Archive for Captiva
Our iLoveShelling shelling cruise to Cayo Costa had a rain delay Tuesday morning but just like shellers know how to make broken shells into beautiful pieces of art or jewelry, everybody who was there made the most of our time we had together. Captiva Cruises made our delay turn into something to talk about! We all gathered on the Lady Chadwick boat to stay safe until the storm passed (which BTW, wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon) where we could chat about my favorite subject… shelling! After a couple of hours of “shell n tell” and the weather still iffy, we all decided that most of us could come back the next day. Lets go for it!
So yesterday, our iLoveShelling cruise -round 2 – brought us sunshine and smiling faces! Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce from Athens, TN were bright and cheery just like our whole crowd.
While boating to the island, I picked a winner for the sterling silver seashell charm that Sealife By Congress gave as a gift to one lucky iLoveShelling cruiser. Carol won!
For everybody else on the entire iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress gave a $25 gift certificate so each of these shellers could have a sterling silver charm as well. Here is Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren and Cameron with their Sealife By Congress gifts. An awesome jewelry store with an awesome way to start off the day. Remember, on every scheduled iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress will give gifts as well!
Then we pulled up to Cayo Costa to find crystal clear water, a beautiful beach with a string of seashells and puffy white non-stormy clouds. Paradise found.
Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…
Lauren found the cool piece “rock” made of shell fragments which I used to believe were just chunks of cement made by fishermen used to keep their crab traps from moving around in the water. Now that I’ve questioned all of those different shells that are normally in the mix, I realized that they are fossil fragments cemented in limestone called COQUINA LIMESTONE. And yes, the “largest” shell on the right side is…. a COQUINA.
Landon started snorkeling as soon as he got off the boat and in just a few minutes, he showed me he found an ALPHABET CONE. Yay!
By the time we got back on the boat, he and his mom had two big bags filled with shells. They had so many FIGHTING CONCHS and LETTERED OLIVES, he decided to walk around the boat to give everybody any of the shells they had found. So sweet! In October they have another shelling trip planned which they told me was inspired by my post of our trip to Turks and Caicos. We want to hear how it goes!
On the beach, we were finding a few BABYS EARS, quite a few WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, ALTERNATE TELLINS, SHARKS EYES, CANCELLATE SEMELES, ANGEL WINGS and one SPECKLED TELLIN as well.
The larger shells seemed to be in the water so the clear aqua was very inviting to just go for it like Michele from Los Angeles did. Can you believe how clear that water is? Wow! Since her mom Debora (NY) is an artist more than a sheller, she decided to the opportunity to take in the island scenery and do some graphite drawings of her shells. So lovely!
Alex and Tara encouraged Isabelle (Gainsville, Florida) to use a stunning pice of pink pearlized WINGED OYSTER shell she found for the seashell pendant for her sterling silver charm from Sealife By Congress. Perfect idea!
It’s impossible to explain how much fun we all had after almost 9 hours of hanging out together on the cruise and because of our rain delay. It actually turned out even better because the rain gave me more time to get to know these fabulous folks… Sarah and Sandy from Arora Ontario… Grace, Melia and Teresa from St Louis… Pat from Michigan, Carol from Cape Coral, Belinda from Ohio and Kevin and Kerry from Pennsylvania.
Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.
But… Even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, Captiva Cruises has shelling cruises to Cayo Costa twice a day- one at 9am and one at 1pm. CLICK HERE for more info
For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!
During the low tide evenings this past week, we didn’t find gobs of shells on Sanibel or Captiva but we found the best empty beauties in the Blind Pass channel in between Sanibel and Captiva. With the full moon causing extreme tides, the water rushes through the pass so quickly at the lowest tide (ankle deep) I like to just wait for the shells to roll by my feet by near the jetty rocks. If you want to see a video from last year that shows how they roll by CLICK HERE
We also hit the low tide at the Lighthouse Beach…
This was my favorite night last week because I met Michayla from Pensacola with lots of beautiful shells in her shell bag…
I also met Paige and her mom Nikkie from Kentucky. It’s always so much fun to meet new friends that love shelling as much as I do!
And lookie who else was shelling at Lighthouse Beach… our good friends Susan and Lee from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They definitely love shelling as much as Clark and I do.
It’s always so much fun to see the live creatures at ow tide like FIGHTING CONCHS…
I’m not absolutely positive, but I believe that this is a SEA HARE EGG STRING. Seriously, it was this color… almost turquoise!
We are very used to seeing SEA PORK at low tide but this SEA LIVER looks a little different because it’s flatter and a little slimier. They are dark purple when still alive then turn whitish when they die so I’m assuming part of this colony on the right has already died off and the left side is still hanging on. Of course after I took this photo, I returned this colonial tunicate to the tidal pool where I found it.
