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

On The Water Feeling The Sense Of Exhilaration And Adventure

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Dolphin | 11 comments

sand dollars

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.

dolphin cruise captiva shelling-1

Our iLoveShelling Adventure on Tuesday from Captiva  was 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

Sealife By 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.

Paul McCarthy Captiva Cruises


To read more about Paul McCarthy and Captiva Cruises, this is from the our local paper The News-Press

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Beautiful Day With Beautiful Shellers

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Dolphin, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Lightning Whelk, Pear Whelk, Rough scallop, Scallop, Whelk | 7 comments

seashells on cayo costa island-1

Isn’t it crazy how beautiful these shells are? This is about the biggest empty PEAR WHELK I’ve ever seen!

large huge pear whelk-1

The colors of this LIGHTNING WHELK are stunning.

male lightning whelk-1

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!super shellers on cayo costa-1

There were other cool shells found like this FLAT ZIG ZAG SCALLOP.

flat scallop beach combing-1

And BABYS EARS! She got to check that one off her list.

shelling cruise prize finds-1

We also shellebrated birthdays. Happy Beach Birthday!

beach combers cayo costa-1

Every day is a shellebration to be on the beach.

shelling family cay costa-1

With beautiful seashells and beautiful shellers.

family shellers captiva -1

sifting for shells cayo costa-1

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.

Sherri Bode with seashells-1

seashells of south west florida-1

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!

cutie katie cayo costa-1

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.

coquina semele tagulas beach combing-1

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.

katie and pam rambo

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.

katie and clark rambo

It was truly a magical day. We even had DOLPHINS swimming up to our boat. Seriously …. can’t you see they are smiling?  

dolphin smiling captiva florida-1

Sealife By Congress Jewelers


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Week Long Sunshine State of Mind

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in 4th Of July, Beach Holiday, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Seashell Beach Video, Video | 6 comments

orange seashell candy corn-1

There’s nothing better to me than a happy face and Mary always makes me smile. Especially when we’re out on the water.

conch seashell cayo costa-1

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!

mary bondurant florida boat party cruise-1

What better way to celebrate Fred’s birthday… Happy Birthday Fred! So good to see John could come celebrate with you too.

fred john cayo birthday party-1

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!)

Shell love bug july 4 parde 2016

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.

Linda we love i Love Shelling 4th parade-1

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!

wish upon the shell love bug newspaper-1

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.

Yolo flyboard captiva florida-1

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.

Colin with Tulip Yolo flyboard Captiva-1

Thanks y’all for your great smiles and positive energy.


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Sunny Shelling on Cayo Costa

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa | 4 comments

Sanibel stoop on Cayo Costa

Ahhhh. A warm, sunny day on a beach with miles of turquoise water AND a few seashells.  Heaven on earth!

seashells Cayo Costa

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!

Susan found her first olive MI

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!

shellers on cayo costa Ardys WI GEne Susan MI

Tamela from Georgia found her FIGHTING CONCH conch.

Tamela GA first fighting conch

I got to meet some awesome families visiting Cayo Costa for the first time like Ashley, Reese, Sonny and Chandler from Oklahoma.

family seashell Ashley Reese Sonny Chandler OK

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.

family shelling vacation Reese Tamra Sue Reilly new hampshire


These were Reilly’s favorite shells she found. That’s an itty bitty teenie weenie little bright orange SCALLOP SHELL. Adorbs!

finding mini shells

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.

Sue Pymouth England shell collecting

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.

Ellen Tom CO (gave me vintage books)-1

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

gaudy natica shell and sunray


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.

Shellers Susan Bill Charlotte NC

Same thing for talking to Julie and Patrick (Chicago) in between scooping for shells along the surf’s edge.

Shellers Julie Patrick Chicago

So I found out that Jay and Jo (Indiana) are just about as obsessed with shelling as much as Clark and I are. Fun!

Jay Jo Indiana shellers

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.

see manatees cayo costa

They hung around the boat for a few minutes putting on a show for us. Cool!

manatee sighting cayo costa

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
Kris Linda Diane Dave shelling trip MA

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.

Seashells found Cayo CostaGwen GA

She even found a huge chunk of JUNONIA.

