Archive for Captiva Cruises
This is the way I like to kick off the first week of December… miles and miles of sandy shorelines, shorts, shells, sharing and warm sunshine on a boat shuttle full of shellers. It was a perfect day to have our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises since we all found exshellent treasures like Julie’s (Ohio) favorite finds… a perfect WORM SHELL, ANGEL WING, SHARKS EYE, double SUNRAY VENUS, OLIVES, CONCH and WHELK. These were Julie’s (Ohio) favorite finds
Linda from Iowa found a MACULATED BABYS EAR!!! She has such interesting shells and bling on her try so it’s sort of hard to see, but look at the middle left and you will see the BROWN BABYS EAR.
I’m so happy for you Linda since I consider that a rare find for our area. Shellzam!
Most folks found LIGHTNING WHELKS and OLIVES in lots of rich colors just at the waters edge on the gulf side of Cayo Costa…
These were Maren’s (Iowa) favorite finds of the morning…
Oh how we love those wormies!!!
Jack and Nancy from Michigan were able to add these whimsical WORM SHELLS to their Southwest Florida shell collection. Good eye Nancy! (so fun to run into you Friday night at Sanibel Luminary outside Sealife By Congress too!)
Ahhhhh. Look at that beautiful BABYS EAR…
Janet found this one right after she got off the Captiva Cruises boat.
She also found lots of sweet minis in the high tide wrack line and also in the high tide dried tidal areas in the “coffee grounds”.
Nancy couldn’t wait to get her snorkel on to search in the water. It paid off! She found this good size beautiful empty WHELK.
Wendy and Bonnie from Cape Coral were shellebrating an early Christmas finding lots of shells and BEACH BLING. (Thanks again Bonnie for giving me a copy of the magazine!)
Woot Woot! Wendy from Ohio found this spectacsheller HORSE CONCH! I think she said she found it caught in the tree roots right on the tip of the island. (Did I remember that right Wendy?)
Cutie pies Michelle and Jessica started off the day finding some FIGHTING CONCHS near the boat then finished off finding some WHELKS and a couple of gorgeous LACE MUREXES as well.
I was amazed to see such large double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS. Roger and Jeanne (Chicago) found a perfectly intact very large one to show us how beautiful they are.
Rick and Lisa (Indiana) were filling their shell bag with OLIVES, CONCHS and WHELKS in shin deep water in the Gulf Of Mexico. I love these iLoveShelling cruises so I get to meet other fanatic shellers. Just like seeing Jack and Nancy at Sanibel Luminary, I saw Rick and Lisa at South Seas Resort at the Golf Cart Parade for Captiva Luminary (photos to come soon). It was a fun and busy weekend! Good to see you both again.
There were quite a few people who found SAND DOLLARS as well which was one of Debi and Barry’s favorite finds of the morning. There was such a variety!
It was a real treat to have my friend Sarah visit us from Virginia Beach and join us on this sun filled shelling boat cruise. She is an artist so she was picking up ARK shells for a shell mirror she has started making. I wrote a post a few years ago about her stunning seashell chandelier she crafted so I was tickled she wanted to shell with us to find her own treasures to use in this project (she usually finds her shells in our “shellaboratory”- LOL). CLICK HERE to see her chandelier.
Along with shells and sunshine, we were joined by an OSPREY who wanted to hang out with us the whole entire time we were on the beach.
We also had a pod of DOLPHINS giving us a show but of course every time they jumped out of the water, I clicked the camera too late and all I got was a splash. So this was the best shot I got. hahaha
As always, the best part of the day was getting to mingle with such fun, interesting folks who love shelling.
Wanna join us on other Shelling Adventures? CLICK HERE!
