Archive for Day Trips & More
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!
It was a spectacsheller day of shelling on the Captiva Cruise’s iLoveShelling shell seeker boat adventure to the secluded island of Cayo Costa yesterday. There were so many different varieties of shells that were found on our treasure hunt but I was especially excited for Karen from Kentucky when she showed me this awwwesome SCOTCH BONNET she picked up. Boom Shellalaka!
I was so much fun to meet and shellebrate with Karen’s whole family Tim, Elizabeth, Jane, (Karen) and Lesley after having such great finds…
But hold on. Karen wasn’t the only one to find a SCOTCH BONNET. Oh yaya… Two SCOTCH BONNETS were found! Shellzam!
While on the boat ride back, we were showing off Karen’s SCOTCH BONNET when I saw Megan from Ohio holding the same shell in her hand too. OMG! We had to get these two gals and their shells together for a photo. Here are super shellers Karen and Megan!
I found out that Megan and her family were having a fun game going on for their vacation… The Shell-Oympics. Ha! They set rules and points for their shell finds to try to take the gold medal- so cute! But I think Megan just pulled ahead but they still have the rest of the week. Here are the other Shellympic athletes Gary and Amber with Megan. (So Sorry I didn’t get mom in the photo!)
That’s not all folks. Seconds of stepping off the boat (seriously, I’m talking seconds), Hunter from Georgia saw a small part of this LIGHTNING WHELK sticking out of the sand so he reached down to unbury this beauty. Way to go Hunter- I should call you ShellHunter instead of just Hunter! Now that’s what I call finding buried treasure.
Hunter’s brother Walker spotted this BABY’S EAR by walking around to the gulf side where the shell piles had formed around the tree roots. Hmmmm… I think I’m channeling my Cherokee in my blood… I really want to give him a name too. ShellWalker! (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) Way to go ShellWalker!
I was so happy to see Sheri Zipp and her daughter Samantha on the cruise with us too. They have been coming to Sanibel for years and I met Sheri almost 4 years ago when I first started this blog and she was one of the first people to ever comment. I’m forever grateful for all of your encouragement. …and… Nice WORMIE!
I was thrilled for Diane to find this gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK with such deep color.
The Millers from Michigan were finding gigantic SOUTHERN QUAHOGS (I wish I had gotten a close up of those QUAHOGS. They were ginormous!) and lots of OLIVES…
Sweet Teri traveled all the way from California to vacation on the gulf coast of Florida to find shells.
She was filling up two different bags of shell. Her first bag was for the larger shells like the GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLES and SOUTHERN QUAHOGS then the other bag was for the smaller shells like the JINGLES, SCALLOPS and those two fab WORM SHELLS shown here…
Ha! I met William and Sarah at the wooden bulkhead on Sanibel the other night and they showed up at the cruise too! They always have such great smiles and were tickled to find this nice size old HORSE CONCH … aka- a great yard yard shell. They said since the other side isn’t completely there, they will use it on their front porch or in the garden when they take it back to Kentucky.
Happy 40th Anniversary Wendell and Mary! Awwww. That goes to show you- couples that shell together, stay together. heehee. You are a beautiful couple and you both still look like kids!
Eddie Maguire and his wife Beth were on the cruise too. I met Eddie on the iLoveShelling facebook page as he always has such nice and positive comments so it’s finally nice to put a face with the name. So nice to meet you both! (Oh gosh Beth- I didn’t realize your eyes are closed but you are so cute even with your eyes closed, I didnt think you would mind.)
We all really had such a good time and it was a pleasure to hang out with so many awesome people who love to shell just as much as I do. It’s always such a bonus to be able to take shells home as memories of such a shelltastic day. Shells like this…
But leaving the beautiful living creatures like these CLOUDY PERIWINKLES where they belong on the beach and on the stumps exposed at low tide…
Thank you all for a special day filled with gifts from the sea and lots of new friends.
