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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Freaking Out For Shell Heaven

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Life, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 15 comments

variety of Bonita beach shells

I found shell heaven this week!

beach filled wth shells

When I can be on a boat …

Florida boat to the island beach

Filled with the nicest shellers in the world …


Finding amazing shells…

hands holding shells


And Beach Bling…

beach bling


Amazing things happen…

pie of shells with shellers

Great memories happen.





We even had DOLPHINS jumping beside the boat to welcome us to a spectacshellar day.

dolphin shell cruise

This all happened on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises this week boating to Big Hickory Island, Florida. The island was loaded with awesome treasures.


And even more awesome shellers…


This is why I feel like I found shell heaven this week.


It’s not just about the shells but the experience we have along the way of finding them.


It’s about the different things we find that are beautiful to us.


And to share the experience.


To share the joy.


To share the experience with friends from the past…



And to meet new friends…






That’s not it… on every iLoveShelling Adventure …


Every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!


Can you believe all the ALPHABET CONES, SHARKS EYES, GAUDY NATICAS, SEA PEARLS, ANGEL WINGS, SUNRAY VENUS, WORM SHELLS and BEACH BLING everybody found in all of the photos? It was crazy!

seashells found gulf of mexico

Oh wait… and I found a reeaaally cool shell too!

pam rambo with freak florida cone

These trips are so much fun for me because I get to share a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned over lot of years combing our local beaches and give away shells – so I don’t normally keep any shells I find…but when I saw this “FREAK” FLORIDA CONE, Whoa…. Pounce! Look at that crazy spire.

freak florida cone

Wanna see other “freak” shells? CLICK HERE

Join me on an iLoveShelling Adventure boat cruise to the out islands- CLICK HERE


PS- We may have had freaking awesome shelling on our beaches this week but you folks up north in these snow storms have been on our minds every second of the day. Please stay warm and stay safe… by thinking about sifting through shells.



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Chillin’ With A Chilly Shelling trip to Cayo Costa

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Beach Bling Sea Debris, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Crucifix Shell, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Echinoderm, Sea Bean, Sea Cucumber, Sea Pearl | 10 comments

seashell collection variety

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.

island boat to shell beach

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.

twin shellers with loads of shells

Those were the same favorites that Pam and Mark from Baltimore found too.

pam and mark baltimore

Joe, Liliana (NY) and Tim (Michigan) filled their shells buckets to stock up on some fun with art projects for the winter.

happy family on beach shelling

I love days when there are lots of BEACH BLING that washes up on the shore as well… so lucky! A CRUCIFIX SHELL.

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.

sea cucumber

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

happy shells

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!

sunray venus shells

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! ;)

sunray venus shells

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.

shells from island
This is exactly what makes shelling so much fun.

shells on blue

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.

cruise boat of shellers

Its always so much fun to see the treasures.

shell collection from trip

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. shelling girls

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.

Mary Karen FL Marine science

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.

sunray venus

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!

Sanibel Sealife Congress Jewelers gift certificate

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)

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Boating for Seashells, Dolphins and Alpha-Gators

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 12 comments

seashells of southwest florida

To walk the beach on a warm winter’s day in December is such a gift.

Florida beach with shells

And to take a stroll on that warm beach littered with seashells is priceless!

beach combing shell finds

Bruce and Mariah from Richmond, VA joined us for a great day to share this sunny beach on Big Hickory Island on an iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R Cruises shelling adventure this week.

shellers with beach combing finds

They found such a great variety shells and bling right away. Look at that amazing dark brown FLORIDA WORM SHELL with its teeny tiny tip still in tact.

seashells coral and sand dollar

Wendell and Wendy (Alabama) started collecting all sorts of cool stuff…

beach combers on sw florida island

From an incredibly lacy LACE MUREX to SEA PEARLS to a PEAR WHELK EGG CASE to striking WEST INDIAN CERITHS.

shells found on Florida beach combing tour

Denese and Missy (Indianapolis) found some awesome SAND DOLLARS.