Oh and PS- I’m starting to add more art to my new online gallery…
This is what paradise is to me…. a warm, sunny, secluded beach filled with oodles of seashells and wildlife surrounded by clean, gorgeous water. We found paradise yesterday on the island of Cayo Costa during our iLoveShelling Cruise with Captiva Cruises. Getting to share this paradise with a boat load of shelling friends makes the day even that much more fun! I was thrilled to see Vera from Pine Island find gobs of OLIVES, CONCHS and WHELKS wading in the beautiful water.
Patti and Linda from Nova Scotia found WORMIES within minutes of each other. Patti let out a “Woop!” when she found her awesome WORM SHELL (that’s what she wanted to find) so Linda was happy for her and we did a happy dance but Linda got right to work searching for her own. A minute later Linda let our an even louder “Whaaaa!” and held up her own wormie. We got so tickled of all the commotion and had to whoop it up again. These smiles are pure happiness of being together and sharing a moment….
Along with the WORM SHELLS, their other favorite they found were BABY’S EARS, ANGEL WINGS and COCKLES…
Vicky form Ft Myers loves the minis so she found a pile of shells to sort through and practice the “Sit N Sift”…
Since there was a nice low tide, the tree roots were more exposed than I’ve seen them in a long while. Hanif from Canada took advantage of the exposed roots and plucked trapped shells from the crevices. Smart!
Lesley from Texas said this LIGHTNING WHELK rolled right up in the wash line in the same area by the tree roots…
I met so many lovely shellers like Kim from Punta Gorda….
…And sweet, generous shellers like Bunky and Pam who found a SAND DOLLAR, examined it to see if it was still alive, then returned it to the water after recognizing the signs it was still alive and healthy. I knew I would like Pam the moment she told me her name (heehee) … but OMG they brought us some their family owned Dolle’s salt water taffy they make in Ocean City, Maryland. Thank you, it’s shellicious!
Kim and Ed of Rhode Island were very clever to save a mesh onion bag for the perfect sack to hold all of their shell treasures. Cuties!
Candy and her daughter Sarah from Virginia found a nice prize… Oh yaya- An ALPHABET CONE! And thank you soooo much for writing to me Candy…. Of course… Now I remember. Virginia!
On the cruise boat, I got to meet Ken and Candace from Missouri enjoying the whole ride. Can you see why Candace is holding up her left hand? She made an OLIVE Shell String! It’s so cute! But I really wish I had taken a photo of the piece of dotted BRYOZOA she had found because I think I know what it is now. Candace, please comment on this post so I can talk to you about your unusual piece your showed me?
It was such a fun day and it was a pleasure to hang out with and shell with folks like Debbie and Ken. It seems like we all have so much in common… not just shelling.
Penny from England brought a happy jar of sunshine that she collected in the Channel Islands.
They look like lemon drop candies but they are FLAT PERIWINKLES (or Littorina obtusata). Sweet sunshine! But remember… these were not found on Cayo Costa or any where in Florida. Penny brought them from Herm Island in the Channel Islands.
The sea repaid her for sharing her shells from across the pond… she found a perfect ALPHABET CONE on Cayo Costa…
It was a perfect morning to share a delightful island shelling adventure with such a fun group. Thank you so much for a great day!
Oh- I almost forgot! I saw my first TRICOLORED HERON (or aka LOUISIANA HERON) fishing along the shore line while we were shelling. So pretty! It’s so much fun to see a new beautiful bird… Another reason why i Love Shelling.
Join us for the next iLoveShelling cruise to paradise… Errrr… I mean, Cayo Costa on December 6th, 2013 at 9am and we have other dates through May as well by CLICKING HERE. For more info click on this next image…
If you can’t make any of these dates for an iLoveShelling cruise like this one, Captiva Cruises has shelling trips most days of the week to Cayo Costa on a regular schedule. Go to their website at http://captivacruises.com . You will have a shellava good time!
Our Captiva Cruises boat pulled up to the shore of Cayo Costa at low tide around 1:30 yesterday …
Within minutes, Rachel (KS) found 4 LETTERED OLIVES, 2 FALSE ANGEL WINGS, and AUGER and the colors of the rainbow in JINGLE SHELLS.