Junonia shell piece

Of course everybody had big smiles as well after receiving $25 gift certificates to Sealife By Congress

Sealife By Congress Jewelers


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They Should Call This Place Treasure Island

Posted by on Mar 12, 2016 in Beach Art, Beachy Shell Stuff, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fish of Florida, Puffer Fish, Shell Art | 23 comments

seashell guide Sanibel Florida

When I get to spend a gorgeous morning on the water with a bunch of happy, silly and extremely fun shellers… I am over the moon shell! This little shell scrabble tile art started the day off with so many warm and fuzzies… Thank you Janet for making this for me!!!

iLoveShelling tile logo

We even had a birthday party for Lynnda. Briggs, Lynnda, Craig, Laney, Ken and Katie came all the way from  Nebraska to spend their time together doing what they love. Such a fun family shellebration!

shelling family on the beach-1

We had another birthday shellebration too! Super Sheller Sawyer and his mom Melissa from Minnesota found all sorts of cool shells and beach bling.

beach bling treasures found SW Florida-1

Sawyer found this awesome dried STRIPED PUFFER FISH (aka PORCUPINE FISH or BURRFISH). After I identified it for him he said “They should call this place Treasure Island… it’s full of cool treasure”. Be still my heart.

puffer fish porcupine

Arriving on our Captiva Cruise to the secluded island of Cayo Costa on our iLoveShelling Adventure is always such a treat to begin with.

collecting shells on cayo costa-1

It was a great day to hang out with Diane and Valerie from Ohio

beach combers with shells-1

Seeing all the different variety of shells and bling they found.

seashells collected in sw florida cayo-1

This gorgeous day was a fun getaway for Connie (Ohio) and Al (Iowa)

shellers on cayo costa flordia-1

To find a few of their favorites like dried STARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ANGEL WINGS, LETTERED OLIVES, a SPECKLED TELLIN and lots of colorful JINGLES.

starfish and seashells-1

Alyssa from Pittsburg was happy to find her favorite too…. candy! haha A teeny little orange juvie HORSE CONCH.

beach sheller -1

Such pretty day for Rabon to find a several large SUNRAY VENUS doubles- love that smile.

Florida shelling boat cruise-1
Gail from Kentucky is definitely living right…. Chillaxing. Or shall we say Shellaxing? ;) es

chillaxing shellaxing-1

types of shells at Cayo Costa-1

It was a special day. We didn’t find the hundreds of SAND DOLLARS that we did last time but I feel very fortunate to have been able to hang out with such a fun group of shellers- Thanks y’all!

plaid coquina-1

Sealife By Congress Jewelers


I still have more Shell Festival photos to show you and catching up on showing Sanibel beaches- stay tuned for more Shell ‘n Tell! fun shells found on beach-1


Shelling is for the birds… Said no one ever. 🐚🐦

A photo posted by iLoveShelling (@iloveshelling) on

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Beach Bucks To Big Whelks – Our Shelling Adventure

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fish Swim Bladder, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sea Life, Whelk | 12 comments

Sand dollars in the sand and shells

A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…

cayo costa florida boardwalk

We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.

Cayo Costa beach

Lots of shells lined the shore.

beach filled with shells

It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.

find sand dollars in Florida

Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!

beach combing finds
Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.

happy shelling family on Cayo Costa

I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”…  Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.

finding sand dollars

Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!

finding big shells on the beach

Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.

finding whelks on the beach

Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha

Find big shells on Florida beach

The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…

Mother daughter shell vacation

Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.

beach finds on Cayo Costa beach

Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.

finding angel wings
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?

finding beach treasures on Cayo costa

Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.

find sand dollars on shell trip

Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …

find arrowhead sand dollar

and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.

arrowhead sand dollar and angel wings

Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…

find cool shells on beach combing trip

Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.

beach finds from shell trip

Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!

whelk and moon shell art

Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.

find beach bling

Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER . After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)

fish swim bladder beach bling find identification

And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…

happy couple finding shells

The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.

finding shells and sand dollars

On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!


And one more for you…  here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.

Cyber shelling sand dollars

Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HEREPam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!

MMGY Global with Pam Rambo


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