Any day on the water is an amazing day full of adventure.
Being on the water with DOLPHINS playing beside our Captiva Cruises boat on the way to the secluded island of Cayo Costa… was an exhilarating day.
Our iLoveShelling Adventure on Tuesday from Captivawas extra special for me since my life long friend Lori and her daughter Mackenzey were visiting us from Richmond, Virginia. I’ve known Lori since I was knee high so it was a gift to have them both share this experience with me.
Its such a small world, Lori and Mackenzey met other shellers on the boat that are from Richmond, Virginia too… and live about 20 minutes from each other.
It was a beautiful calm clear day with lovely adventurous families.
We had a journey finding happiness and a few gifts from the sea.
Of course everybody received another gift… $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers…
The day after our cruise, we had a sad day on Captiva and all of Southwest Florida. Yesterday Paul McCarthy, owner of Captiva Cruises passed away.
The journey of life…. “That you feel the sense of exhilaration and adventure“. These are the words Paul McCarthy lived by.
I have so much to be thankful for to have known Paul. He encouraged me to do these iLoveShelling cruises so I could meet the shelling community face to face instead of only online through my blog. He knew how much I would enjoy sharing my love of shelling in person by being on the water just like our cruise on Tuesday. Of course, he was right and we all should live life to the fullest and be present. He had a special gift of bring people together to learn about the environment and share experiences. He touched so many lives by being so giving of himself to others. We are so grateful to the all of the folks at Captiva Cruises who have worked alongside Paul for so many years and will continue his legacy.
“Island life suits me”. Yes, it did Paul. We will miss you.
Isn’t it crazy how beautiful these shells are? This is about the biggest empty PEAR WHELK I’ve ever seen!
The colors of this LIGHTNING WHELK are stunning.
These beautiful shells were found by these beautiful shellers on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises. Did you see that gorgeous orange ROUGH SCALLOP (ORANGE PECTIN). Shellzam, Super Shellers!
There were other cool shells found like this FLAT ZIG ZAG SCALLOP.
And BABYS EARS! She got to check that one off her list.
We also shellebrated birthdays. Happy Beach Birthday!
Every day is a shellebration to be on the beach.
With beautiful seashells and beautiful shellers.
Talking about beautiful shellers? This gal has made me smile for years. Sherri Bode (Sherri from MN) has commented on my blog for years by giving me positive feedback and helpful ideas …. and I finally got to meet her in person for the first time on this Shelling Adventure. She’s just as sweet and adorable in person and I’m so grateful for you Sherri- you warm my heart! The internet is a crazy and powerful way to meet like-minded folks but it’s even more fun when I can put a face with a name after meeting in person.
And then this happened…. Four years ago, Clark and I met Katie and her dad on a cold January day on the beach at Blind Pass (read post HERE). She was bursting with happiness just to be on the beach shelling that day, so neither Clark nor I ever forgot her. Omigosh, she was on the cruise too!
She still emits so much happiness when she’s on the beach finding shells. This time she was finding COQUINAS and other minis so she can make shell flowers and hearts like the ones on Shell Love Bug.
When she told me who she was, my mouth dropped seeing how she’s blossomed into such a beautiful woman since I remember that day like it was yesterday. Then she showed me on her phone the 2 photos she took that day four years ago. The first photo was of her and me. Love that! Soooo darn cute.
The second photo was Katie and Clark. I was sooooo tickled to see this photo because in a conversation to a friend just 5 days ago, Clark told the story of Katie asking him to be in a photo with her. You made his day then Katie, and you made my day this week showing me this photo! I will seriously cherish this forever.
It was truly a magical day. We even had DOLPHINS swimming up to our boat. Seriously …. can’t you see they are smiling?
Ahhhh. A warm, sunny day on a beach with miles of turquoise water AND a few seashells. Heaven on earth!
Our afternoon iLoveShelling boat trip with Captiva Cruises took us to Cayo Costa Island to experience a wonderful adventure with a few “firsts”. Susan from Michigan found her first LETTERED OLIVE!
