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 Jan who 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 Cruise to 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!
We’ve had a nice cold snap that brought in some great lines of shells this week just in time for our iLoveShelling beach combing adventure to Cayo Costa island with Captiva Cruises.
Okay, I know…. I should actually say “chilly snap” instead of “cold snap” since it was in the 60s but with the wind and being in the boat, it feels great to break out the jackets in Florida. So we bundled up and hit the beach just like twin sisters Debbi, Darlene from MA who found SUNRAY VENUSES, ANGEL WINGS, an ALPHABET CONE and lots of other treasures.
Those were the same favorites that Pam and Mark from Baltimore found too.
Joe, Liliana (NY) and Tim (Michigan) filled their shells buckets to stock up on some fun with art projects for the winter.
I love days when there are lots of BEACH BLING that washes up on the shore as well… so lucky! A CRUCIFIX SHELL.
We even found a live SEA CUCUMBER washed up on the beach so we snapped a photo then returned it to the water.
I got soooo tickled with this next group of shellers from Pennsylvania… Stephen, Kathy, Phyllis and Dennis. Every step of the way, these guys were smiling and laughing with every stoop- y’all are so much fun! And congrats on your “concrete” find, Dennis. heehee
I wish I could have shown you all the cool stuff Stephen found but the SHARKS EYE, BANDED TULIP, OLIVES and SUNRAY VENUS were so striking. Of course that fact that he picked up a BUTTERCUP, you gotta like this guy (Clark loves BUTTERCUPS so Im a little partial to them). He had found the little olive (on his wrist) on a previous trip to Sanibel so Kathy made that bracelet for him. I love that!
It was a wonderful day to be chillin’ with so many cool shellers and find out we have mutual friends. Jim Tony, Bert and Lois say “Hi” to Diana for me! ;)
Well, some of my photos didn’t turn out so well but I still wanted to show you that there are so many different and unusual things to find … from COFFEE MELAMPUS to MORTONS EGG COCKLES to SEA PEARLS to JINGLES to TULIPS to OLIVES.
This is exactly what makes shelling so much fun.
You can tell by seeing everybody all wrapped up on the way back to Captiva having a little Shell N Tell like Marie from Michigan.
Its always so much fun to see the treasures.
Its always such a treat to see Sue Bunkin whom I met on the beach years and years ago along with her beautiful family. Sue has spread the shelling love down through the generations of her family and now out to her girlfriends Mary, (Sue), Helen and Karen.
It was so much fun to meet Mary and Karen (Lakeland, FL) when they showed me their favorite shells they found – OLIVES and TULIPS… while Karen told me that my blog and videos have helped her teach Marine Science to her students. Wow! I’m so honored I could help share the love and wonder of the beach and sea creatures with her class. Thank you Mary and Karen, that makes me verrrrry happy.
You can also see happiness in the face of Michelle from Denver after she showed me her 2 incredible double VENUS SUNRAYS. These beautiful gifts from the sea will be perfect reminders just how special a day out on the water and exploring a new beach really is.
As always, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!
Join me on another iLoveShelling adventure CLICK HERE
PS- In the first photo, are WORM SHELLS, FALSE ANGEL WING, BABYS EARS, LETTERED OLIVE, LIGHTNING WHELK and ROSE PETAL TELLIN found by Diane from Tucson on our trip (she didn’t want her photograph again- heehee)
Star light, star bright. First STARFISH yesterday in sight.
SEASTARS are always so much fun to see. This beautiful creature went right back in the calm, clear Gulf water where Linda and David (TN) found it while on our iLoveShelling adventure with Captiva Cruises yesterday.
I was also thrilled to see this gorgeous SHARKS EYE OPERCULUM that Jill (Peculiar, Missouri) found. She brought it over for me to identify and I think I went a little crazy… “Omigosh it’s perfect!”.
I always love when other beachcombers have an eye for the unusual pieces of beach bling and want to know what it is. She said she saw that cool swirl on it so she picked it up. Most people would have walked right over it… but not Jill! (check out our first one CLICK HERE -errr…. but its nowhere near as pretty as her’s).
I think Jill found that OPERCULUM because she has an eye for the small BIVALVES and likes to find shells she’s never found before. I think there are about 9 different species on her towel she brought to wrap them in for safe travels.
Jill’s not the only one that loves the bling and unusual, Shelly found all sorts of fab finds like FEATHERS, SEA URCHINS and huge shell pieces. Look at that happy smile on such a beautiful day at Cayo Costa Island!
The water was an amazing 75 degrees for Mac and Delta ( Los Angeles) to wade and scoop up a few treasures like LETTERED OLIVES and FIGHTING CONCHS. So much fun hanging out in the water with y’all!
We all found oodles of live OLIVES in the water and on the beach that we had to put back where we found them… but we were also lucky enough to find a few really glossy empty ones too.
Sue and Jens from NC were happy to find a few OLIVES and a stunning LIGHTNING WHELK too.
And PURPLISH TAGELUS shells too. These were scattered all along the mid tied wrack line on the beach so once we found one, we followed the same tide line to find so many more.
That was actually the same shell line that Krys and Mandy (Richmond, Virginia) found lots of dried out SEA URCHINS. They also found some sweet little COMB BITTERSWEETS with amazing patterns but my photo just didn’t turn out well. (I’m going to look for those COMB BITTERSWEETS the next time on Cayo Costa)
We were barely off the boat stepping foot on the beach when Louisette and Michael (from Massachusettes) found a pile of shells they started scooping up. Louisette is a Sailor’s Valentine artist so she was in heaven with all of the common ARKS, VENUS shells, JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS all the same size for her work.
Local shellers Cazzie and Beth (Fort Myers Beach) found showed me their fave shells they found- Cazzie with a CONCH and Beth with a juvie lemon yellow HORSE CONCH.
So Cazzie realized that he had never seen this shell ever before on our beaches … hmmmm… Yep- he was right. We don’t normally find these type CONCHS on our beaches. It’s what I call a “WEDDING SHELL” which is a shell from the other side of the planet that someone bought in a shell shop and threw out on the beach to decorate or something (for whole story- CLICK HERE). I haven’t seen that many WEDDING SHELLS at Cayo Costa so it was pretty fun to see this one and know it is a very common shell in Okinawa, Japan– we saw them on every single beach when we visited there. When I asked Cazzie what his favorite shell of the day was… he showed me the WEDDING SHELL. :)
Rena brought her friend Nancy (Boston) who had never even heard the term “sheller” before this trip- A newbie! She might even consider herself a sheller now? haha Hopefully!
I had a twin on our cruise! Susan and I showed up with the same outfits on- same hat and iLoveShelling tee shirt. She and her husband Stuart were on a cruise last year with us when Stuart found an OLIVE without a tip. She took that OLIVE shell to Congress Jewelers with her certificate she received on our iLoveShelling trip and had this necklace made she has on this the next photo. A wonderful memory from last year- i LOVE that!!!! So much fun to see y’all.
Just like Susan and Stuart, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!
Join us! For future dates CLICK HERE