Finding Florida sand dollars

We find really cool chunks of CORAL on this beach every time but Linda and Jamie found a huge hunk that will be such a beautiful piece of sculpture.

finding Florida coral

Well look at Sue! She has found a love for the micros and minis and found a perfect spot loaded with MARGINELLAS, RICE, DRILLS and other tiny sweet shells to filled her mini vials with her big tweezers. Love that (insert that little love symbol you make with your two thumbs smooshed together with knuckles bent over to make the shape of a heart- heehee).

collecting miniature shells

My buddies Martha and Marie always have a good time on every beach they step foot on and now they’ve converted another sheller… Duane.

iLoveShelling tee shirts on a shell trip

He’s even perfected the Sanibel Stoop pose!

picking up shells on the beach by jetty groin

With calm clear water and sunshine, I felt lots of peace from Diana and Sam (California).

soaking up Florida sunshine

Peace. And awesomeness.

coral and shells on a pier with bird

I always love to see families like Janet, Benny, Bethany, Donna, Joyce and Andrew visiting from Virginia, Maryland and Florida’s east coast taking a beach combing day like this to get together. It was so much fun to meet y’all!

boat cruise to find shells

And look at those CONES Janet found- oooooo. A perfect ALPHABET and FLORIDA CONE pair.


So happy to meet and hang out with shellers Ellen, Judy, Bob and Kathy traveling from Vermont and New Hampshire. Boating and beaching- does it get better than that?

beach combers on a boat trip


Its really cool to get out on our shelling cruise boat since its not all about just shells. Its about the whole adventure getting to a secluded island and enjoying the wildlife too. We had a pod of DOLPHINS swimming right beside our boat so we all were able to see them jumping and playing.

mother dolphin

One of the baby DOLPHINS liked showing off for us too- so cute!

baby dolphin


And we have silliness of course too- My fave of the day…. Dawn and Corly (Iowa) found THE best beach bling and shell. Dawn found this funny plastic ALLIGATOR in the high wrack line (its crazy since we really don’t have that much trash on Big Hickory Island) and Corly put her awesome ALPHABET CONE in its mouth. An ALPHAGATOR! hahaha

best beach bling and seashell

We all got to celebrate even more after I handed out $25 gift certificates to Sealife By Congress as I do on every iLoveShelling cruise. Oh yaya baby.

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

Join us on one of these excellent trips! CLICK HERE for more details…

2016 beach combing tour trips blog
peaceful beach with seashells and calm water

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Star Light, Star Bright. Pretty Starfish in Sight

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Brown Spiny Sea star, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Lettered Olive, Olive, Operculum, Purplish Tagelus, Shark's Eye Operculum, Starfish | 13 comments

Wish upon a starfish on the beach

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.

Lynn and David from Tennessee visit Cayo Costa Island shells-1

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!”.  

Jill from Peculiar Missouri finds Sharks eye operculum on Sanibel Island-1

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).

Sharks eye mollusk shell operculum

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.

miniature bivalve shells

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!

Shelly R with seashells on cayo costa

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!

Mac and Delta from L.A. find shells on iLoveShelling shell tour

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.

Glossy lettered olives

Sue and Jens from NC were happy to find a few OLIVES and a stunning LIGHTNING WHELK too.

Sue Jens from NC visit FL shelling

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.

Purplish Tagelus bivalve shells found on Cayo Costa island

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) 

Krys and Mandy visit Sanibel from Virginia for seashells

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.

Louisette Michael from Massachusettes visit Florida for sailors valentine shells

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.

Cazzie and Beth from Fort Myers Beach find shells with iLoveShelling

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. :)

favorite shell finds

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!

Rena Nancy Boston take shelling cruise Captiva

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.

Pam with Kansas shellers Susan and Stuart

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!
Sealife By Congress Jewelers

Join us! For future dates CLICK HERE



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New Dates For iLoveShelling Beachcombing Adventures

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Beachy Shell Stuff, Big Hickory Island, Bonita Out Islands, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 11 comments

2016 beach combing tour trips blog


Check out our new dates! I’d love to meet all of you shellers out there so let’s meet up for a boating adventure to an Out-Island of Sanibel to have an amazing time together…

beach combing boat trip with pam rambo

Join us for a fabulous and fun shelling day by making your reservations now –  CLICK HERE!