Leanne (PA) strolled along the shore to find a true ANGEL WING and a few other goodies…
Ahhhhh. It was so good to get back to Cayo Costa!
I had the pleasure of meeting so many beautiful shellers while on the boat and walking the beach like sisters Beth and Barb (KY) who found SAND DOLLARS, WHELKS and OLIVES. Barb told me they have been hanging out with iLoveShelling.com since the very beginning… almost 4 years ago! She said she still has it bookmarked on her computer under my first blog name “My Shelling Blog”. Ha! I felt like I knew them already!
Patti and Tim (FL) were delightful! While Patti was shelling her heart out, Tim was photographing and videoing their whole day. What a good team!
Nancy and “Babe” looked like they were in heaven together all day. She was glowing! Then I found out why. Cameron had surprised her with the cruise for her birthday and she was thrilled. Happy Birthday Nancy! You guys are so stinkin adorable! (heehee his name is Cameron but I just kept hearing Nancy say “Good find, Babe!” …. “Oh! Come here, Babe!” so cute)
John (MA) started out his trip to SW Florida as a birder but found that looking for different species of shells was just as much fun as looking for different species of birds. Here’s John picking up his first BABY’S EAR…
Boating was so much fun to0 as we got to see a BALD EAGLE in a nest, OSPREYS catching their fish lunch from the water, DOLPHINS playing…
And seeing that the WHITE PELICANS are back on the islands…
When we arrived back on Captiva, we had a little Shell ‘N Tell so we could share some of our shells and finds. Sharon was a joy to meet !
She picked up WHITE CRESTED TELLIN on Cayo Costa. I only see these on Cayo Costa. I dont think Ive ever seen one on Sanibel.
I’m so happy I got to meet Jan (KY) since I think she must be an artist as well. Jan showed me one of her favorite finds which was covered in BARNACLES and other animal growth marks. I love that kind of stuff too!
Jerry found some really nice WHELKS on our trip but he told me also found a really large 10 inch empty WHELK at Blind Pass on Wednesday. He couldnt believe it because he thought he had stepped on a big rock in the water at low tide… then reached down and pulled up that huge LIGHTNING WHELK. WAHOO!
I was amazed at all the true ANGEL WINGS, FALSE ANGEL WINGS and even FALLEN ANGEL WINGS we found this time. Awesome!
The MANATEES even came over to send us off with well wishes…
It was a beautiful shelling cruise in paradise with a beautiful bunch of people.
Join us on the next iLoveShelling cruise! CLICK HERE FOR DATES.
Before you go….
We have TWO Winners to announce for the Shelltastic SW FLorida Vacation Giveaway! I have to say- I am so grateful for Pointe Estero Beach Resort and Sealife By Congress to have been so generous with this giveaway to the shelling community. You both ROCK!
Drum Roll Please! …..
Our first winner for the Sealife By Congress stunning sterling silver Starfish Reef Pendant is………
The Grand Prize Winner for 4days/3 nights stay at Pointe Estero Beach Resort in Fort Myers Beach is…..
Denise Stahl (AS, FL)!
Congratulations to you both! Sealife By Congress will be contacting you Kathie and Pointe Estero will contact you as well, Denise. So hold tight until you get your info! Thank you all for participating!
Last week’s Captiva Cruise during Shellabaloo turned in to paartay cruise! We had so many fun people aboard like Lily-Pink-Bikini-Susan (Cape Coral) who was thrilled to find her first SAND DOLLAR. Deana from New Jersey kept us in stitches on the boat but was an eagle eye on the beach finding shells. I met her last year at this same time after Hurricane Isaac and she had just found an ANGEL WING. Check out my post from last year from Labor Day weekend with Deana (CLICK HERE)- the shelling was incredible! Wanna guess what she found this year too? Yep! She found another ANGEL WING! What are the chances?
