A day on the water is always a special day but if you can believe it… boating to Big Hickory Island in Bonita finding lots of seashells is even more special.
There were shells everywhere on the beach.
There were lots of shells snorkeling in the water too.
Omigosh- And the CONES and GAUDY NATICAS!
Our boating day on Sight Sea-R Cruises was awesome… worth every “dollar”…
Join me on a day trip from Sanibel with a boating day to a secluded island to go shelling together CLICK HERE
PS- Just in case you didn’t get a chance to see who won the giveaway yesterday… CLICK HERE for details.
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.
Holy Cowrie! Look at this ALPHABET CONE!
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.
Linda was also a happy girl while combing this beach.
Yep, she found an ALPHIE too but just to find so many other different species of shells makes for a day to remember.
It was so much fun to meet you, Kerstin (from Germany) and also “see” you on Instagram.
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.
Terri (Indiana) couldn’t wait to sort through her beach finds when we got back on the boat.
A few of her favorite finds. Love that TINTED CANTHARUS.
Have you ever seen a cutie little GAUDY NATICA that teeny tiny? Debbie (Indiana) has got an eagle eye to have spotted that.
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.
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.
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!!!
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).
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.
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!
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!
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.
Another day, another fabshellous SAND DOLLAR on our iLoveShelling Adventure to Big Hickory Island with Sight Sea-R Cruises yesterday.
It was a blast and an amazingly calm, beautiful day to hunt for shells.
Patti Goodwin (Nova Scotia) found a perfect SAND DOLLAR just moments of stepping on the beach. That’s her SAND DOLLAR in the first photo with the shell bracelet similar to mine. We both go them from the Sealife By Congress line at Congress Jewelers. Love it!
Erin (Chicago) had great luck with ANGEL WINGS and WORM SHELLS…
It was so much fun to meet Megan H and her dad Peter (Illinois) after reading many of her comments here on iLS. Such a lovely time hanging out with you!
Her favorites from the trip include a SAND DOLLAR, ROSE PETAL TELLIN, ANGEL WINGS, KEYHOLE LIMPET, MAUVE MOUTH DRILL and a BUTTON SHELL.
I’m always thrilled to meet such great shelling families who enjoy being out on the beach together exploring. Fredrik, James, Michael and Jinny from VA were such a treat to talk with and shell with.
I was so happy to see that they loose to collect minis. Can you see how big that TUSK SHELL is in James’ hand? He even found a WENTLETRAP!
We had lots of other families too. Like cutie shellooties Pearl and Becca from Sarasota.
Marlene, Max, Emily and Ryan found a few keepers too.
Charles, Ava, Andrea and Charlotte came to Southwest Florida from Ohio to enjoy a little shelling…
So happy Liam, Rosamary, Jillian and Mike drove from north Florida to join us on our shelling adventure…
Liam and Jillian have quite the shell eye. I wish I had shown a little more of Liam’s LACE MUREX (it’s just peaking out in between the OLIVES and WORMIE)- it’s gorgeous!
Teresa, Reagan, Daniel and Mark were visiting from Kentucky to have some fun shelling.
Reagan is another Shelling Sister that loves JINGLES and aqua nail polish (I do too, Reagan!).
So good to see Tim and Mary again as well…
Time showed me a few of his favorite finds of the day and I couldn’t help but notice his SHARKS EYE had a rough texture on the surface.
A little closer look at it… Aha- That’s SNAIL FUR! SNAIL FUR ( Hydractinia echinata) is a HYDROID (related to JELLYFISH) that forms on shells that have HERMIT CRABS occupying them. Hmmm, I wonder why? I’ve never been able to get it completely off a SHARKS EYE shell without it looking scared but it’s kinda cool just to know what it is that coats SHARKS EYES because I normally don’t see SNAIL FUR on many other type shells.
But anyway, there were other shells that we found that will clean up beautifully!
