Archive for Captiva

Finding seashells and sea urchins

We found WHELKS, BABYS EARS, WORMIES, CONCHS and lots of SEA URCHINS on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa … but Jeff (from VA) got a head start of everybody else. He started shelling on the low tide mud flat beside the dock at Mccarthy’s Marina before our Captiva Cruises boat even left for the island! He spotted something on the bar then came up with 2 LIGHTNING WHELKS and a PEAR WHELK. Love it!

Shelling the mud flats

We arrived on Cayo costa to grey, overcast skies…

gray sky and seashells

But the sun started peaking out just in time to shine on the shells. Amy from Kansas City quickly found 2 SUNRAY VENUS clams with both sides still attached. It was a SUNRAY VENUS kinda day!

Finding Sunray Venus clam shells

Trish and Bill (FL) were having the same luck with FIGHTING CONCHS on the bayside where the boat anchored.

Shelling on the bay side of Cayo Costa

As I walked around to the Gulf side of the island, I saw Elizabeth and her Gramma Linda (Nebraska) working the high tide wrack line where all of the miniatures were hiding.

shelling for miniature seashells

Elizabeth said she saw a BUBBLE SHELL so then started to focus on finding a WENTLETRAP. Yes! She found one along with a whole host of other sweet minis like this FALSE ANGEL WING, teeny tiny juvie CHESTNUT TURBAN, CERITHS, WHELKS, CONCHS and even tiny dried SEA URCHINS.

Sweet miniature shells on Cayo Costa

Sarah from Fort Lauderdale found a few nice chunks of COQUINA LIMESTONE to use as display for the different shells she found on her trip.

Shelling on Cayo Costa

Sasha and Brooks (IL) found a few treasures to fill their shell bucket but I was thrilled for Sasha that she found a beautiful FLORIDA CONE.

Finding a Florida Cone shell

I was tickled to see Becky and Wade on the cruise! They are amazing shellers who love everything about the beach and end up sharing most of their shells since they have so many. They are always a delight.

Becky Wade with shells on iLoveShelling cruise

They couldn’t resist keeping the gorgeous double SUNRAY VENUSES. I don’t blame them… look at those colors!

Double sunray venus shells

There were some very cool WORM SHELLS that Ellen and Chad (Ohio) found but they found SUNRAY VENUSES as well and the one Ellen is holding up has an incredible color pattern- the color was as magenta as her jacket!

sun ray venus shells found on cayo costa

Jeff and Lisa found even more treasures to add to Jeff’s finds at the marina dock and they were also happy to receive $25 gift certificates from Sealife By Congress.

Shelling trip to Cayo Costa Florida

Yes, once again everybody on the iLoveShelling cruise received a $25 gift certificate to trade for a sterling silver charm or to use for anything else in their store. Thank you Sealife By Congress!

SLBC iLSPromo

It was really fun to see Candace and Ken (MO) again (Candace helped me solve the Texas Longhorn mystery!) in her cutie tee shirt and she had strung a SUNRAY VENUS on a necklace with a silver charm similar to my DOSINIA necklace. Warm and fuzzies, I tell ya.

Getting ready for an iLoveShelling Captiva Cruise

But hold on, we didn’t just find shells… Sisters Cissy (Asheville, NC), Debbie (Chapel Hill, NC) and Karen (Charleston, SC) had great luck finding shells (the top photo with the BABYS EARS) but they also saw an injured bird that needed rescuing. Carolina Sisters to the rescue!

Having fun shelling Cayo Costa

They hurried back to the boat to tell Captain Skip who grabbed a towel then hurried to the beach to find it. He found a SANDWICH TERN unable to fly because of an injured wing so he gently gathered the bird in the towel to keep her secure then headed back to the boat to call CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife).