So while we were shelling Lighthouse and Blind Pass… Gary, Jane, Anna, Claire and Ella from Arkansas were shelling near Tarpon Beach when they hit a VERY sweet honey hole. Gary said ” Just at the shelf line we found a PEN SHELL bed. After about 2 hours of digging we had 8 large horse conchs – our best shell hunt ever!” I’m sure this will be a day in their lives they will never ever forget. Shellzam!
I love summer evenings walking the beach when the sun doesn’t set until way after 8pm then the full moon rises to brighten the sky and pull at the sea.
Beach combing is a time to feel free, find respect and to share memories.
If you can’t enjoy beach combing for Memorial Day this year, I’d like to bring it to you with a stroll on the beach at South Seas Island Resort
Shellelujah! The shells are back. This is just a sampling of shells I found yesterday afternoon at Blind Pass Captiva as we witnessed the power of Mother Nature as she built a massive shell pile at the jetty rocks.
This is the photo I posted May 13 of this same area that was wiped clean of shells showing the devastation from erasion. As fast as she can take the beach and shells, she can bring it back. It’s fascinating to watch it happen!
These are the days we wait for…
With each wave, thousands of shells wash to the shore.
Although I have so many more photos to show but have no time to download them, I wanted to give you an update on the shelling conditions in Southwest Florida. As this was happening on Captiva and some of the beaches Sanibel yesterday, I’ve gotten word from Kaybe that similar conditions are happening to the north at Indian Rocks Beach… so if you are near a beach in SW Florida, you might try a little beach combing this weekend. You might find a treasure or two to add to your bag of memories.
If you aren’t near SW Florida, I’ve got some shelling for you too! Click on the next photo to enlarge it for a little CYBERSHELLING of your own. Enjoy!
When east winds seem to carry our WHELKS and CONCHS and such out to sea in Southwest Florida, the CLAM SHELLS and miniatures still can be found.
There’s always something to get excited about collecting the minis.
Bruce showed me this macdaddy WENTLETRAP he found on the gulf side at Lighthouse Beach at low tide in the evening. Wow!
Near the pier at the lighthouse beach some people were finding a few shells in the erosion ledge .
Mother Nature has been doing a number on all of our beaches in Sanibel and Captiva lately. The waters of the Gulf Of Mexico have been absolutely gorgeous but look at the erosion at Blind Pass Captiva.
Do you remember what this looked like last month at Blind Pass Captiva? This next photo was taken at this very same spot on May 10, 2014- just one month ago. Do you see the guy fishing on the jetty rocks in the photo above? He is standing in front of the highest rock. Take a look at that same rock in the next photo to relate how much the sand has shifted.
That’s what happens with wind and currents- the beach changes constantly and drastically here but that’s what makes shelling such a treasure hunt. The shells may not be on the beach, but persistent shellers look for shells in the water too. Not a bad way to spend the day!
The erosion has continued on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass too but as you can see, there are shells just under the ledge and some in the water. They may be mostly bivalves but there are still shells and there are always interesting hidden treasures to find.
The old wooden sea wall is showing again as well. We’ve seen it come and go since the winds will bring the sand and shells back in but it’s fascinating to see how quickly Mother Nature can change our environment. CLICK HERE to see my first post on this sea wall.
The shells always build up around this old sea wall when it’s exposed but now you have to be very responsible for yourself since being uncovered so many time now, the wood can be sharp and there are jagged edges.
This was a similar view of this same area the beginning of January 2014. In the next photo the beach renourishment project had just been completed so can see the heavy equipment was still on the beach. There was so much sand less than 5 months ago and has been taken back out over such a short time. Mother Nature is very powerful. She must be respected. But no worries, she always brings the sand and shells back to us here in Southwest Florida, we just have to be patient.
Go with the flow. Haven’t you heard that saying all of your life? It’s really a perfect saying for shelling because the flow of shells in the water changes by the minute, hour and day. We haven’t seen oodles of shell piles at Blind Pass in the last few weeks but yesterday the rough water was cutting into the sand to uncover some shellicious lovelies that these Sanibel Stoopers were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
These shells were being carried off just as the waves were eroding the sand that was brought in for the beach renourishment in December (2013). Just like the sand, shells come and go with the flow of the wind and water. This is what high winds swirling from east to west can do to the beach in a very short time.
This can also uncover shells! These were shells that my friend Emmie Grace found yesterday just to the east of the parking lot at Blind Pass Sanibel. Going with the shell flow… Yaya, baby!