For me, the best gifts seem to come with an experience like beach combing. With an assortment of shells and bling at the end of the day, it reminds me of my entire walk on the beach hearing the ocean splash on the sand while scanning the beach for different shells.
When I see kids getting excited about finding treasures, it reminds me of my first beach finds.
I got to share the excitement of amazing gifts of the sea on a shell filled beach last week on Cayo Costa with our iLoveShelling cruise with Captiva Cruises.
The beach was loaded with LETTERED OLIVES, WHELKS and CONCHS (and SUNRAY VENUS and CALICO CLAMS) but I also found an ALBINO FLORID PRICKLY COCKLE (with a red COQUINA inside) and a ROSY WOLF SNAIL (bottom shell in my hand).
We found a huge live LIGHTNING WHELK too then quickly placed it back in the water.
My favorite part of this trip was to meet awesome people that love shelling as much as I do.
Thank you for such a nice day and for your gifts as well :).
And thank you for sharing your artful eye ;) ….
Everybody received not only shells but as on every iLoveShelling cruise, everybody received another gift…
It was a joyous day.
I hope you all are enjoying a beautiful holiday as much as we are. I’ve been a little occupied with family of course during this season…. and also celebrating a new family member. This was the best gift Clark and I could have asked for. Meet our new rescue kitten Prince Harry (he’s a “hairy” red head, very charming and a little bit of a bad boy heehee) aka Cat 5 (short for CATegory 5 HarryCain- because he’s our 5th cat together and his adopted name was Cain hahaha). Our 15 year old Dustie (DustBall) loves him already too. I have to admit…. he’s so stinkin’ cute, it’s hard to do anything else but play with him.
A video posted by iLoveShelling (@iloveshelling) on
And a WENTLETRAP!
So much fun to experience this shell hunt with folks that feel the same way about shelling as I do…
And sharing shells and experiences…
Always makes me happy to spend time with great friends…
And to catch special appearances of wildlife like this pair of BALD EAGLES as we passed North Captiva island on the way back to McCarthy’s Marina. Thanks to captains John and Elliot for getting our boat close enough to see these majestic creatures.
And thank you to all of these amazing shellers!
PS- My apologies to these awesome folks for this delayed post (before Thanksgiving)… as this was a very bitter sweet day for Clark and me. After only 3 years of age, we lost our sweet, smart, funny, entertaining, amazing little PuppyCat to kidney issues this same day. I’m grateful to each and every person on this cruise which gave me laughter and much needed heartfelt happiness helping me more than you can imagine.
Any day on the water is an amazing day full of adventure.
Being on the water with DOLPHINS playing beside our Captiva Cruises boat on the way to the secluded island of Cayo Costa… was an exhilarating day.
Our iLoveShelling Adventure on Tuesday from Captivawas extra special for me since my life long friend Lori and her daughter Mackenzey were visiting us from Richmond, Virginia. I’ve known Lori since I was knee high so it was a gift to have them both share this experience with me.
Its such a small world, Lori and Mackenzey met other shellers on the boat that are from Richmond, Virginia too… and live about 20 minutes from each other.
It was a beautiful calm clear day with lovely adventurous families.
We had a journey finding happiness and a few gifts from the sea.
Of course everybody received another gift… $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers…
The day after our cruise, we had a sad day on Captiva and all of Southwest Florida. Yesterday Paul McCarthy, owner of Captiva Cruises passed away.
The journey of life…. “That you feel the sense of exhilaration and adventure“. These are the words Paul McCarthy lived by.
I have so much to be thankful for to have known Paul. He encouraged me to do these iLoveShelling cruises so I could meet the shelling community face to face instead of only online through my blog. He knew how much I would enjoy sharing my love of shelling in person by being on the water just like our cruise on Tuesday. Of course, he was right and we all should live life to the fullest and be present. He had a special gift of bring people together to learn about the environment and share experiences. He touched so many lives by being so giving of himself to others. We are so grateful to the all of the folks at Captiva Cruises who have worked alongside Paul for so many years and will continue his legacy.
“Island life suits me”. Yes, it did Paul. We will miss you.
Isn’t it crazy how beautiful these shells are? This is about the biggest empty PEAR WHELK I’ve ever seen!
The colors of this LIGHTNING WHELK are stunning.
These beautiful shells were found by these beautiful shellers on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises. Did you see that gorgeous orange ROUGH SCALLOP (ORANGE PECTIN). Shellzam, Super Shellers!
There were other cool shells found like this FLAT ZIG ZAG SCALLOP.
And BABYS EARS! She got to check that one off her list.
We also shellebrated birthdays. Happy Beach Birthday!
Every day is a shellebration to be on the beach.
With beautiful seashells and beautiful shellers.
Talking about beautiful shellers? This gal has made me smile for years. Sherri Bode (Sherri from MN) has commented on my blog for years by giving me positive feedback and helpful ideas …. and I finally got to meet her in person for the first time on this Shelling Adventure. She’s just as sweet and adorable in person and I’m so grateful for you Sherri- you warm my heart! The internet is a crazy and powerful way to meet like-minded folks but it’s even more fun when I can put a face with a name after meeting in person.
And then this happened…. Four years ago, Clark and I met Katie and her dad on a cold January day on the beach at Blind Pass (read post HERE). She was bursting with happiness just to be on the beach shelling that day, so neither Clark nor I ever forgot her. Omigosh, she was on the cruise too!
She still emits so much happiness when she’s on the beach finding shells. This time she was finding COQUINAS and other minis so she can make shell flowers and hearts like the ones on Shell Love Bug.
When she told me who she was, my mouth dropped seeing how she’s blossomed into such a beautiful woman since I remember that day like it was yesterday. Then she showed me on her phone the 2 photos she took that day four years ago. The first photo was of her and me. Love that! Soooo darn cute.
The second photo was Katie and Clark. I was sooooo tickled to see this photo because in a conversation to a friend just 5 days ago, Clark told the story of Katie asking him to be in a photo with her. You made his day then Katie, and you made my day this week showing me this photo! I will seriously cherish this forever.
It was truly a magical day. We even had DOLPHINS swimming up to our boat. Seriously …. can’t you see they are smiling?
There’s nothing better to me than a happy face and Mary always makes me smile. Especially when we’re out on the water.
I was lucky to be on this party boat cruise to Cayo Costa to beat the heat of July 4th week. A perfect reason to pop out and splash around with picturesque parasols. So cute!
What better way to celebrate Fred’s birthday… Happy Birthday Fred! So good to see John could come celebrate with you too.
Talk about happy faces… Shell Love Bug made an appearance at the Sanibel 4th Of July parade. We were smiling every inch of Periwinkle Way and saw soooo many happy faces as we made our way from Bailey’s to Jerry’s. (Thanks for the photo Sandy!)
Omigosh! We passed the most fabshellous sign I’ve ever seen! haha I only got to meet Linda in the brief encounter as we passed by but you make me so happy every year, Miss Yaya. You have a beautiful mission and keep me smiling.
I woke up last week to see this clipping in one of our local newspapers… Congratshellations Amy S! She made a wish upon Shell Love Bug on National Seashell Day and look what happened. Thanks for the shout out!
Ok… and for something a little different, I always feel like summer is the time to try new things to beat the heat. Soooooo since You Only Live Once…. I tried the Flyboard at YOLO Captiva. I was flying! OMG This was such an amazing time.
My Flyboard instructor Colin found a teeny tiny BANDED TULIP but couldnt identify it. He asked … “Is this a JUNONIA?” haha Not this time Colin but we might make a sheller out of you yet.
Thanks y’all for your great smiles and positive energy.
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