We not only find a great time… we find all sorts of seashells and beach bling.

beautiful shells found on iLoveShelling shelling trip

And smiles a mile wide.

Girl finds gifts from the sea on the beach of Cayo Costa


Sealife By Congress Jewelers

Hope to see you soon

Pam Rambo collecting shells on the beach

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Boating and Beach Combing in Bonita Springs

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Big Hickory Island, Bonita Beach, Bonita Out Islands, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Life, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 9 comments

Alphabet cone sea shells with whelk and nutmeg

It’s not easy to find ALPHABET CONES on a regular shelling day but Nicolene and Andrew from Wisconsin found these 3 (check out the one in the middle- perfect lip!) along with some other amazing shells at Big Hickory Island on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises.

Nicolene Andrew Wisconsin with alphabet cone

Holy Cowrie! Look at this ALPHABET CONE!

beach combing shells in big hickory

Yes it lost most of the color patterns… but who cares… Its shellmongus! But don’t let that over shadow so many of the other exshellent finds.

seashells Big Hickory

Linda was also a happy girl while combing this beach.

Linda from NY visits sw Florida for seashells

Yep, she found an ALPHIE too but just to find so many other different species of shells makes for a day to remember.

shell and beach bling found with iLoveShelling

It was so much fun to meet you, Kerstin (from Germany) and also “see” you on Instagram.

Kersten from Germany visits Florida for sea shells

Apparently we have the same taste in shells and bling because she collected cool SEA BEANS, FALSE ANGEL WINGS, WORMIES, BUTTERCUPS, sweet SCALLOPS and that GAUDY NATICA.

shells and sea beans collecting in Florida with Pam Rambo

Terri (Indiana) couldn’t wait to sort through her beach finds when we got back on the boat.

Terri Indiana with shells

A few of her favorite finds. Love that TINTED CANTHARUS.

seashells from seashelling

Have you ever seen a cutie little GAUDY NATICA that teeny tiny? Debbie (Indiana) has got an eagle eye to have spotted that.

Debbie from indiana find seashells in sw florida

Her teeny tiny PEAR WHELK might be just as cute too (and ROSE TELLINS!).


So good to see you again on such a nice day, Carol and Phil.

Carol Phil on shelling tour

Seeing your mini shells placed in your SURF CLAM shell seriously made my day. Love it!


Talk about making my day… Dee and Lou! I always say that shellers are the nicest folks on the planet. It’s true. And they are at the top of the list.

sea shellers Dee and Lou grammy

So this is THE “Maureen” and Mark from Kentucky. This THE Maureen who won my CANVAS JUNONIA SHELLOGRAPH! Remember that giveaway (CLICK HERE)? Well, as soon as we stepped on the boat she told me that she had been the lucky winner. So much fun to finally meet you Maureen and congrats again!!!

maureen mark KY find shells and bling

I met Penny from England 2 years ago on another iLS trip and I learned about shells from The Channel Islands. It’s always so much fun to learn about shells around the world – thank you again Penny. So much fun to see you again (I love my KITTENS PAW – meow).

Penny from England find shells visiting Florida

I could have talked beachcombing, books and bling with Susan, Marion and Mike from England (more awesome Brits!) on the whole boat ride back to the dock after seeing their loot. Kindred spirits.

shellers susan marion mike from england

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!

Sanibel Sealife Congress Jewelers gift certificate

I wish I could share all of the amazing things that happen on these trips. I tried to get a shot of about 6 DOLPHINS jumping and playing in the water right beside our boat. This splash is the best that I could get… but I hope you can imagine and feel like you were there. It was wild!

dolphin jumping on florida cruise

I’m still working on new shelling adventure dates for February through May but I have December and January dates still available- to join us CLICK HERE.


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