Archive for Cayo Costa
If Utopia is an island of clear aqua blue water with strings of seashells lining the shore, then we found Utopia on Cayo Costa Island during our iLoveShelling cruise on Captiva Cruises this week.
My day started out with such joy and fun meeting Shelling Sistahs Cheryl (Venice) and Alice (Ohio via Venice, FL). Love them!
Our morning had a slight chill in the air around 62 degrees then quickly warmed to 80 in no time at all by the time we got to the island to start our search for shells.
Cheryl found the first BABY’S EAR! It’s sort of hidden by the JINGLES on the right but she is a JINGLE SHELL lover like I am so she started picking up as many JINGLES as she could.
You might recognize Shelling Sistah Katherine Haskins since I met her last year at Lighthouse Beach and so much enjoy her comments here on the blog.
She found a gorgeous SPECKLED TELLIN and either a very big BUTTERCUP LUCINE or a very yellow CHALKY BUTTERCUP LUCINE (I should have inspected the hinge more closely o see if it was the def CHALKY but either way its a very beautiful BUTTERCUP), and lots of other sweet bivalves.
We also had the HOTS join our cruise! Yes, they are HOT chicks but they call themselves the HOTS because they say they move slow as a Heard Of Turtles. LOL Nannie, J.E., Becky and Ginny from Georgia have a great time every where they go. Thank y’all so much for joining us and making me laugh!
Karen had no problem walking as far as she could as she looked at this gorgeous calm aqua water to find a hand full of SAND DOLLARS and OLIVES.
Karen couldnt wait to sort through the loot they found when she and her husband Scott got back on the boat.
I was very impressed with the treasures Jan from Chicago was going for.
She loves the bivalves or any shells she hasn’t found before so she was thrilled to have found a WHITE CRESTED TELLIN along with CANCELLATE SEMELES, a PURPLE SEMELE, COMB BITTERSWEETS, an ALTERNATE TELLIN and a STRIATE PIDDOCK. The orange ROUGH SCALLOP wasn’t a new find for her but it was one of her fave finds, she had to have it in her hand. Love that! Y’all know how excited I get to find a new shell, so its always fun to experience someone else who gets excited about finding new shells…. even if it isn’t a JUNONIA. heeehee
As soon as she showed me her WHITE CRESTED TELLIN, I looked down to find one too. Its funny how that happens, right? If we are reminded to look for a shell and get that color and pattern in your brain, it’s a tad easier to find one. Okay brain… remember – white shell with brown spots.
Every month when we have this iLS cruise, it’s such a pleasure to meet cool shellers like Lee and Renie from Houston…
And it’s especially great to see shellers again from previous years like Louie and Dee from Illinois.
Nancy from Indiana found a baby bear SUNRAY VENUS, mamma bear SUNRAY VENUS and papa bear SUNRAY VENUS…
Linda was thrilled to find her first POINTED VENUS (on the right), FALSE ANGEL WINGS and COMB BITTERSWEETS.
It was a gorgeous day on the water with a boat full of awesome shellers! Thank you all for making this an absolutely fabulous day!
Join us on our next iLoveShelling cruise April 2! For more details CLICK HERE
A magical rainbow appeared on the beach at Cayo Costa after we stepped off our Captiva Cruises boat. I thought that was an amazing welcome but there was more…. Mother Nature rolled out a beautiful carpet of sea shells for us too!
There were so many shells to look through, I walked right past this absolutely perfect SCOTCH BONNET!
I heard a gasp about 10 yards behind me… Kirk from Oregon plucked this beautiful treasure out of the wrack line I had just combed through. Wow!
There were so many shells to scan over, it was almost overwhelming (oh, but such a good overwhelming!)…
So let me show you this awesome group of shellers on the boat. It may have been cold, but shellers don’t care- We always make the best of it!
On the Captiva Cruises boat ride over to Cayo Costa, I passed around a big bucket so everybody could pick out a “good luck” shell (a choice of FIGHTING CONCH, LIGHTNING WHELK, COCKLE or MUREX all of which Clark and I have found in the last month or so). I talked to Stone, Ian, Kirk and Deb who all picked out one shell then Ian told me he was really wanting to find a SHARKS EYE. Hmmmmm… well its hard to find one particular shell when you are beach combing, I always say you should enjoy whatever is put in front of you by Mother Nature.
Maybe that “good luck” shell worked! Ian found a gorgeous SHARKS EYE!
And not only that, he found an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK.
Nico from New York City found a perfect nice sized PAPER FIG…
Debbie and Frances came down from Sarasota for the day to join us on the cruise. Nice to meet y’all and nice finds!
We always seem to find ANGEL WINGS at Cayo Costa and it’s always fun to see the three different types that wash up. From left to right… a TRUE ANGEL WING, FALLEN ANGEL WING and a FALSE ANGEL WING.
Ron found this very cool LIGHTNING WHELK. After we took photos, he put it back in the water because there were so many living creatures in and around this shell.
This is a closeup of the opening. There’s just a a smidge of the HERMIT CRAB’S claw showing but he was alive and well inside there. But look at the rest of it! There are live SLIPPERS, BARNACLES, TUNICATES and even a GULF OYSTER DRILL living on this shell. It’s a little village!
Cheryl got lucky she found a completely dried STARFISH in the high wrack line. That was on her shell bucket list!
Jerry was not messing around with some little silly net. He brought out a gigantor net! LOL He scooped up three empty double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
They are sooooo beautiful…
Jessica (with the Island Inn Resort) brought her big camera since she wanted to find some nice photographs. She ended up putting away her camera so she could pick up more shells. Ha!
Our weather in the last week has gone from low 50s (on this boat trip) to low 80s this weekend and we expect another slight cold snap again this week. This cold weather is providing great shelling! This morning I went to Gulfside City Park where I found a few WHELKS and CONCHS then went to Blind Pass Sanibel where yet another huge shell pile has formed. This week should be exshellent shelling again!
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!
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.
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!