Captain Skip saving a sandwich tern on the beach

As soon as we got back to the dock, CROW volunteers Jaclyn and Ryan were waiting with a carrier to get Miss SANDWICH TERN safely to the clinic for medical help and treated ASAP. I called today to see how she was – she’s gaining weight and healing her wing but she still needs a few more days to recover. Get well quickly, Miss BLT! heehee

Here are the awesome rescuers…

saving a sandwich tern on shelling boat

See? Shelling is ALWAYS an adventure. You should join us on one of these exshellent shelling trips with so many other fabshellous shellers. I just announced new dates through May 2015… CLICK HERE for the new dates and more info…

pam rambo shelling trips

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Nov
18

Seeing the Good Through the Gray

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junonia shell fragment in sand

It’s gray today. The skies have been dark, cold and cloudy with drizzling light showers throughout the day. But there’s always something so good to find in a day like today in SW Florida … take for instance the spotting a few beautiful brown dots in the gray sand at Blind Pass this morning. Well, how about that- a beaming little fragment of JUNONIA sitting right in the middle of the new sand bar that formed again last week.

Blind Pass November 2014

I found more sunshine to go along with that piece of polka dot shell. There was no thunder or lightning- thats so important so we could still be on the beach safely in the rain. Then… I found Ka’Sha, Stephanie, Aunt Andrea and E’Mia from Iowa laughing and cheering at every piece of shell they found on the BLIND PASS bar and in between rocks. They collected pieces of SAND DOLLARS, pieces of FIGHTING CONCHS, pieces of WHELKS and pieces of ARKS to put in their ziplock bags.  It was their first time seeing shells wash up on the beach and they were enjoying every single minute- gray skies or not and broken shells or not. Happy.

Ka'Sha, Stephanie, Aunt Andrea, E'Mia love shelling Captiva

After leaving Blind Pass, I headed to Gulfside City Park (I know, I know. I just can’t get enough of it these days!) to see the changes there since we’ve had a little cold front move through. Yes, there are a few new shells coming in with the tide but the best thing was to see the Iowan girls again. They were even more excited!

shellers at Guflside City Park Beach Sanibel

Combing the beach at the shoreline, there were a few nice treasures like this LETTERED OLIVE…

Sanibel shell on shells

and this teeny tiny LIGHTNING WHELK.

lightning whelk shell on shells

Then I heard a scream… E’Mia found this big LIGHTNING WHELK completely empty. Awesome!

lightning whelk found on Sanibel Florida

Since we have many shells still to be sorted in the Shellaboratory,  I’ve been trying only to collect shells with different patterns, colors or sizes to take home from my beach walks. Today, I will have to find a place in my Shellaboratory for a juvie orange FIGHTING CONCH, a dark maroon spotted ROUGH SCALLOP and a dark striped juvie LIGHTNING WHELK. Ok, we probably have lots of similar ones to these…. but really- I’m trying my hardest to be selective. I want to leave more for YOU!

a few shells I collected

When I got home, I received a note from my shelling sistah CShells. She knew I couldn’t hit all the beaches this morning so she gave me an update on where she went and if there were any shell piles she saw (which she said “nothing major”). But she made me smile as she told me she saw a LOGGERHEAD TURTLE and a BALD EAGLE – “Some people would think it was a yucky day, but it’s amazing the wildlife you see when it’s raining. It’s a good day.” Yes, I agree. It’s always good to see the good through the gray.

Cloud cover with seashells on Sanibel

Come shelling with me! Here are my next dates for my Shelling Adventures… CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam

Nov
11

Shelling Excursion From Captiva

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shell filled beach

After a rainy Southwest Florida weekend, we had beautiful clear, sunny weather for our iLoveShelling adventure on our Captiva Cruises boat ride to shelling on Cayo Costa. Within minutes, Michelle from NY found a SCOTCH BONNET. Shellzam!

Michelle with scotch bonnet

In the same area on the bay side of the island where Michelle found her BONNET, Bob from Illinois found a beautiful double SUNRAY VENUS.

Finding beautiful seashells in SWFL

I love the color and pattern of this shell!

sunray venus shell with surf

It was so good to see Karen (Houston) and her mom Melody again on this cruise- we go way back! I feel like I have known Karen for so long since she won the first GiveAway I ever did here on my blog…. that was 2010 and I’ll never forget her. I don’t even make those notecards I painted and designed any more but it was a fun project while it lasted. Anyhoooo…. I was thrilled to see that she found a BABY EAR on the beach.

