Archive for Captiva
If Utopia is an island of clear aqua blue water with strings of seashells lining the shore, then we found Utopia on Cayo Costa Island during our iLoveShelling cruise on Captiva Cruises this week.
My day started out with such joy and fun meeting Shelling Sistahs Cheryl (Venice) and Alice (Ohio via Venice, FL). Love them!
Our morning had a slight chill in the air around 62 degrees then quickly warmed to 80 in no time at all by the time we got to the island to start our search for shells.
Cheryl found the first BABY’S EAR! It’s sort of hidden by the JINGLES on the right but she is a JINGLE SHELL lover like I am so she started picking up as many JINGLES as she could.
You might recognize Shelling Sistah Katherine Haskins since I met her last year at Lighthouse Beach and so much enjoy her comments here on the blog.
She found a gorgeous SPECKLED TELLIN and either a very big BUTTERCUP LUCINE or a very yellow CHALKY BUTTERCUP LUCINE (I should have inspected the hinge more closely o see if it was the def CHALKY but either way its a very beautiful BUTTERCUP), and lots of other sweet bivalves.
We also had the HOTS join our cruise! Yes, they are HOT chicks but they call themselves the HOTS because they say they move slow as a Heard Of Turtles. LOL Nannie, J.E., Becky and Ginny from Georgia have a great time every where they go. Thank y’all so much for joining us and making me laugh!
Karen had no problem walking as far as she could as she looked at this gorgeous calm aqua water to find a hand full of SAND DOLLARS and OLIVES.
Karen couldnt wait to sort through the loot they found when she and her husband Scott got back on the boat.
I was very impressed with the treasures Jan from Chicago was going for.
She loves the bivalves or any shells she hasn’t found before so she was thrilled to have found a WHITE CRESTED TELLIN along with CANCELLATE SEMELES, a PURPLE SEMELE, COMB BITTERSWEETS, an ALTERNATE TELLIN and a STRIATE PIDDOCK. The orange ROUGH SCALLOP wasn’t a new find for her but it was one of her fave finds, she had to have it in her hand. Love that! Y’all know how excited I get to find a new shell, so its always fun to experience someone else who gets excited about finding new shells…. even if it isn’t a JUNONIA. heeehee
As soon as she showed me her WHITE CRESTED TELLIN, I looked down to find one too. Its funny how that happens, right? If we are reminded to look for a shell and get that color and pattern in your brain, it’s a tad easier to find one. Okay brain… remember – white shell with brown spots.
Every month when we have this iLS cruise, it’s such a pleasure to meet cool shellers like Lee and Renie from Houston…
And it’s especially great to see shellers again from previous years like Louie and Dee from Illinois.
Nancy from Indiana found a baby bear SUNRAY VENUS, mamma bear SUNRAY VENUS and papa bear SUNRAY VENUS…
Linda was thrilled to find her first POINTED VENUS (on the right), FALSE ANGEL WINGS and COMB BITTERSWEETS.
It was a gorgeous day on the water with a boat full of awesome shellers! Thank you all for making this an absolutely fabulous day!
Join us on our next iLoveShelling cruise April 2! For more details CLICK HERE
When the weather on Sanibel and Captiva is in the high 70s and low 80s during the winter months like now, it’s hard not to be outside every minute of the day… so the world slips away. This weekend, Clark and I took a few walks on the beach at Gulfside City Park to find beautiful shells like the ones in my hand. Clark was scooping just at the waters edge with his big metal shelling backhoe to pull up the LACE MUREX (Lacie!) and that very cool HORSE CONCH. We both found more MUREXES, CONCHS and WHELKS but gave them to some nice folks on the beach. And then the fog started rolling in…then out…. then in again. It was wild!
I found some beauties on the north end of Captiva at South Seas Island Resort last week too.
Although you can only get to this beach if you are staying at South Seas Resort (or its a very long walk from Alison Hagerup Parking lot in Captiva)… if you are there, look for a nice shelly area near Sunset Beach…
It’s always a treat to find a SAND DOLLAR wash up at your feet.
I found a sweet baby SUNRAY VENUS right near the SAND DOLLAR.
And right next to the SUNRAY VENUS was this pretty little SPECKLED TELLIN. Weehoo!
After so much sand was pumped onto the beaches of Captiva a couple of months ago, some of it is already being claimed back by King Neptune. You can see two different erosion lines…
I could see shells stuck in the side of the erosion ledge so I started pulling a few out. Can you see that AUGER packed into the side?
