Frequently Asked Questions
Will we still hunt in the rain?
Yes! As long as there is no lightning or hazardous conditions such as exceptionally high tides, rough winds, hurricanes, or flooding, your Fossil Adventure will still occur. In fact, some of the greatest fossil discoveries have been found on rainy days!
What should I wear?
Dress for the weather. A hat, light-colored and lightweight clothing, and comfortable water shoes or sandals are appropriate clothing, but be sure to have a raincoat handy. Also bring bug spray and sunscreen, along with water or snacks you may want during the tour.
For the Fossil Kayaking Adventures, the following are NOT allowed: crocs, open-toe (or open-heel) shoes, and flip flops. If you arrive in any of these you will be asked to purchase a closed-toe set from a nearby store.
What am I paying for, if we are searching public beaches?
It's true that at our Beach Adventures we are not searching "exclusive, private beaches" or "secret" locations. The real value comes in having that immediate identification of fossil fragments you never would have collected on your own. Or, if collected, you would still have no idea what the piece belonged to, if a fossil in the first place! CFA identifies every fossil on the beach with unparalleled excellence. The treasures are hiding in what's left behind from other collectors' searches!
Where are we meeting?!
The meeting location of the Fossil Kayaking Adventures is 30 minutes south of Charleston, and 45 minutes north of Edisto Beach. Once your trip is booked and payment secured, you'll receive an email with the address. Similarly, reference your reservation email for a map of where to meet on Edisto. For the Charleston Beach Adventure, we meet 15 minutes from downtown Charleston.
Why isn't the Adventure I want to go on available during my stay?
CFA ensures that Adventures place people on the beach during the ideal time of the tide cycle. In other words, we won't schedule an Adventure when there aren't a lot of fossils on the beach! Our tides advance by 45-50 minutes each day, so some Adventures may have to occur in the evening or early morning based on the tidal cycle.
Why is there an age limit on the Fossil Kayaking Adventures?
1) Our insurance company sets the initial limit, and 2) these tours experience more physically strenuous activity, for longer hours (5-8 hours), in more extreme conditions (tidal currents, sticky mud, direct sun exposure). These conditions can negatively affect full grown adults, so CFA kindly requests children ages 10+ on the 1/2 Day Kayaking Adventure and ages 16+ on the 3/4 Day Kayaking Adventure. Thank you!
How long does my Adventure last?
Edisto Beach and Charleston Beach: 3 hours
1/2 Day Kayaking Adventures: 5 hours
3/4 Day Kayaking Adventure: 8 hours
Do tours take place year-round?
Yes! Just be sure to dress for the weather!
Will we see alligators?
No! Our tours take place in environments where alligators cannot live, thanks to the salinity of the water. We do, however, have a fairly high success rate of seeing dolphins!
Can I keep every fossil I find?
Absolutely! And if your group happens to be the only one scheduled for that tour, you'll receive many of the fossils the tour guide finds as well!
How many fossils will we find?
Since these fossils are naturally occurring and not planted by our staff, we cannot guarantee a certain number of fossils, but we can guarantee everyone will walk away with fossils. The beaches are constantly changing, so some days may be more fruitful than others. However, common fossils like turtle shell and bone fragments are numerous, and usually out in good numbers on any given day. Head on over to our Facebook page to check out trip reports from past clients!
Do you have gift certificates?
We do! To purchase one, simply visit our Merchandise page and pick the certificate you want. You'll receive your electronic certificate through the email you provide within 24-48 hours.
Which Adventure is best for finding Megalodon teeth?
The Fossil Kayaking Adventures are the excursions that yield the most fragments of Megalodon teeth over any other Adventure. This is in part due to the remote locations of the river sites and the deposit age from where the fossils are washing out.
Why do I need a Hobby Diving License if we aren't diving?
All collection of artifacts (both anthropological and paleontological) below mean low tide water mark must be reported to the State of South Carolina through the Maritime Research Division (MRD) of SCIAA. The Hobby Diving License allows collection of artifacts as long as "divers" comply with rules set forth by the SC Underwater Antiquities Act of 1991. Don't worry, they won't be taking your shark teeth! CFA is proud to cooperate with MRD and ensure that all participants on the Freshwater Kayaking Adventures are legally licensed. These permits are only needed on our Freshwater Kayaking Adventures!
How many people will be on my Adventure?
It is entirely possible that your family may be the only group on the tour! Trip sizes vary based on how many people sign up; however, the Beach Adventures have a limit of 12 people, while Kayaking Adventures are limited to 8. This is set to provide the most one-on-one experience as possible.
What forms of payment does CFA accept?
CFA accepts any US-issued credit/debit card* bearing a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, or UnionPay logo (both chip and magnetic stripe cards), as well as ApplePay and Android Pay. Cash is also accepted, of course!
Shark teeth or shells are not acceptable forms of payment! ;-)
*Any credit/debit card payment will have a charge added for processing.
What is CFA's cancellation policy?
Any cancellations (in part or in full) made by the client more than 48 hours prior to the calendar day of the trip will be refunded or moved to an alternate date in the future. If a rescheduled client cancels the second date at any time and has not purchased cancellation insurance, no refund or rescheduling will occur, and the client forfeits all monies.
All clients have the option of purchasing cancellation insurance. Clients that choose this option secure their refund through the booked Adventure's date (i.e. less than 48 hours until the trip).
CFA will only cancel an outing due to extreme weather conditions (forecast hurricanes, lightning, etc.). Weather-related cancellations made by CFA are eligible for rescheduling, regardless of if the client paid for cancellation insurance or not. If a rescheduled client cancels the second date at any time and has not purchased cancellation insurance, no refund or rescheduling will occur, and the client forfeits all monies.
Does CFA have a physical address?
To minimize the cost of each Adventure, CFA does not lease a physical business location, and instead focuses on leading outings and providing on-site fossil identification. But, if you'd like to write to us, our mailing address is:
Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC
PO Box 30264
Charleston, SC 29417