Welcome to paradise! Yes, we definitely had a paradise cruise yesterday as we boated from Salty Sam’s Marina on the Sight Sea-R boat through Estero Bay to Big Hickory island for a very happy shelling party. We had a gorgeous day for our iLoveShelling cruise!
Perfect for combing the beach.
Perfect for sightseeing. We were so fortunate to see MANATEES, DOLPHINS and all kinds of birds … especially several bright pink ROSEATE SPOONBILLS.
But the best part of our whole shelling trip was hanging out with so many fun shellers. Seriously, it was a blast! Joe and Joanne from Las Vegas found ALPHABET CONES, ROSE PETAL TELLINS and other shells … but do you notice Joe’s shirt? Omigosh!
Yes, you read it correctly. LOL It says… ” I Heart Pam Rambo (and Super Sheller Clark too)”. Joanne made tee shirts for this shelling cruise and shaped a scallop shell into a heart!!!! hahahaha And she also made one for me (which felt that much funnier with me wearing a tee shirt with my name on it). I am not kidding, I can’t stop laughing. I’m still in stitches! They are so stinkin fun, they even had a tee shirt made for Clark too. Do you think he’ll wear it? LOL
But that’s not all… the whole day was so much fun. Diane From Tucson was on the cruise too! She is just as cute as a BUTTON SHELL and makes every moment feel very special when you are around her. Thank you Diane!
Jerry and Livy (KY) found some shells (SHARKS EYE, ANGEL WINGS, SAND DOLLARS) to fill their bags but it was priceless to see Jerry snorkeling the whole time enjoying the water.
Locals June and Colton were finding lots of WORM SHELLS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS and ANGEL WINGS for the first time.
Colton was the OLIVE and SAND DOLLAR king!
The first shell of the day for Cheryl from Puerto Rico was a beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK with a perfect heart shape cut into it. Love!
These are just a few of their fave shells including yellow, orange, white, gray, amber and black JINGLE SHELLS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS and lots of wormies.
Cathy (IL) and Sue (Sanibel local!) found some new shells for their collection….
… Like VARIABLE WORM SHELL, BROAD PAPER COCKLE, MOSSY ARK and a TURRID.
Tom was teaching me a little more about all the birds we saw as we were on the boat but Nancy is the awesome sheller. She found all of those WORM SHELLS in the sixth photo.
She also found so many other varieties of beautiful shells like several GAUDY NATICAS, NUTMEGS, SHARKS EYES, CONCHS, WHELKS, MUREXES and some gorgeous pieces of CORAL.
Also with all that fun, Sealife By Congress generously gave everybody on the boat a $25 gift certificate for a seashell pendant. They love shellers and will continue the giveaway for iLoveShelling cruises through February- WOW! Thank you Sealife By Congress!
But wait, that’s not it… After our exshellent four hour cruise pulled up to the dock, I realized I was famished. Since I didn’t have anything else scheduled for the day (very unusual), I asked if anybody else happened to be staying for lunch at Parrot Key Caribbean Grill right there at the marina. Yes! Joe, Joanne, Diane, Livy, Jerry and I got a table together and continued our shellebration with a shellicious lunch. It was truly a special day.
I hope you get to join us for one of these spectacsheller adventures in the future. Check out the dates and reserve your spot now CLICK HERE…
In the last several weeks, most of our SanCap beaches have been surprisingly sparse for finding The Sanibel Six or any of the larger shells washing up on the shore. The only beach we have been finding good shells like GAUDY NATICAS, LACE MUREXES, NUTMEGS and ALPHABET CONES is Gulfside City Park. Clark found a sweet little mix of those and more (top photo) this weekend at low tide in the evening. Mid days have been sizzling hot but absolutely beautiful with bright blue skies and pretty calm gulf waters.
To avoid the heat in the last week, we have preferred to only go out to the beach in the early evening which just so happens to be low tide anyway. This is the time of day in the summer when the clouds blow in to cool things down and reward us with a few beach treasures like a few of my faves…
While at Gulfside City Park beach I had the pleasure of meeting Josh, Heather, Tiffany and Brian visiting from Ohio and Washington DC. With every beautiful shell Heather and Tiffany collected, they had sweet memories of their grandmother June, who taught them the art of shelling.
June sure taught them well! These are just a few of the beautiful shells they found.
George and Beth from Long Island, NY were making new memories collecting shells with Lauren who already had the art of shelling mastered as well. She knew the names of every shell in their shell bag.
Even the sizzling summer days on Sanibel there are treasures to be found, memories to be made and sights to behold. Clark and I can attest to this… we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary this weekend! Since day one together, beachcombing has been a constant routine in our lives. No matter what, witnessing the strength of the sea and the beauty of the beach always reminds us what is important in life.
I found this odd looking “thing” on the beach a while ago so I brought it home to do some research on it since it was so dang interesting. Sometimes I’m like Shelly May Clampett bringing home parts of “critters” that get washed up on the beach. Hmmmm…. “Hey Paw, which critter ya think this here thang belonged to? Ya think maybe a moose antler? Or some kinda critter lost a hand?” Shelly May may have never thought it looked like an alien’s Jazz Hands but I do! LOL After searching lots of websites without success, I found the answer in my trusty Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas book and learned it was a piece of a SEA TURTLE shell. It’s part of the lower shell called the HYPOPLASTRON.
Two weeks ago, my friend Susan from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had found a bone similar to this one and asked me if I knew what it was. Yes! A SEA TURTLE BONE! I wanted to show her a photo of mine but I couldn’t find it. Omigosh, where is it? Oh lawd, my SHELLABORATORY still looks like a SHELLNADO hit it. Every time I start organizing our stacks of shells, something else comes along so it stays a crazy mess. Seriously, we look like the Clampetts (CLAMpetts heehee) on the Sanibel Shellbillies. Ack! So back to organizing…
Honestly, it’s like discovering fun things all over again going through these containers and boxes… and then…. I found my SEA TURTLE BONE! Yay! This time, I wanted to find a home for it so I wouldn’t “lose” it again. I’ve been saving glass containers for years to one day organize our shells and bling so I’m making good use of them now. Every SEA TURTLE BONE we find now will go into the large jar on the right. All other bones from bait, fish bones and bird bones will be separated in other jars so that it will be easy and fun to do another post to identify some of the things you might find on the beach other than shells.
… Like these MUREX shells I’m sorting out. I have 9 different species to separate so once I have a chance to photograph the individuals, I’ll have another “the difference between shells” post. I love those!
On a personal note without shells involved, it was a sad day to find out our wonderful palm tree that became an amazing bird condo for WOODPECKERS and SCREECH OWLS with have to be taken down. There’s no way to save it due to disease and it’s become unsafe with any high winds since it’s completely hollow now. We are so bummed! Clark, Dustie, PuppyCat and I have witnessed many nests, babies and families come and go in the tree from our side porch view so we’ve grown to love seeing them every day. We hope to find someone who will build a replacement for our same WOODPECKERS and OWLS for us before next spring so please let me know if you have suggestions. The Sanibel Shellbillies don’t want to lose our critters!