Spectacsheller shells and bountiful beach bling… everywhere!
On our iLoveShelling adventure to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises, we were welcomed to a beach loaded with all sorts of beach treasures.
Such an awesome way to shellebrate our shell filled day by being with other very cool beach combers like Kristin, Shannon and Carolyn (Kentucky and Ohio). Those were Shannon’s shells and bling in the first photo- aren’t they so adorable? (the shells And the girls!)
There were shells everywhere we looked…
Sweet Olivia from Indiana was quick to learn all about how to tell the difference between live and empty sea shells and SEA URCHINS.
She and her mom found a fragile little HEART URCHIN. It’s so much fun to find the whole URCHIN in tact since we only see these fragile tests after big storms.
Her cutie sister Lexi found one too. Shellucky girls!
Lexi was also lucky enough to find lots of ANGEL WINGS too. She has 3 different kinds in her hand… FALSE ANGEL WING, TRUE ANGEL WING (ok, its really not called a “true” but since there is a “false”…. why not? heehee) and a FALLEN ANGEL WING on the far right.
Pam and Christine from VA had their hands full looking through the huge shell pile as soon as we stepped off the boat.
I was surprised how many fabshellous WORMIES everybody found. Love that long bright white one with the perfect tip!
As we walked to the tip of the island, there was yet another huge pile of shells to explore.
Megan, Sanibel and Jeremy (PA) were worn out after looking for shells they had never found before. Ummmm…. did you catch what her name was??? Sanibel! Such a beautiful name, right?
These are just a few of the very cool shells that Jeremy pulled out of his bag to show me…. these were his first WHELKS. Congrats!
Barb (Wisconsin) and Debbie (Arkansas) met shelling 6 years ago on vacation in Sanibel and now vacation every year together along with their husbands. Beach buddies.
Debbie found her first GAUDY NATICA!
David and John from Michigan are the die hard shellers of their family so they left the wives on Sanibel and hopped on the boat with us. On the way back it started to lightly rain so they packed up their loot before I got a chance to take a photo of their awesome finds and braved the rain the entire ride back. Another crazy adventure… And thanks so much for the shell candy, guys ;)!
Jennifer (Chicago) carried her fave shell and bling finds in her cap so she could show her husband John (her chauffeur- heehee).
Can you believe how many BABYS EARS? … aNd look at that humongshellous WORMIE.
Can’t you just hear the shells clicking, clacking and jingling as you look at this pile of shells thinking about picking through them? The COCKLES and SEA URCHINS were unbelievable… oodles and oodles of them. Now you see why Olivia had to learn about which SEA URCHINS she couldn’t take. (CLICK HERE for more info)
It was an amazing beach day hanging out with the coolest bunch of beach combers.
To top it off, everybody received a $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress as a thank you from Congress Jewelers for joining our iLoveShelling cruise. They are so generous!
Life doesn’t get much better
Join me on another iLoveShelling Adventure! CLICK HERE for dates and reservations…
Even though Hurricane Joaquin has been churning in the Caribbean hundreds of miles from Sanibel and Captiva the last few days, those north and west winds have effected our beaches and churned our gulf coast as well.
This weekend Clark and I combed the beaches (through intermittent rain without lightning) finding some cool broken brick/concrete chunks with turquoise paint (maybe an old floor?), lots of incredible “sun beam” SCALLOPS and other assorted shells and bling getting tossed up by the rough surf on the beaches closer to Captiva.
Clark found lots of dreamy creamsicle shelliciousness at Bowman’s Beach.
The gulf was much calmer near Gulfside Beach which made for a beautiful sunset to show off Ray’s perfect little juvie SAND DOLLAR.
Although Ray (from Nantucket) is visiting Sanibel for a fishing trip, he found his first SAND DOLLAR (he called it a sand nickel – heehee) along with some other shells. He noticed it was still a little dark so he knew to search for any signs of life by looking for any “fur” or cilia anywhere on the body. He asked me to check it out to make sure as well…. yep, he was right- no fur. It’s a keeper!
At Lighthouse Beach, the wind was kicking up and the shells were starting to roll in…. but you had to fast to snag them or the waves would take them right back out as fast as they came in. Dale and Wayne (Jacksonville, FL) were lucky enough to catch a few good ones but Dale said this ALPHABET CONE was the best of their collection. Awesome!
Just like this weekend, each SW Florida beach this week will probably be changing by the hour. That’s why we love to be out there and it keeps us coming back, right?
I can’t wait to see what we find on our iLoveShelling Adventure to Cayo Costa tomorrow with Captiva Cruises- So excited! If you won’t be joining us tomorrow, check out more dates by CLICKING HERE
Sanibel has had so much rain in the past month, we’ve had flooded streets, yards and parking lots. Now that we have had a few days of sunshine, we are finally drying out. It’s so refreshing to be on the beach without the threat of a thunderstorm and to enjoy the site of shells and beautiful skies.
