seashell collection from cayo costa florida scotch bonnet

It was a spectacsheller day of shelling on the Captiva Cruise’s iLoveShelling shell seeker boat adventure to the secluded island of Cayo Costa yesterday. There were so many different varieties of shells that were found on our treasure hunt but I was especially excited for Karen from Kentucky when she showed me this awwwesome SCOTCH BONNET she picked up. Boom Shellalaka!

scotch bonnet shell southwest florida coast cayo costa

I was so much fun to meet and shellebrate with Karen’s whole family Tim, Elizabeth, Jane, (Karen) and Lesley after having such great finds…

tim, elizabeth, jane, karen, lesley KY shelling cruise

But hold on. Karen wasn’t the only one to find a SCOTCH BONNET. Oh yaya… Two SCOTCH BONNETS were found! Shellzam!

scotch bonnets found cayo costa florida captiva cruises iLS

While on the boat ride back, we were showing off Karen’s SCOTCH BONNET when I saw Megan from Ohio holding the same shell in her hand too. OMG! We had to get these two gals and their shells together for a photo. Here are super shellers Karen and Megan!

karen megan match scotch bonnets cayo costa

I found out that Megan and her family were having a fun game going on for their vacation… The Shell-Oympics. Ha! They set rules and points for their shell finds to try to take the gold medal- so cute! But I think Megan just pulled ahead but they still have the rest of the week.  Here are the other Shellympic athletes Gary and Amber with Megan. (So Sorry I didn’t get mom in the photo!)

gary amber megan OH shelling cruise

That’s not all folks. Seconds of stepping off the boat (seriously, I’m talking seconds), Hunter from Georgia saw a small part of this LIGHTNING WHELK sticking out of the sand so he reached down to unbury this beauty. Way to go Hunter- I should call you ShellHunter instead of just Hunter! Now that’s what I call finding buried treasure.

hunter GA whelk cayo costa iLoveShelling

Hunter’s brother Walker spotted this BABY’S EAR by walking around to the gulf side where the shell piles had formed around the tree roots. Hmmmm… I think I’m channeling my Cherokee in my blood… I really want to give him a name too. ShellWalker! (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) Way to go ShellWalker!

walker found babys ear cayo costa captiva cruise iLoveShelling

I was so happy to see Sheri Zipp and her daughter Samantha on the cruise with us too. They have been coming to Sanibel for years and I met Sheri almost 4 years ago when I first started this blog and she was one of the first people to ever comment. I’m forever grateful for all of your encouragement. …and… Nice WORMIE!

sheri samantha worm shell cayo costa florida

I was thrilled for Diane to find this gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK with such deep color.

diane lighting whelk cayo costa iLoveShelling cruise

lightning whelk i Love Shelling cruise cayo costa

The Millers from Michigan were finding gigantic SOUTHERN QUAHOGS (I wish I had gotten a close up of those QUAHOGS. They were ginormous!) and lots of OLIVES…

the millers cayo costa florida with shells

Sweet Teri traveled all the way from California to vacation on the gulf coast of Florida to find shells.

TERI ca traveling to florida for shell collecting

She was filling up two different bags of shell. Her first bag was for the larger shells like the GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLES and SOUTHERN QUAHOGS then the other bag was for the smaller shells like the JINGLES, SCALLOPS and those two fab WORM SHELLS shown here…

teri shells collected gulf coast florida cayo coast island

Ha! I met William and Sarah at the wooden bulkhead on Sanibel the other night and they showed up at the cruise too! They always have such great smiles and were tickled to find this nice size old HORSE CONCH … aka- a great yard yard shell. They said since the other side isn’t completely there, they will use it on their front porch or in the garden when they take it back to Kentucky.

william sarah ky captiva cruises iLoveShelling trip

Happy 40th Anniversary Wendell and Mary! Awwww. That goes to show you- couples that shell together, stay together. heehee. You are a beautiful couple and you both still look like kids!

mary wendell IND shells cayo costa iLSmary wendell IND shells cayo costa iLS

Eddie Maguire and his wife Beth were on the cruise too. I met Eddie on the iLoveShelling facebook page as he always has such nice and positive comments so it’s finally nice to put a face with the name. So nice to meet you both! (Oh gosh Beth- I didn’t realize your eyes are closed but you are so cute even with your eyes closed, I didnt think you would mind.)

eddie mcguire beth i Love Shelling captiva cruise

 We all really had such a good time and it was a pleasure to hang out with so many awesome people who love to shell just as much as I do. It’s always such a bonus to be able to take shells home as memories of such a shelltastic day. Shells like this…

mini seashells inside a cockle shell

And this…

lots of lettered olives collected cayo costa

and this…

hand full of shells from cayo costa shelling cruise iLoveShelling

But leaving the beautiful living creatures like these CLOUDY PERIWINKLES where they belong on the beach and on the stumps exposed at low tide…

periwinkle snails on stump cayo costa florida

Thank you all for a special day filled with gifts from the sea and lots of new friends.

shells at cayo costa florida octoberv

We have more dates planned for the iLoveShelling cruises but if you miss any of those dates, you can still hop on one of Captiva Cruises‘ other trips to Cayo Costa (or sunset cruises, or dolphIn watching cruise, or cruise to Useppa just CLICK HERE). For dates for the iLoveShelling cruises and events, CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam