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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Tropical Storm Andrea Brings Seashells To Sanibel!

sara daren shells sanibel

Tropical Storm Andrea blew through Southwest Florida this week without stirring up too much ruckus.. other than seashells and Beach Bling! It was a sheller’s playground at Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida. Sara and Daren from Fort Myers were very happy Sanibel is practically in their back yard so they could drive over after the storm to find all of those seashells in the top photo by sifting through the shells at the water’s edge.

sara daren sanibel tropical storm andrea

I think the happiest gal on the beach was Jessica who was visiting from Kentucky. The beach was buzzing with the news that she found a JUNONIA!!! Boom Shellalaka!

jessica junonia sanibel tropical storm andrea

She said she saw lots of shells half buried in the sand so started digging around and up popped her JUNONIA! … And that gorgeous dark LIGHTNING WHELK… And an ANGEL WING! Wahoo!

junonia sea shell whelk storm andrea

Jim and his wife Linda took a different method of collecting shells. They plopped right down to sit in the shallow water because they were feeling so many shells at their feet. Jim scooped up this exshellent empty HORSE CONCH!

Jim Sanibel horse conch TS andrea

I couldn’t resist peaking in his shell bucket to see the rest of his finds from the water. Wanna peak too? Oh I know you DO!

bucket of seashells tropical storm andrea

Linda was holding her own on finding great shells. Oh yes she was! She found a perfect (and huge) ALPHABET CONE and two, count them… two perfect TRUE TULIPS…

Linda shells water sanibel storm andrea

I was thrilled to see Angela and her sister-in-law Candy again (I met them about this same time last year) loading up their buckets with goodies.

angela candie shells tropical storm andrea

Awesome, right?

sanibel shell buckets tropical storm andrea

I love to see such happy families on the beach doing their own treasure hunt. All visiting from Alabama is Gracie, Dennis, Gloria, Sonya and Tyler…

family finds seashells Sanibel

They were doing yet another method of shell collecting… looking for minis! They found WENTLETRAPS, BABYS EARS, and all sorts of fun tiny miniature shells…

mini shells tropical storm andrea

All while we were all finding shells, there were DOLPHINS swimming by, STARFISH scooting around in the tidal pools, live FIGHTING CONCHS burying themselves. Misty and Davis from Alabama were amazed by the all of this sea life.

misty davis sanibel tropical storm andrea sanibel

Misty even found a live baby PYGMY OCTOPUS! Cool! This is not much bigger than the babies I filmed hatching on video I took several years ago. So see that video CLICK HERE. After showing this baby to us, she gently put it back in the water.

pygmy octopus tropical storm andrea sanibel

Earlier yesterday, I went to Blind Pass Captiva to see if the shells were coming in there too. Yes they were! The water was much rougher so it wasn’t as easy to get the rolling shells but Joe and Penny from MA were toughing it out and scooping up the goods…

joe penny shelling captiva tropical storm andrea

They found some nice WHELKS, CONCHS, COCKLES and SCALLOPS.

collecting seashells tropical storm andrea

Tom and his daughter Alma from Wisconsin found a few treasures but the rough water kept them away from filling up their bags. The water was still a bit too rough in the Gulf Of Mexico at Blind Pass for really good shelling.

alma tom shells captiva tropical storm andrea

There was such a big difference from rough waters at Blind Pass to the calm water around the tip of Lighthouse Beach by the Sanibel Pier. This is actually on the San Carlos Bay side of the Lighthouse. This area is great for kids at a time like this since they get to see and learn about live sea creatures and also get to take empty shells home to remember their vacation forever…. just like these cuties Cole, Chase and Isabelle visiting from Kentucky.

kids shelling sanibel tropical storm andrea

This is where Super Sheller Clark found this one of three ALPHABET CONES. Happy guy!

super sheller clark sanibel alphabet cone

And this is also where I found my best find… a CARRIER SHELL! I know, it doesnt look like much but finding a shell I rarely see, aaaalways makes me happy. Thank you TS Andrea!

carrier shell sanibel storm andrea

I think the best shelling today will be in the afternoon at low tide again either at Lighthouse beach or Blind Pass Captiva. I just checked the Web Cams around the island to see if the water has calmed down a little at Blind Pass Sanibel and it does look a little calmer so it should be good by the jetty rocks on the Captiva Side soon…if not now. OMG So I have to go! I’ve got to get out there before I miss something! I’ll post more soon but in the meanwhile,  CLICK HERE to see the best shelling web cams for Sanibel Captiva and Ft Myers Beach.

tropical storm andrea brings seashells sanibel

Don’t forget to enter to win the Sanibel Shelling Vacation giveaway! Click on the next image!

