Archive for Captiva

Aug
15

Snorkeling For Sea Urchins On Cayo Costa

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Finding Sea Urchins in Sw Florida

Look at all of the stunning purple SEA URCHINS shellers were finding on Cayo Costa yesterday on our iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo costa with Captiva CruisesI’ve never seen so many people finding these fragile treasures like I did yesterday. Wow! Amy and her daughter Rachel (IL) started snorkeling in the calm clear water as soon as they go to the island then hit a honey hole to fill up their shelling bag with these beauties.

Snorkeling for shells in southwest Florida

Lynda and her Aunt Rhonda were having the same luck while snorkeling. These SEA URCHINS are so cool!

Lyndy with her Aunt Rhonda snorkeling in SW Florida

The SEA URCHINS were such a treasure but then I was really amazed when I saw Rhonda pull up this huge double ANGEL WING. Yes! Both sides were still together! Shellzam!

double angel wing found snorkeling

Lauren, John, Valerie and Jessica from Maryland found lots of beautiful empty FIGHTING CONCHS as soon as we got off the boat.

Lauren John Valerie Jessica from Maryland find seashells in SW Florida

They are such a shelling family, I don’t think they were going to miss a thing… They found all of these SEA URCHINS too.

Sea Urchins found on island off Sanibel

Holly (OH) and her mom Karen (FL) not only looked like rock stars in their cutie petutie cover-ups on (heehee)…

Holly (OH) and Karen (FL) find shells on island off Sanibel

They found oodles of double SUNRAY VENUS clams, COCKLES and found a SEA URCHIN too.

Sea Urchin with Cockles and Sunray Venus shells

Lisa from Atlanta joined us again on another shelling cruise! I met her on last years cruise when she found an Arrowhead Sand Dollar.

Lisa collects shells on island off Sanibel

This year she found lots of different shells… and showed me her picture perfect display of her fave treasures. Love it!

shells found on island off Sanibel

Judy B was on the cruise too!  I can’t tell you how fun it is for me to see people I feel like I know from conversations on my blog. She is always so helpful with comments in my posts and has such a happy attitude all the time. It warms my heart.

Judy B with shells from Cayo Costa

She was excited to find a SPECKLED TELLIN (they are fairly uncommon to find on Sanibel and Captiva), EGG COCKLE and ALTERNATE TELLIN.

Judy fave shell finds

So this is how amazing this world is… Judy is the person who gave me my SAND DOLLAR charm from Sealife By Congress that I wear on my DOSINIA shell. She gave this to me last year on an iLoveShelling cruise- I’m not sure why she gave it to me but I loved it, still love it and am grateful she thought of me.

seashell necklace with silver charm

When we met last year we both had the same silver Queen Conch shell from Sealife By Congress (that she wore yesterday) so maybe she knew I had lost mine (in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba- since queen conchs aren’t a local shell maybe it wanted to go back to the Caribbean- heehee).

Judy B with shells from Cayo Costa

So this is kinda one of those “Pay it Forward” stories.

Fast forward to this year…. Yep! These are the same charms that you will receive on every featured iLoveShelling cruise in the form of a $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress . You can choose your fave shell!

SLBC iLSPromo

Isn’t that awesome? So Judy received one of these certificates yesterday on the cruise to get another charm or pendant for the one she gave me. And everybody else got one too! Yay! Thank you Sealife By Congress!

$25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress

So not only did we have a blast shelling on one of the most beautiful islands in the world…

Abbie and Cooper from Colorado find shells in Florida

We all found different shells…Andy from Colorado finds a white crested Tellin shell in Florida

Greg PA finds cockle shells on shelling cruise

Coby and Mady find shells in southwest florida

Donna from Gainsville FL finds worm shell on Cayo Costa

We found fabulous BEACH BLING like this COQUINA LIMESTONE.

coquina limestone Drusilla and Linda Canada

We made wishes on the shell tree for more perfect days like this.

Nancy from Ohio makes a wish on the seashell tree

We saw lots of healthy creatures…live fighting conch sw florida

…living their lives in such a beautiful habitat.
Live periwinkle shells in Florida

baby starfish from iLoveShelling cruise

live starfish on the beach

As we watched DOLPHINS and MANATEES playing around us…

McCarthys marina manatees on Captiva

In calm clear waterMcCarthys marina manatees on Captiva

I hope you get to join us for one of these special events with Captiva Cruises…

Captiva Cruises Playtime shelling boat

Check out our new upcoming dates and call 239-472-5300 to reserve your spot.

captiva cruises dates -02-2015

And check out all of the iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures…

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

 

Jul
09

Shelling Trip Worth The Wait

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Pam Rambo with shelling group at Captiva Cruises

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!

Lady Chadwick at McCarthy's Marina

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.

Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce Athens TN shelling in SW Florida

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!

Carol won seashell necklace from Sanibel's Sealife By Congress jewelry store

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!

Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren, Cameron get $25 for Sealife By Congress

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.

boating to seashell paradise in Florida

Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…

Sea shells found on Cayo Costa Island Florida_1

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.

Coquina Limestone from Cayo Costa Florida

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!

Landon with alphabet cone with iLoveShelling shelling adventure cruise

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!

Landon giving seashells on shelling cruise_4

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.

speckled, white crested alternate tellins moons_1

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!

Michele and Debora finding shells_1

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!

making jewlery from found shells_1making jewlery from found shells_1

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.Finding seashells on iLoveShelling shelling trip _1

Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.

collecting sea shells on a Florida island

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

Captiva Cruises shelling boat Santiva

For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!

shelling adventures trips by pam

Jun
16

Full Moon Rises, Shelling Tide Lowers

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shells found at Blind Pass Captiva June

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

sea shells found in the channel at Blind Pass Captiva Island

We also hit the low tide at the Lighthouse Beach…

low tide shelling sanibel

This was my favorite night last week because I met Michayla from Pensacola with lots of beautiful shells in her shell bag…

Michayla from Pensacola finds sea shells on Sanibel Island Florida

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!

Paige and Nikkie from Kentucky visit Sanibel collecting seashells

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.

Susan and Lee from GTMO visit Sanibel Island Florida

It’s always so much fun to see the live creatures at ow tide like FIGHTING CONCHS…

Live fighting conch seashell on Sanibel Island Florida

I’m not absolutely positive, but I believe that this is a SEA HARE EGG STRING. Seriously, it was this color… almost turquoise!

sea hare Eudisoma hepaticum egg string

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.

sea liver Eudisoma hepaticum

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!

Gary Jane Anna Claire and Ella from Arkansas find 8 horse conchs

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.

Sanibel full moon over Gulf of Mexico

full moon over palm trees