Ardys (WI), Gene and Susan learned how to use their shell nets and “backhoes” for the first time- that first OLIVE got them going. They are pros now!
Tamela from Georgia found her FIGHTING CONCH conch.
I got to meet some awesome families visiting Cayo Costa for the first time like Ashley, Reese, Sonny and Chandler from Oklahoma.
And like this awesome shelling family Reese, Tamra, Sue and Reilly from New Hampshire. Nope, that wasn’t a typo- we had 2 Reeses that were able to meet each other on the way back to the boat. First time hanging out with 2 cutie sheller girls named Reese.
These were Reilly’s favorite shells she found. That’s an itty bitty teenie weenie little bright orange SCALLOP SHELL. Adorbs!
Her first BABYS EAR! Sue is visiting SW Florida all the way from Plymouth, England to do some shelling and was ticked to collect a BABYS EAR shell.
I’m so thankful to Ellen and Tom (CO) who came on our trip with stories and thoughtful gifts so I’m thrilled they found some beautiful treasures to take back with them from this gorgeous day.
Well I shouldn’t say ALL of their treasures were “beautiful” haha. Yes that GAUDY NATICA, double SUNRAY VENUS, double ALTERNATE TELLIN and most of their shells are fabulous but Shellen Ellen found a SPIDER CRAB shell (at the top) that is a very cool piece of “Beach Bling” but …. beautiful? Naaaaa. haha
So much fun to hang out and talk with shellers because we all have so much more in common than just shelling. Susan and Bill (NC) were no exception- so much fun to hang out and chat with y’all while we look for shells.
Same thing for talking to Julie and Patrick (Chicago) in between scooping for shells along the surf’s edge.
So I found out that Jay and Jo (Indiana) are just about as obsessed with shelling as much as Clark and I are. Fun!
As we were pulling away from the dock on Cayo Costa, a family of MANATEES popped up out of the water to say Hi! That’s a first for me on this back side of the island.
They hung around the boat for a few minutes putting on a show for us. Cool!
Also on the way back to Captiva, I had to take a photo of Kris, Linda, Diane and Dave because I’ve introduced Linda and Diane before on another cruise. They met on another iLoveShelling cruise and this time brought their husbands with them- the story is so cool! CLICK HERE
Don’t you just love, love, love Gwen’s smile? This is exactly how I always feel when I find shells or bling that make me happy.
She even found a huge chunk of JUNONIA.
Of course everybody had big smiles as well after receiving $25 gift certificates to Sealife By Congress
A little NUTMEG always brings some nice spice to hand full of shells, don’t ya think? This NUTMEG added a lot of spice since it was not just a dash but a fairly large one Rosemarie scooped out of the Gulf of Mexico off the beach on Cayo Costa.
Captiva Cruises took us on a really fun cruise to the island with the shoreline laced with seashells as far as you could see.
Josh and Amy from Texas came back to the boat with a fist full of SAND DOLLARS.
Audrey and her mom Tonya (MN) were on a missions to find SAND DOLLARS and I’m happy to report that Audrey found two on her own. Tonya found a huge BABYS EAR but the cool thing is that since Josh and Amy knew Audrey was searching for SAND DOLLARS, they shared some of their SAND DOLLAR loot with her. So sweet!
Local sheller Sharon and her long time friend Mary visiting from Virginia had some really good luck.
A few of their faves… SAND DOLLARS, ANGEL WINGS, double SPINY JEWELBOX and a double CALICO CLAM.
It was so lovely to spend time with Nancy and Marilyn from PA and seeing some of their favorite shells.
The day was gorgeous! We were all thrilled to spend time walking along the calm turquoise water with that little jingle sound of shells washing on the beach.
Grace (MI) was resourceful enough to figure out how to carry even more shells. She strapped her shell bucket on the handle of her net… then filled up her net with shells too. You’ve got a smart girl there Nicole!
