Tina and Lee started seeing lots of shells rolling in on the beach at #6 on West Gulf Drive at around 9 am. By the time we got there around 1 pm, there was a nice size shell pile that was only getting bigger.
Lee told me that she started shelling in 1973 while staying at South Seas Plantation (now called South Seas Resort) on Captiva every year until Hurricane Charley blew through and did major damage. Since the resort took a few years to rebuild, they decided to stay on Sanibel (and liked it) so now stay and shell the beaches off West Gulf each year.
Tina had a bucket overflowing with nice shells and right on top was a cool HORSESHOE CRAB that hadn’t survived. We’ve seen a few dried baby ones lately but this was a nice bigger size. Did you know that HORSESHOE CRABS are one of the oldest species on Earth? Older than the dinosaurs! Wild, huh?
Clark had his trusty shelling “backhoe” and within 10 minutes found a gorgeous bright orange HORSE CONCH. With his backhoe, he can get right in the rough surf where the shells are harder to see from the mixture of sand, shells, water and foam. If he sees a good shell, he can scoop the area the shell is in to make sure it doesn’t get swept away. Believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve never gotten the hang of it. I’m a Sanibel Stooper.