I’ve found mostly shell crush (broken shells, bits and pieces), drift shells (smooth beach worn shells) and Sanibel’s most common shells (CLICK HERE for the top six shells) but they remind me I should start some shell craft projects using the same shells that are on our beaches in SW Florida all the time.
I’ve always wanted to do a frame like this as friend Rhonda makes …
But after having lots of home improvement projects this summer, all I want to do is enjoy walking the beach to unwind and to admire all of these beautiful shells (broken or not!) and the landscape that surrounds them. Beach therapy is the best therapy on the planet.
SEA PEARLS and BABYS EARS were some favorite gems to be found at Lighthouse Beach this week. They blend in with all the other shells and bling so I feel so rewarded when I find one. It’s like I feel lucky that I saw the beauty in them when others may have passed them by without giving them a glance. That’s why beachcombers “get” each other, right? Beachcombers know there are hundreds of treasures the sea offers …but we just have to take our time to look for them.
But I feel luckiest when we meet other beach combers on the beach like Lee and Susan (formerly of Guantanamo Bay) who turn into friends for life because they feel the same way. So much fun!
We not only found those SEA BEAN treasures at Lighthouse Beach, we combed the beach at Gulfside beach…
…Where we saw some nice SAND DOLLARS, OLIVES and a few other nice finds.
Each beach we went to, we saw completely different shells and bling. We walked along Bowman’s Beach to find a few small shell piles…
Lee caught a few SHARKS EYES rolling in the surf.
Oooooo… and look at that FLAT SCALLOP and ALPHABET CONE Clark found… perfect!
This was my fave find of the week… a brilliant, bright orange RIBED CANTHARUS. Omigosh… Eye candy.
But even if I didn’t find the RIBBED CANTHARUS, I found happiness…
With some of my fave peeps …
We had quite an adventure on our iLoveShelling trip to Cayo Costa on Friday. The morning started out with rain but our die hard group of shellers waited it out until our Captiva Cruises captains Jorge and Carlos made sure we could make it safely to the island.
We ended up going to the north side of Cayo Costa to dock at the ranger station (which is not the usual place we go for the iLoveShelling trips). The we hopped aboard the “shell shuttle” (they really don’t call it that- I kinda just made that up. But hmmm.. but they should, right?) to take us to the beach and back.
It turned out to be a beautiful day and the beach was loaded with dried washed up SEA URCHINS.
They were everywhere.
The colors were abshellutely gorgeous with green, pink, purple, beige and lavender.
It was so much fun seeing Martha again from our July trip (CLICK HERE) and she told me she was still looking for a BABYS EAR. There were quite a few people on the last trip that found them but she wasnt one of the lucky ones. So on the boat ride over to the island this time, I told her the north side of the island wasn’t normally the place to look for them so she probably wouldn’t find one. Well she proved me wrong! haha As soon as we got to the beach, there was a BABYS EAR sitting right in the middle wrack line. Omigosh! And then Martha found another one. It goes to show you… don’t ever think that you can outwit Mother Nature. Congrats Martha!
Ron and Rene from PA had some shelltastic luck with finding not just URCHINS, but so many OLIVES too.
But I think Rene’s fave was that sweet double SUNRAY VENUS.
Jay and Jane from Georgia found all sorts of cool shell loot. Look at Jane… she can’t take her eyes off such fun finds. heehee
Tim and Fran (Ohio) found a few faves but check out the size of Fran’s huge SHARKS EYE. Y’all are so much fun! Oh and sorry again Fran for throwing you under the bus- haha.
John and Dee from Illinois along with Bart and Laurie from Pennsylvania found a few keepers but I think their faves were the SAND DOLLARS- look at those smiles. Dee, it was such a pleasure to talk with you and meet you. You are soooo dear!
Cuties Julie and Ron from California found a few treasures too. It’s always so much fun to hang out on the boat and to see who found what- shell ‘n tell!
I think Terry and Michelle from Arkansas were as obsessed at seeing so many SEA URCHINS as I was. Michelle and I kept saying “… and theres another one! … and look at that color!”.
As you can see, some of them still had some of their spines but the insides were completely empty. It was fun to see them in so many different variations.
Meet Jochen, Katja and their son Benedikt. They have fantastic sheller eyes especially for visiting from Germany since they are the ones that found the shells on the purple tray in the top photo. Way to go!
You have to meet Jessica and Trudy from Ontario Canada. Jessica scored the one thing she wanted find on our trip- a SAND DOLLAR. What I found out is that she is an artist and she makes SAND DOLLARS… out of dough. She is a master confectioner and she brought me some of her cookies!
OMG they are yummy and sooooo beautiful. Here’s a photo she took of the amazing sealife cookies on Instagram since they didn’t last long enough for me to take a photo of them … Clark and I devoured them. Thank you Jessica!
It was an amazing, adventurous day with such fun shellers!
And… as with all iLoveShelling cruises, Congress Jewelers (Sealife By Congress) gave everybody a $25 gift certificate to use in their store- they are so generous to the shelling community!
An adventure in paradise- It was surely a day to remember!