I had so much fun talking to Lisa from Atlanta and was so happy for her when she found an ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR… and a HORSE CONCH. The HORSE CONCH was a little beat up but she loves those big shells like I love my “yard shells”.
Woop! Woop! Christine (Ft Lauderdale) found a big whole HORSE CONCH while snorkeling in about waist deep water. It might look a little green and gunky right now, but I think this shell is gonna clean up to be a beautiful trophy!
Little cutie petutie Alex is holding a really nice LIGHTNING WHELK almost as big as she is! Her dad Jason (West Palm Beach, FL) asked me how to clean it up and I told him about my step by step tutorial – CLICK HERE. I think they will be surprised how well it will look once its cleaned. I asked him where they found it and he told me another gal on the cruise gave it to Alex. OMG How sweet!
The gal that gave away that beautiful shell is Sally. She said she was so happy with the ALPHABET CONE she found that she felt like she didn’t need the WHELK as well. Such a generous heart, Beautiful Sweet Sally…
Our voyage back to Captiva on the water was like looking at smooth blue glass. So picturesque…
…with a few DOLPHIN in our wake. Thanks to all of you awesome shellers for such an amazing day!
Join us on another iLoveShelling Cruise! CLICK HERE for dates and information.
I’ve often said that shellers are the nicest people on the planet and after spending five days with the 13 awesome shellers that joined us for Shellabaloo 3, I’m positive that it’s true. It was truly spectacsheller! We shelled the beach at our home base at Island Inn Sanibel…
Angela found “candy”! LOL Yep, she found three sweet baby HORSE CONCHS and her sister Cathy found a huge SHARKS EYE and a beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK that was the most incredible shade of mauve I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry, I’ll show you a closer picture of it on my next post…
Marisa was the BANDED TULIP queen! I think she found about five of them within an hour.
Everybody was finding great shells… Jessica (who helped organize Shellabaloo for the Island Inn) found her first ALPHABET CONE!
We were so fortunate to have choices of shelling the wrack lines or shelling the water line. Fun!
Gregg and Trish and the rest of us had a crazy fun time on our boat ride for a shelling trip to the island of Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises…
Look who joined us on our cruise! Rusty and Donna from Shellabaloo 2! Thank you so much for joining us- so fun to see yall again…
Oh gosh, there were so many other people I want to show you that were on the boat too but they deserve a whole other post on their own. I’ll show you more soon.
Once we docked at Cayo Costa State Park marina, we hopped on the island shuttle for a ride to gulf side for our next shelling adventure…
Nancy put on her snorkel gear and found a live SAND DOLLAR within seconds. She put this one back in the water to live a happy life then found several white ones that werent alive. Keepers!
Donnie headed towards the high wrack lines to look for some unusual BEACH BLING. He found something really cool! He found an empty baby turtle nest that probably hatched just a few days before we got there. Just in front of Donnie in the photo, you can see the empty shells surrounding the hole in the sand. There were no stakes around the nest to mark or monitor it for research so I doubt anybody knew it was there. It looks like the babies made so… Hooray!
He also found SEA BEANS and a few pieces of gorgeous SEA GLASS while walking next to the high wrack line on the beach…
Jennifer found a live ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR in knee deep water. After oohing and ahhing at this fascinating creature, she gently put it back in the water where she found it…
Annette found one too! I rarely see the ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLARS so it was a treat to see how purple they are when they are still alive.
Woop! Woop! Marie found a white KEY-HOLE SAND DOLLAR so she got to keep this one…
We had such a great day finding all sort of shells and BEACH BLING like sand dollars and fossil SHARKS TEETH.
A good time was had by all!
But hold on, this shelling party was just getting started. We carried our shelling party into the evening as Martha and Marie and our group witnessed a glorious sunset.
Then we hung out together for cocktails hours…
We were able to share our stories of our day and get to know each other.
We all had so much in common!
We all seem to be kindred spirits.