It’s always so much fun to see when other shellers get excited about finding such a variety of shells like Megan and Mary Beth (GA)
There was an OLIVE garden happening out there in the water but there was also fun shells in those lines along the shore like FLASE ANGEL WINGS, WHELKS, outrageous colors of COQUINAS, a few baby orange HORSE CONCHS and a funny little happy shell that Megan especially loved… on the far left side of the photo on her finger you’ll see a perfect happy face on that CROSS-BARRED VENUS. :)
Now talk about finding an OLIVE garden! Niki from GA was blossoming with her OLIVE bouquet.
So honored to have Cayo Costa State Park volunteer Linda on our cruise as well. We have a mutual awesome sheller friend and fellow Cayo Costa volunteer Janwho taught her to always carry a small vial with a lid to keep her small fragile finds in. Good advice Jan!
So much fun to talk shells with seasoned shellers and cuties Valerie and Donna from Kentucky. You girls rock!
Actually, we had quite a few seasoned shellers on our iLoveShelling trip. Val and Matt from Ohio not only know a lot about finding shells, they also are into the SEA BEANS and the SHARKS TEETH. I always love to talk about all the BEACH BLING with other shellers so it was awesome.
And of course it’s always a big pleasure to meet shelling families like McKenna, Joy, Cadence and Tom from PA.
You really can’t see the brilliant lemon yellow color of the ALTERNATE TELLIN in McKenna’s hand on the far left but it was really amazing. And… Candy!!
I even got to hang out a little bit more with Dottie and Jennifer to learn about some of the shelling they do in their home state of Louisiana- they said the SHARKS EYES are huge and fantastic. Maybe we’ll have to go there one day too.
Shellers Janice, Sue and Eric were visiting all the way from the UK! They are so cool and I got the warm and fuzzies just hanging out. Thank you so much for coming with us on our adventure!!!
As usual, everybody received their $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers!
It’s always a pleasure to meet so many cool shellers- Join me on one of our iLoveShelling shelling adventures…
When I get to spend a gorgeous morning on the water with a bunch of happy, silly and extremely fun shellers… I am over the moon shell! This little shell scrabble tile art started the day off with so many warm and fuzzies… Thank you Janet for making this for me!!!
We even had a birthday party for Lynnda. Briggs, Lynnda, Craig, Laney, Ken and Katie came all the way from Nebraska to spend their time together doing what they love. Such a fun family shellebration!
We had another birthday shellebration too! Super Sheller Sawyer and his mom Melissa from Minnesota found all sorts of cool shells and beach bling.
Sawyer found this awesome dried STRIPED PUFFER FISH(aka PORCUPINE FISH or BURRFISH). After I identified it for him he said “They should call this place Treasure Island… it’s full of cool treasure”. Be still my heart.
Arriving on our Captiva Cruiseto the secluded island of Cayo Costa on our iLoveShelling Adventure is always such a treat to begin with.
It was a great day to hang out with Diane and Valerie from Ohio
Seeing all the different variety of shells and bling they found.
This gorgeous day was a fun getaway for Connie (Ohio) and Al (Iowa)
To find a few of their favorites like dried STARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ANGEL WINGS, LETTERED OLIVES, a SPECKLED TELLIN and lots of colorful JINGLES.
Alyssa from Pittsburg was happy to find her favorite too…. candy! haha A teeny little orange juvie HORSE CONCH.
Such pretty day for Rabon to find a several large SUNRAY VENUS doubles- love that smile.
Gail from Kentucky is definitely living right…. Chillaxing. Or shall we say Shellaxing? ;) es
It was a special day. We didn’t find the hundreds of SAND DOLLARS that we did last time but I feel very fortunate to have been able to hang out with such a fun group of shellers- Thanks y’all!
I still have more Shell Festival photos to show you and catching up on showing Sanibel beaches- stay tuned for more Shell ‘n Tell!
A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…
We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.
Lots of shells lined the shore.
It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.
Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!
Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.
I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”… Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.
Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!
Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.
Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha
The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…
Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.
Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?
Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.
Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …
and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.
Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…
Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.
Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!
Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.
Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER. After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)
And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…
The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.
On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!
And one more for you… here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.
Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HERE
PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!