It was an amazing day on the beach combing and collecting in the cool, blue, calm waters surrounding Big Hickory Island on our Sight Sea-R shelling cruise.
And of course each passenger on this iLoveShelling Adventure received a $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers- Yahoo!
New Cruise Dates Are Here! I just posted new dates for summer Shelling Adventures – CLICK HERE for reservations and schedules or click on…
I always flip flop when I try to decide which I like better… SAND DOLLARS or ANGEL WING shells.
Some of the lucky shellers on our iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises found both!
They were mixed in with WORM SHELLS and double SUNRAY VENUS shells too.
Loved hanging out with Shannon and Mark from Minnesota. The were happy to find their first ANGEL WINGS…
Lookie at these cutie shellooties Ellen, Paige, Melissa and Gail from Oregon all dressed up in their iLS gear. Love these shelling sisters!
It so much fun to see so many familiar faces like cutie Mary. She was finding lots of perfectly dried HORSESHOE CRABS and WORM SHELLS.
Awwww and Michelle had her FLAT SCALLOP necklace on again to bring back lots of fun memories. She brought her sister Patti this time too so it was so much fun to hear their shelling stories together.
Michelle found a nice ALPHABET CONE to go along with her ANGEL WINGS and other BEACH BLING.
I met another set of sisters Lyn and Lucy from Iowa at my Shellography Photography opening earlier in the week so it was so good to see them again.
Lyn loves the minis too so these were her faves. This was the first time that I’ve seen anybody find a MORTON’S EGG COCKLE (bottom left of the ROSE PETAL TELLIN) on Big Hickory Island. Hmmmmm…. I know what I’ll be looking for next time I’m there!
Gary and Pam (Hi Pam!) found their first ANGEL WINGS too.
Along with Kathy and Bob from Mayaka, Florida…
Who’s cute flip flops were those in the first photo? They were Linda’s! She and Jay from Cape Coral found those SAND DOLLARS, ANGEL WINGS and that big LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line.
Since Linda was afraid she was going to break her SAND DOLLAR before she got back on the boat, she saw Sight Sea-R’s Captain Phil combing the beach and checking the water conditions. He offered to “baby sit” her SAND DOLLAR to get it back to the boat in one piece. So nice! I guess he was her Shell Bank- a place to keep her DOLLARS safe.
My friend Robin Draper from Authentic Florida was on our cruise too along with her husband Mike. Woohoo! We might be seeing an article about this shelling adventure soon- if we do, I’ll post it here when she sends a link.
As on every iLoveShelling cruise, each passenger received an awesome $25 gift certificate from my fave jewelry store on Sanibel… Sealife By Congress (inside Congress Jewelers). They are fabshellous to the shelling community!
It was such a fun day meeting so many incredishell shellers and hanging with so many familiar faces. I’m over the MOON SHELL.
Join us on an iLoveShelling Adventure… CLICK HERE
This is what a path to beach combing paradise looks like.
After arriving to the secluded island of Big Hickory on our iLoveShelling cruise with Sight Sea-R Cruises yesterday, we were welcomed by a shell filled beach and calm Gulf Of Mexico waters.
WORM SHELLS and beautiful pieces of CORAL were every where…
In less than 5 minutes, Andrea found an incredishell LACE MUREX. She is such a lucky sheller! I met her in March on Sanibel after she found masses of great shells but the one I remembered the most was a CABRITS MUREX so it was so good to see her again. (CLICK HERE to see that post)
The first shell Gita found was a beautiful ROSE PETAL TELLIN.
It was so much fun to pick through the many shell piles to find so many treasures.
David and Willow were enjoying every minute especially the second Willow found her ANGEL WING. It’s the one shell she wanted to find on her whole trip from Colorado.
One more thing checked off her “bucket” list…
Don, Chuck and Marti from Libertyville, IL found such a wide range of gorgeous shells and beach bling.
