewelry is now available through CraftSmiths in Perry, Ohio. Artist Tom Szabo turns his hobbies into business opportunities. In addition, the photographer and scuba instructor has added jewelry to his portfolio of businesses.

Most noteworthy, pre-historic materials are the basis for Ocean Sands jewelry. These materials are pre-historic shark teeth, manatee and whale bone along with others. Because Tom is a scuba diver all of these materials Tom finds himself. While in his studio, he cuts, grinds, polishes and mounts his specimens to make unique jewelry creations.

So, CraftSmiths now has Ocean Sands necklaces, ankle bracelets and ear rings on display and available for purchase. While CraftSmiths is located at 3708 S. Ridge Rd., Perry OH, 4408, more information is available at

Manatee Bone on Gold Necklace

4 Manatee Bone segments, 9.1 gm total fossil weight, On 18 in. gold color necklace. Item number: MB4-09.1-18G
Price: $49.95 + tax & shipping

Earrings – Shark Teeth & Turquoise


Fossilized Shark Tooth Pierced Earrings.

Fossilized Shark Tooth Pierced Earrings. Total shark tooth weight of 2.6 gms. with 8mm diameter Turquoise beads and silver wire. Price: $59.50 + tax.

Fossilized Shark Teeth Pierced Earrings are here! They delicately suspend 2.6 grams total weight shark teeth dating back as far as 25 million years ago. Tom Szabo finds shark teeth, whale bone, manatee bone and other fossilized bone and teeth while diving in the Gulf Of Mexico off the coast of Florida. He is a jeweler, photographer and scuba instructor.

An 8mm Turquoise bead compliments the charcoal colored teeth and silver plated wire. Tom designed and made this set by hand. Treat yourself or that special someone in your life with jewelry that are one-of-a-find. Because of the rarity of these shark teeth, there can never be a duplicate set. Another pair might be similar, but they will not be identical.

This pair can be yours for $59.50 plus handling and shipping. You can learn more by exploring the web site at: Contact Tom directly for other jewelry items and custom pieces.

Underwater Archeology Site


Diving archeologists have been working on a site in a Florida river. The results are helping to dispute that the Clovis group were the first humans to be in the area. The sire has exposed an ancient butchering site for Mastodons. To learn more, read on……

If your interested in underwater archeology, please check out the Maritime Archeological Survey Team (MAST). The group provide basic and advanced classes in underwater archeology. Specifically related to shipwrecks. Or contact Tom Szabo via this site’s Contact page.

MAST diver

A diver records details for a MAST underwater archeology class.

Scuba Diving In Key Largo, FL

Scuba Diving In Key Largo, FL

Scuba Diving In Key Largo, FL

In March of 2016, my wife Diane and I vacationed in Florida. What a great time to leave NE Ohio!

Out With The Old!

As a photographer, it’s important to use updated camera gear. So when it came time to consider updating my main studio camera body, I was faced with what to do with my camera and housing for my underwater photography? The plan was to upgrade my main camera body to a Canon 70D. My older Canon T3i would become my back up body. Problem: The T3i would not fit my current Ikelite Housing, urgh! I called my good friend and Ikelite rep, Dave Haas (Haas Images).

Dave’s suggestion: Sell both camera bodies (T3i & Xsi) and the Ikelite Housing. Then purchase the Canon 70D, Canon SL1 DSLRs and the housing for the Canon SL1. After evaluating the economics of all this, I made the decision to move forward. In addition, this needed to be done for my trip to Florida. This would be a good chance to try the equipment while diving.

Canon T3i DSLR camera body.

Canon T3i DSLR camera body.


Canon XSi DSLR Camera body.

Ikelite camera housing

Ikelite underwater housing for a Canon XSi DSLR camera body.







Problems With Poor Viz!

After arriving in Florida, the first dives were to search for more fossil material for my jewelry line. Diving off Venice, FL means diving the gulf side of Florida. As a result the water temperature was around 66 to 69 degrees and visibility ranged from 1 to 3 feet. Certainly do-able for fossil hunting. Not so great for photography.

After checking out of Siesta Key, we made the drive to Key Largo, FL. Diving conditions improved. Water temps were around 74 to 76 degrees and visibility ran 40 to 60 feet. After getting the new Canon SL1 set up in the housing, a trip to the pool was in order for some testing. Later, it was off to the dive boat. I only had time for 2 days of diving, so photography time was premium. You can see the results by checking out my images from Key Largo.

Anchor Winch

Anchor winch from 19th century vessel in 27 feet of water.

Your comments are welcomed!

MAST In-Water Training

I’m very fortunate to be able to enjoy some really cool hobbies.  The two major ones are photography and scuba diving.  If I’m able to enjoy both at the same time, life just can’t get any better!