Oh and let me tell you, we did not miss any meals. We had fabulous picnic lunches every day that were out of this world and we ate delicious dinners at different restaurants every single night. All of the meals were included in the package!
Even the FroYo party at Zebra Frozen Yogurt was part of the Shellabaloo package. Yummy!!!!
I cant even find the words to tell you how much this week has meant to me and that it has been so special to have spent so much quality time together and have gotten to really bonded as a group. Since our 5 days together just ended today, I have lots more photos to sort through but I saved the best for last… Shell ‘N Tell photos! And I have the results of our Shellabaloo Shellinger Hunt. You wont believe all of the A-Mazing shells this group found and the creative shell displays they put together. So Stay Tuned!
Cruising to Cayo Costa with a boatload of shellers makes me happy as a CLAM….or maybe even happier than a CLAM after seeing how calm and aqua blue the water was yesterday! We took the afternoon cruise to catch the nice low tide so we would have more areas to look for shells. It worked! Katie from Ohio was lucky enough to find this perfect CONCH the minute she stepped off the boat…
I soon realized that “luck” had nothing to do with it. She’s just a darn good sheller! Here she is with her sweet mom Jonna and all of the day’s treasures…
Leah, Clara and Jasper from Georgia loved being able to find shells wading through the gorgeous water…
Clara couldn’t wait to organize and look at all of her seashells. She found lots of OLIVES and COCKLES!
Jess hit a FALSE ANGEL WING honey hole! She was wading in the water scooping, scooping, scooping until she scooped up a perfectly paired set. She figured if there was one, there might be more.
She was not giving up on finding just one. Her persistence paid off… She found a handful!
Jake knows how happy shelling makes his mom Genine (Naples, FL) so he told me he wanted to come with her on the iLoveShelling cruise because he always wants his mom to be happy. What a wonderful son you have, Genine!
So while Genine was collecting these shells…
Although Jake’s not much of a sheller, he found some enjoyment too…
I was thrilled to meet “Loree from Ohio”! She made the trip to Sanibel last year after recovering from a long health battle… only to run into Tropical Storm Debbie the only days they were here. Well, she was able to make it back this week in good health with her husband Roy to enjoy this unbelievably beautiful weather on our cruise to Cayo Costa.
And she found lots of shells too!
Did you spot that shellacious WORM SHELL in the last photo? It’s so long but the cool thing is the tip is perfect. Here’s a better photo of it with us in our Shelling Sistah shirts…
Taylor and her family have been shelling all over the world. They told me they went to Thailand too last year and told me about some of the shells and sea life they have found in the British Virgin Islands as well. As I always say… a shelling family is a happy family.
On this cruise they found an assortment of shells, SAND DOLLARS and a few pieces of CORAL as well.
Emily, Chris, Izzy, Robert, and Christa found a great spot on the boat for the view.
Thanks Captains Keith and Kelly for such a great day for seeing DOLPHINS and spotting SEA TURTLES too.
We got back to McCarthy’s Marina to see four MANATEES hanging out.
We had a few people stay for a “Shell ‘N Tell” so we could all share our shell finds and stories after the cruise. Loree realized she had a hitchhiker on one of her COCKLE shells. A baby live STARFISH! After realizing it was still alive, Roy took it back to the water by the dock.
Then Jasper showed us another hitchhiker… A tiny baby CRAB was inside one of their COCKLES too! The CRAB and STARFISH were both so small there’s no way anybody could have seen them if they were inside on of their other shells. So Jasper walked it down to the water as well to set it free. It’s good thing we got our shells back out while being so close to the water.
It was such a fun day in the warm sun collecting shells, sharing stories and catching glimpses of magical sealife. Thank you to all on the boat for making it such special day!
Join us on the next cruise to Cayo Costa July 17 in the afternoon 1-4pm. Call 239-472-5300 and ask to join the iLoveShelling cruise in July! For more details… CLICK HERE