We have more dates planned for the iLoveShelling cruises but if you miss any of those dates, you can still hop on one of Captiva Cruises‘ other trips to Cayo Costa (or sunset cruises, or dolphIn watching cruise, or cruise to Useppa just CLICK HERE). For dates for the iLoveShelling cruises and events, CLICK HERE.
We went for a boat ride around the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva on Saturday. Clark was so jealous he wasn’t able to go out on our iLoveShelling Captiva Cruises last week, and it’s been months on our boat so he was bound and determined to get out and about on the water. Of course we had to stop at plenty of beaches to look for shells.
We found a few! Of course I was thaaa-rilled to find this beautiful wormie and a couple of perfect medium sized SAND DOLLARS.
But. My favorite find of the weekend was this lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP. Yummy find!
We spent a good part of the day watching the wildlife and fell in love with several ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds feasting on tiny fish or crabs in the low tide pools…
We found a few more shells but these are our faves. I know, I know… Yes, those are DEPRESSED SLIPPER SHELLS in our faves pile but we saw so many, I feel like they were speaking to me. And when I bent down to pick up a SAND DOLLAR or WORM SHELL or that cute little DUSKY CONE, I couldn’t help but pick up a pretty JINGLE or two as well. JINGLES make me happy- I dont know why- they just do. It was such a wonderful day to be out on the water and out with my honey. He makes me happy too.
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.
My friend Debbie who lives on Fort Myers Beach sent me this photo of her shell finds near Bowditch Beach on the south end of the island. There are so many things that caught my eye in the photo above (like that row of ALPHIES!)… but also that shell on the bottom middle that looks a little freakish. OMG I think it’s the coolest FREAK FIGHTING CONCH I’ve ever seen! I will get a close up look at it soon so I will let you know exactly what it is soon.
But while she was collecting all of her awesome shells, she met a young gal who was collecting shells but didn’t know what any of them were. She put out her hands to ask Debbie what she had… What??? Never mind the ALPHABET CONES… She found a JUNONIA!!!
Meanwhile, I was at Blind Pass Captiva watching the cutest family having the best time collecting shells. Eli didn’t have a big enough bucket to hold all of the shells he wanted to keep. His mom starting putting some of the shells back on the beach and said “Only put your favorite shell in the bucket so we can take them home with us”. He cocked his head and looked at her with the sweetest voice and said “Don’t put them back! They’re all my favorites!”
Here’s Eli with his shelling friends and family who traveled together to Captiva from Connecticut… Alisha, Remy, Aidan and Skylar.
I was majorly bummed on Thursday. Mother Nature did not cooperate with our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa and she sent a storm with rain and thunder at the time of our shelling adventure. Grrrrr. But instead of crying about the canceled boat, lots of us went to Blind Pass Captiva like Kaisa, Kan and Kaika from Tokyo!
Sherry and Gracie from St Johns, FL headed straight to Blind Pass from the cancelled cruise and had practically filled their shell bag by the time I got there. Sherry said “The shells aren’t all perfect but since we make shell frames and other crafts with them, they don’t have to be whole”. My kinda gals!
Leslie S posted this picture on iLoveShelling facebook page and wrote “A successful day of shelling at Blind Pass–Look, there’s a nice Alphabet cone and a broken piece of the elusive Junonia!”
Dawn K also posted this next photo and wrote “Three Alpha cones in one hour!!! HAPPINESS!! It was about 1/2 mile south east of Island Inn.”
If I’m not mistaken, most of these shells were found in the water. Although the water isn’t that pretty aqua blue right now because of the releases of Lake Okeechobee due to so much rain, there are obviously still shells out there by seeing these photos. Shellers are wonderfully persistent!
Although we were rained out on this week’s cruise, we also have another one scheduled this month on Wednesday August 28th and more though out the year so join us! We also had 2 cancelations for Shellabaloo 3 so now there are 2 spots available! I know it’s last minute, but JOIN US August 26th through 30th for a week of a shellacious shellathon. CLICK HERE for details.