As a member of the Maritime Archeological Survey Team (MAST), I also am pleased to serve on the board.  These are some great people and even better volunteers.  On May 18,2014, we conducted the in-water training session for the basic underwater archeology class at White Star Quarry in Gibsonburg, OH.  During this portion of the training, students use the measuring and documentation skills they learned in the classroom environment, while scuba diving.  Everyone finds out how different it is during an actual scuba dive vs. dry land.

Hopefully my images will give you some sense of how the divers, use a tape measure, record their data on their clip board and actually try to measure the features of an archeological site.  It really is a fun activity!

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Tom Szabo, Photographer Exhibit – “Shrimp To Sharks” helps Project Hope!

Pacific reef shark

A 20X30 inch print of this image is on exhibit.

Clown fish in anomone
This image of Clown Fish is also on exhibit!

Everyone in business will tell you that opportunities can come about at any time and from anywhere. Recently Environments By Design invited me to display my underwater photography in their showroom. In addition, the gallery opening provided an opportunity to raise funds for one of my favorite organizations – Project Hope, a Lake County shelter for the homeless.

Please mark your calendar for the opening on Friday May 3, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM EDT. The exhibit is at:
Environments By Design
7204 Pearl Road
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

Won’t you please register for the gallery opening and help Project Hope? For more information and to register go to the registration page.

I look forward to seeing you Friday, May 3, 2013!

Birthday Party Celebration And Underwater Photography

Take a special event like a child birthday, a swimming pool,
a hot summer day and what do you have?  A
great opportunity to photograph kids underwater.  I recently photographed one such birthday


I arrived in advance of the party.  This gave me time to assemble my scuba gear
and set up the digital camera in the Ikelite underwater camera housing with 2
underwater strobes.  After explaining to
all the party-goers the plan, I dropped down on the bottom of the pool and
started shooting away.  The gals were
just as hammy as they could be.  They
really had a good time.  On a hot summer
day, I enjoyed the time on the bottom of the pool also!

Swimming pool and underwater photography.

Ashley's birthday party!

You Only Like Me In The Western Pacific!

Scuba divers spend large sums of money traveling to the western Pacific Ocean in search of the beautiful but venomous Lionfish.  Returning divers are eager to share even mediocre images of these creatures to amaze divers and non-divers alike.  They are indeed a beautiful creature.

Lionfish in Vieques, PR

But move those same adventurous divers to the western Atlantic and the situation changes drastically.  Lionfish in the Atlantic are the basis for fear, concern, studies and hunting.  What’s makes the Atlantic different from the Pacific?  Lionfish are not native to the western Atlantic.  They feed on small reef fish, commercial fish, shrimp and crabs.  Since these invaders are not native, their prey have not been able to develop a defense mechanism.  So their population now grows unchecked.

On a recent trip to Vieques, PR I had the opportunity to see firsthand the extent of their invasion.  I would not be uncommon to spot 6 to 12 Lionfish of various sizes on a single dive.  Many of the divers working for local dive shops would plan their own recreational dives to hunt the invaders.  Hunting would certainly provide a tasty change in their meals and help with population control.

Lionfish dorsal, pectoral and anal fins have hypodermic like spines that carry venom to their prey.  This same venom can be very painful to humans and requires medical attention.  In addition Lionfish have no western Atlantic predators to help control or overtake the current population.  So their numbers are on the rise with no limit in sight. 

A Thomas Image Vieques 11 057
Lionfish have hypodermic like venomous spines.

It has not been confirmed yet as to how this graceful creature was introduced to these waters.  But experts suspect aquarium owners of dumping unwanted specimens into the ocean and they may have been released from large aquarium facilities as the result of hurricane activity.

Lion fish have been spotted, photographed or documented from Miami north to North Carolina, The Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Columbia and Venezuela.  At this time it is not known how well they tolerate cooler water temperatures.  As a result predicting the limits of their potential territory is difficult.

There does appear to be one containment method on the horizon – eat them.  They are reported to be quite tasty.  A Lionfish cookbook has been published and can be found at:

A Thomas Image Vieques 11 062

Eat ‘em to get rid of ‘em!

Although it much more convenient to see these beauties in the Atlantic/Caribbean, Most would rather people have to travel to the western Pacific for the view.  Only time will tell what the future hold for this beautiful invader.

All images and content are Copyright, Tom Szabo, (c) 2011

Tobermory Ontario

Western Reserve Photographic Society, a local camera camera club recently announced a photography travel trip to the Bruce Peninsula near Tobermory, Ontario.  The trip is designed to allow nature photographers to shoot till their hearts content!

I had the opportunity to travel to Tobermory on two separate occasion and dive the wrecks.  And, yes there a lot of them.  The cold fresh water has preserved wrecks that went down 100 years ago or more.  I hope you enjoy this short tour above and below the water.