Oooohhh- Look at that huge TULIP along wit a PAPER FIG, FLORIDA CONE, ROSE PETAL TELLIN, SAND DOLLAR and TOP SHELL Marti found. And not to mention the fragment of JUNONIA – she got some spots!
It was so much fun to hang out with Sue and Andrea from CT since they were thrilled to check off a few things on their bucket list like a CRUCIFIX SHELL for Sue and ANGEL WING for Andrea. They are birders as well as shellers so they checked off a few birds like the ROSEATE SPOONBILL and ROYAL TERN on their birding list on the boat ride over.
It was a great day meeting shellers like Steve and Becki from Ohio.
I caught up with Sanibel local Karen on the way back to the boat. Oh my goodness- She found 2 ALPHABET CONES!
As we got back on the boat to cruise back to Salty Sams Marina, it was the perfect time to peak at what other goodies this boat load of awesome folks like Anthony, Sonya (VA) and Sue (Alaska) found.
Shellzam! Sonya found 3 ALPHABET CONES! Oh… And look at all three of those FIGHTING CONCHS on the left. All three of them have bright purple lips. I think its always special to find just one with a purple aperture but to find 3 in one day is very cool.
Janet from Pennsylvania had great success too! She was doing most of her beach combing on the shore and her husband Paul said he pretty much hung out in the water the whole time. That’s about how Clark and I shell too!
Janet was a happy girl to find a KINGS CROWN, double SUNRAY VENUS and OLIVES without the tips to make bracelets. The FIGHTING CONCHS she found had jet black openings- so pretty too.
Birthday girl Shelly (love her name!) and her husband Mitch (AKA her boyfriend for 32 years) found some amazing treasures.
Happy birthday to you Shelly! 2 ALPHABET CONES along with so many other great finds- wow!
Happy birthday to Linda from St Louis too! The birthday girls both found ALPHIES! Congratshellations!
As I was hanging out with another Linda, her daughter Katie and granddaughter Emma (Missouri) looking at shells… Linda told me when she saw Linda from St Louis, she realized they went to nursing school together. Small world!
These were Emma’s fave treasures. Sweet!
Loved these to from Andrea and her family too…
Every minute of the 4 hour trip was such a pleasure to meet other like minded people and find hidden gems.
To experience the beauty of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve and to see lots of DOLPHINS, bird and other wildlife on our way to and from the island on the boat is priceless.
I normally don’t collect anything while on the iLoveShelling cruises because I now enjoy the experience of sharing information and teaching others what to look for. I like that better than collecting more MUREXES, WHELKS or other shells that we have plenty of. But…. that being said… I found a treasure too yesterday! In the highest dry wrack line, I found a lovely pink ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER. Ooooooo- such a treat!
Join us one of our next shelling adventures or Shellabaloo! CLICK HERE for dates and events.
On our way back to Sanibel from a day in Naples, we couldn’t resist stopping to see sunset at Little Hickory Beach in Bonita Beach.
Oooooh I’m so glad we did! Not only did we see a gorgeous sunset, but we spotted a shell or two.
The further I walked the more I saw!
That’s when I met locals Michael (North Ft Myers) and Cheri (Lehigh) who were collecting some of these gorgeous shells.
Then Michael plucked this awesome ALPHABET CONE out of his shell bag!
Wait! The sun was going down too quickly! We wanted to shell some more after seeing that CONE! Hmmmmm… but low tide would be in the morning. Ha! Yes, you guessed it. Clark and I went back at low tide and found a treasure trove of shells. Weeeee! But I’m so sorry! I’ll have to show you those tomorrow since there is so much to do to get ready for Thanksgiving holiday. FYI- If you are in the area and not having much luck finding shells, it’s only a 40 minute drive from Sanibel (if you don’t get caught up in the traffic on Ft Myers Beach). There’s a gazillion FIGHTING CONCHS! For more info on Little Hickory, check out my other posts HERE.