I also pulled this bad boy out of the “cliff”. A FLAT SCALLOP. Voila!
Sending you warm sandy beach wishes of blue skies and cybershells…
I’ve never seen so many glossy PAINTED EGG COCKLES wash up together as much as I have on the new sand bar at Blind Pass Captiva. Gail Carr (Maryland) collected of these beauties and much more sweet gems she sorted in this fab tackle box…
That nice little organized box had another side too she filled with sweet treasures…
I love to talk to people who get so much enjoyment at collecting so many different varieties of shells… as I do. Gail said “Each shell has it’s own unique beauty.” I agree! That’s why I got so thrilled when she showed me she found a couple of my new fave shell… the CROSS-HATCHED LUCINE.
She found a TEXAS LONGHORN too!
She even found a few SHIVA SHELLS … which are the OPERCULUM to the CHESTNUT TURBAN. Gail happen to find a few bright orange CHESTNUT TURBANS as well so I wanted you to see what they looked like together.
Looking in the same area where I found my SCOTCH BONNET last week, I found 6 more CROSS-HATCHED LUCINES.
I was thrilled to have shared the excitement with Gail since she had found a few and didn’t think I wasn’t crazy for feeling so excited about finding “just another silly plain white clam shell”. LOL
In less than a month, this whole sandy beach on the pass side of the jetty rocks has formed and if you look closely, here are some hidden gems in there. Seriously… twenty days ago, I took this next photo of the shelling on the Sanibel side and it shows in the background the Captiva jetty rocks…no sand bar.
Over the weekend (on my way to find my precious LUCINES) I took this photo of my view as I stood on the bridge that connects Sanibel to Captiva looking over to the Captiva side. Wild, huh? This is what keeps me shelling day after day… the beaches change every single day and you never know what you will find until you get there!
South Seas Island Resort on the north tip of Captiva Island has always held special memories for Clark and me. It was our first vacation spot together when we lived in Virginia Beach and the first time we ever beach combed together. It’s the beach where I fell in love with WORM SHELLS… oh yeah… and Clark too (heehee). As I walked down to the jetty rocks towards Redfish Pass this morning (reminiscing) I was soooo excited to find such a fun shell wrack line with a SAND DOLLAR, double SUNRAY VENUSES, CONCHS, WHELKS, a WORMIE (!) and other goodies.
The shells were just rolling in…
On the other side of the jetty (on the pass side) there were lots of shells caught in between the rocks…
Even in the sand throughout the beach (recently renourished sand), I found lots of CHESTNUT TURBANS, a CARRIER SHELL and all sorts of minis…
This was a particularly handsome CHESTNUT TURBAN…
A sweet PURPLISH TAGELUS…
But… I can’t even tell how thrilled I am to have found one of these shells for the first time…. a CROSS-HATCHED LUCINE (or Divalinga quadrisulcata). Dr Jose Leal of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum said “Not found here before, Smithsonian has lot in their collection from deeper in the Gulf, so I am not surprised to see it here. Good, solid find”. Kris from Shellabaloo 4 found one on Captiva too!
It’s a beautifully detailed shell so you bet I will be looking for more!
I even found a piece of JUNONIA this morning too. I felt like a kid in a candy store since there was nobody else out there shelling. I had the whole beach to myself! It’s a private beach for everybody who stays at South Seas Island Resort or owns a home there (like a friend of mine) so I felt so fortunate to be able to beach comb there this morning. Check out the satellite map of this north tip area… CLICK HERE.
A magical rainbow appeared on the beach at Cayo Costa after we stepped off our Captiva Cruises boat. I thought that was an amazing welcome but there was more…. Mother Nature rolled out a beautiful carpet of sea shells for us too!
There were so many shells to look through, I walked right past this absolutely perfect SCOTCH BONNET!
I heard a gasp about 10 yards behind me… Kirk from Oregon plucked this beautiful treasure out of the wrack line I had just combed through. Wow!
There were so many shells to scan over, it was almost overwhelming (oh, but such a good overwhelming!)…
So let me show you this awesome group of shellers on the boat. It may have been cold, but shellers don’t care- We always make the best of it!
