Archive for Captiva

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

May
26

Freedom Of The Beach

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american flag on the beach

Beach combing is a time to feel free, find respect and to share memories.

american girl beach combing

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

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May
17

Shelling Goes From Famine To Feast!

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some of the shells i found on captiva island florida

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.

blind pass captiva may 2014 change with shells

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!

blind pass captiva erosion may 2014

 

These are the days we wait for…

shells build up at captiva blind pass

With each wave, thousands of shells wash to the shore.

shells in the surf on captiva island florida

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!

lots of seashells on captiva island florida

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May
14

Seashells and Beach Erosion Update

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mini shells at the beach

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.

beach and surf with shells

There’s always something to get excited about collecting the minis.

large wentletrap

Bruce showed me this macdaddy WENTLETRAP he found on the gulf side at Lighthouse Beach at low tide in the evening. Wow!

bruce with large wentletrap

Near the pier at the lighthouse beach some people were finding a few shells in the erosion ledge .

shelling the erosion ledges

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.

blind pass captiva erosion may 2014

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.

Captiva island mound of sea shells

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!

finding shells in the water on captiva

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.

beach erosion sand ledge sanibel

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.

wooden sea wall blind pass sanibel may 2014 (1)

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.

shells around sea wall sanibel blind pass May 2014

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.

blind pass sanibel january 1 2014

May
03

Shelling With The Flow

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emmie grace shells sanibel

 

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.

 

 

rough water and erosion blind pass sanibel

 

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.

 

 

blind pass beach erosion 2014

 

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!

find shells on sanibel

Categories : Blind Pass
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