Seashell Island Shelling Vacation


  1. HOLY COW!!! Wish I was there!! Some beautiful stuff being found…especially everyone’s smiles!!

  2. WOW!! I want to be there today! Great finds everyone :)
    I cannot imagine finding an octopus-must be very rare!

  3. Wowzer!! I want to be there now too!!!

  4. OMG! What magnificent specimens. And a whole bunch of them! really want to hop on a plane and come right down! Junonia, Horse Conchs, True Tulips, oh my! And then dolphins on top of that? Who could ask for anything more? LOL Very happy for all you shellers out there scoopin’ up the goods. Have a Shelltastic Time!

  5. What am I missing I would be insane with pleasure I will be back next year

  6. Wow! So happy for all of the shellers! Tulips are my favorite shell, but sadly I’ve failed to find a whole one on my trips to Sanibel! Wish I was there so I could snag one … there’s always next year. Have fun everyone!

  7. I loved seeing the octopus!! And so tiny!!

  8. I wish July 27th would get here already. Last year we stayed in Bonita and this year we are staying on Captiva. It will be easier for me now to do all the shelling I want! I hope I run into you.

  9. Glad to hear Andrea didn’t cause any damage…now get your shelling on!! I love that last picture!

  10. Cute octopus. Love all the shells. I hope I hadn’t thrown away a carrier shell thinking it was a broken shell! Happy shelling.

  11. Me too, I really love that last picture; I reckon that would make a great calendar shot really — it captures how and why people love to shell on Sanibel!

  12. gosh i wish i were there, awesomeness! miss sanibel/captiva…someday i will be there again and eat at the bubble room again, yum!

  13. Amazing how quickly it can change! Very few shells to be found at Lighthouse beach a couple of weeks ago (Blind Pass was where they were washing up for us). So glad everyone is finding lots of great shells there now – loved seeing them! Great looking junonia, horse conch, alphabet cones etc. Loved the pygmy octopus too!
    It sounds like you will have some more great shelling in the days ahead!

  14. So enjoy your posts and pics when I cant be out there myself. Yeah for all the great shells everyone is finding!

  15. OMG! What fantastic finds! This looks like one of my dreams! Happy shelling to you all. Wish I could be there. Don’t know if I can thank you enough Pam, for letting us in on this beautiful glimpse of your life on Sanibel!

  16. Love those BIG colorful alphabet cones.

  17. Will be there in 2 weeks but I told my family on Friday we needed to jump in the car and leave now for the after-storm shelling! Can’t wait to be back in the water and shelling. We live in Nebraska and had a family reunion yesterday. My nephew had his bag of shells from Sanibel (from our trip last summer) in his car and we got them out and went through them again. It will have to tide me over until we get back on the beach!

  18. These pics are amazing! I can hardly wait to leave for Sanibel in 5 days. Do you think the shells from Andrea wll still be plentiful for a while? All the smiles and shells are a vacationer’s dream..

  19. This was the shelling day I have literally been dreaming about! It can’t believe how perfect it was. I am so happy I got to meet you, Pam. You have kept my shelling dreams alive back in Kentucky. Thank you for documenting this wonderful day!! :D

  20. Sometimes, it’s fun to be able to say “I told you so!”

  21. Oh, how I would love to be there!!!!!!! I love shells and shelling, just as my deceased mother did. I love to make things from shells, such as jewelry, wind chimes, etc. to give to my friends as gifts. What I would love to do is make a ‘shell garden’ for myself, which would be my own little special ‘part of the beach’ in my yard. I have heard of Sanibel and was going to visit when I went to Florida, but my brother went into congestive heart failure the night we got to Florida and we couldn’t go. Sanibel is on my Bucket List.

  22. I love looking at your webpage…it’s like taking a mini vacation! As much as I love shelling, I can’t get out as often as I’d like, so gazing at all the beautiful “finds” allows me to live vicariously through you and your friends on Sanibel! :) You just never know what God will put out for you to find!

  23. So heartbreaking. We were there last week when the weather was awful because of Andrea. No sun all week and lots of rain. We had to leave on Saturday and didn’t even get to take advantage of the shelling even though we had to endure the storm. Worst vacation ever :(

  24. I’ve been to Sanibel over a dozen times during my lifetime and have only found an alphabet cone once. I remember it so vividly and I was only a child. Good luck to everyone shelling this week!

  25. wow…awesome!


  26. wow!!! im so jealous lol !!! lots of great shells i wish i was there

  27. My heart is right there with you all! Happy Shelling!!

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