Crazy Karen collecting shells with her mom

There were quite a few people who picked up BABYS EARS…

baby ear shell on iLoveShelling cruise

Rick, Lucas, Amy, Abby, Lindsey and Adam from Massachusetts founds bags of shells. They collected lots of the GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLE, Adam found a SAND DOLLAR and Lucas  collected a sweet BABYS EAR (pictured above).

Family collecting shells on vacation

Cole and Jake from New Jersey are quite the shell hunters. Among all sorts of different shells they found, Cole’s best finds were ANGEL WINGS and a BABY EAR. Jake found a perfect SAND DOLLAR. Great finds!

boys finding shells

Kim and Ed from Rhode Island were back on the cruise again too! This time showing off their faves from the day- a huge WORM SHELL and a sweet little SAND DOLLAR.

finding sand dollars and worm shells

Connie from Wisconsin was visiting her local friend Shelley who lives in Cape Coral. I told Shelley I wanted her name! LOL

Exploring Cayo Costa State Park

Gail (Florida) and Emily (Maryland) have been friends since high school and still get together for girls trips… this time a shelling adventure!

showing shells from shelling cruise

These are just a few shells we pulled out of one of the bags of shells they collected.

hand of shells

It was so nice to meet Tom from Indiana. He said his family used to think he was crazy since he loved to collect shells but now his whole family is hooked after dragging them to Sanibel.

Collecting shells on iLoveshelling shelling cruise

Tom was impressed to see how big and colorful the JINGLES are on Cayo Costa as well as finding teeny tiny SEA URCHINS completely dried on the high wrack line.

jingle shells and sea urchins

Sherry from Knoxville was happy tot find 2 perfect ANGEL WINGS…

Finding Angel wing shells with iLoveShelling

Terry and Dave from Illinois found a few goodies but the jewel in their bag was a GAUDY NATICA.

finding shells on shelling cruise

Beautiful!

gaudy natica found on cayo costa

We always see oodles of live CLOUDY PERIWINKLES on the tree roots around the tip of Cayo Costa but rarely see the empty shells so I snapped a photo of this one in the sand. Because I had to bend down to get a closeup, I saw that tiny yellow LUNATE CRASSENTELLA. I haven’t seen them in a while.

cloudy periwinkle in the sand

Mrs. Lueders was happy shelling for the minis too…

stooping for shells on Cayo Costa
She found plenty of the LUNATE CRASSENTELLAS so it was fun for her to find a new species she hadn’t collected before.

miniature lunate crassinella shells

I was thrilled to find those tiny dried SEA URCHINS since we rarely see them that small (without having to pick through the SEA SQUIRTS that are still on Sanibel- hahaha) . Also, there were plenty of double JINGLES as well. It’s not as common to find the JINGLE with both valves but they were plentiful on Cayo and also at Gulfside City Park in the last weeks.

tiny dried sea urchins cayo costa

But my most thrilling find was a double WHITE CRESTED TELLIN!  Yes, both valves still attached so I couldn’t believe my luck. I know it doesn’t look like much but I’ve been looking for one ever since I saw how pretty Nancy’s shell was in my post in 2011 called “I’m Tellin On Some Tellins“.  I have found plenty of the single valves but this is my first one that was still together. Yay! Thanks to Nancy for sharing her find with me so I could have one more thing to look forward to the day I could find one.


both valves white crested tellin

Everybody on our shelling trip seemed to find something that made them happy and if it wasn’t a shell that they had wanted to find, each passenger received a $25 gift certificate to Sealife By Congress.

SLBC iLSPromo

Wow! Thank you Sealife By Congress for being so good to the shelling community. Yes, you sure do make us happy. So join us on another iLoveShelling shelling adventure… CLICK HERE for upcoming dates.

shelling adventures trips by pam