On the Captiva Cruises boat ride over to Cayo Costa, I passed around a big bucket so everybody could pick out a “good luck” shell (a choice of FIGHTING CONCH, LIGHTNING WHELK, COCKLE or MUREX all of which Clark and I have found in the last month or so). I talked to Stone, Ian, Kirk and Deb who all picked out one shell then Ian told me he was really wanting to find a SHARKS EYE. Hmmmmm… well its hard to find one particular shell when you are beach combing, I always say you should enjoy whatever is put in front of you by Mother Nature.
Maybe that “good luck” shell worked! Ian found a gorgeous SHARKS EYE!
And not only that, he found an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK.
Nico from New York City found a perfect nice sized PAPER FIG…
Debbie and Frances came down from Sarasota for the day to join us on the cruise. Nice to meet y’all and nice finds!
We always seem to find ANGEL WINGS at Cayo Costa and it’s always fun to see the three different types that wash up. From left to right… a TRUE ANGEL WING, FALLEN ANGEL WING and a FALSE ANGEL WING.
Ron found this very cool LIGHTNING WHELK. After we took photos, he put it back in the water because there were so many living creatures in and around this shell.
This is a closeup of the opening. There’s just a a smidge of the HERMIT CRAB’S claw showing but he was alive and well inside there. But look at the rest of it! There are live SLIPPERS, BARNACLES, TUNICATES and even a GULF OYSTER DRILL living on this shell. It’s a little village!
Cheryl got lucky she found a completely dried STARFISH in the high wrack line. That was on her shell bucket list!
Jerry was not messing around with some little silly net. He brought out a gigantor net! LOL He scooped up three empty double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
They are sooooo beautiful…
Jessica (with the Island Inn Resort) brought her big camera since she wanted to find some nice photographs. She ended up putting away her camera so she could pick up more shells. Ha!
Our weather in the last week has gone from low 50s (on this boat trip) to low 80s this weekend and we expect another slight cold snap again this week. This cold weather is providing great shelling! This morning I went to Gulfside City Park where I found a few WHELKS and CONCHS then went to Blind Pass Sanibel where yet another huge shell pile has formed. This week should be exshellent shelling again!
Just as Clark and I stepped on the beach yesterday, we saw a string of shells on the shoreline of Blind Pass Sanibel and the happy site of lots of Sanibel Stoopers.
As we got closer to the sand bar, we saw a mound of shells … YIPPEE! A shell pile! Frances from Texas and her granddaughter Kelly “Sittin’ N Siftin” for shells.
In their bags, they collected CONCHS, COCKLES and OLIVES but their favorites were lots of CHESTNUT TURBANS, large AUGERS, an ALTERNATE TELLIN, CONCHS and WHELKS.
Oooooh… And Helene and her daughter Wendy found a JUNONIA “cob”.
Wendy also found an ALPHABET CONE as well but there’s more…
I think Wendy’s new name should be WonderSheller Wendy since her husband posted a photo on the iLoveShelling Facebook page of her other finds in the last few days at Blind Pass Sanibel. A SCOTCH BONNET, GOLDEN OLIVE, KINGS CROWNS, GAUDY NATICA and so much more! Every time I see her on the beach, she has something pretty extraordinary in her shell bag. Shellzam!
Rachel (holding a SHARKS EYE), Amy (with her fave COCKLE) and Sarah (with a sweet JUVIE CONCH) from Minnesota we happy as clams finding their favorite treasures from the sea.
Roya from Maryland showed me her favorite shell… a WORMIE! Nice one.
It was an extra fun day for me since Super Sheller Clark got to take it easy and shell to his heart’s content…
He always gives most of his shells away to whomever is nearby but these were his faves to bring home… an ALPHIE, LACE MUREX (with brown coloration) and a beauty of an OLIVE.
I can never pass up collecting sunbeam SCALLOPS…
Some days I get on an obsession with one type of shell, and yesterday was the KITTENS PAW. They are one of the most common shells on Sanibel but there are days when they speak to me…. “Meow!” (I guess Ive been a little obsessed with kitties this last week too. heehee)
I mentioned last week that there was construction equipment parked at the Blind Pass Captiva (Turner Beach) parking lot so it was closed. The Captiva side parking lot was still closed as of yesterday (Christmas day) but the beach is open. The Sanibel side of Blind Pass parking lot is OPEN and there are no problems shelling that beach… and I think they are wrapping it up and moving it out any day now (fingers crossed!). If you need more info go to http://mycepd.com.
Sending seashells and palm trees from paradise…
Join me on the next shelling adventure cruise to Cayo Costa January 3 or 8, 2014! For more info CLICK HERE