Archive for Cayo Costa
Our iLoveShelling shelling cruise to Cayo Costa had a rain delay Tuesday morning but just like shellers know how to make broken shells into beautiful pieces of art or jewelry, everybody who was there made the most of our time we had together. Captiva Cruises made our delay turn into something to talk about! We all gathered on the Lady Chadwick boat to stay safe until the storm passed (which BTW, wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon) where we could chat about my favorite subject… shelling! After a couple of hours of “shell n tell” and the weather still iffy, we all decided that most of us could come back the next day. Lets go for it!
So yesterday, our iLoveShelling cruise -round 2 – brought us sunshine and smiling faces! Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce from Athens, TN were bright and cheery just like our whole crowd.
While boating to the island, I picked a winner for the sterling silver seashell charm that Sealife By Congress gave as a gift to one lucky iLoveShelling cruiser. Carol won!
For everybody else on the entire iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress gave a $25 gift certificate so each of these shellers could have a sterling silver charm as well. Here is Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren and Cameron with their Sealife By Congress gifts. An awesome jewelry store with an awesome way to start off the day. Remember, on every scheduled iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress will give gifts as well!
Then we pulled up to Cayo Costa to find crystal clear water, a beautiful beach with a string of seashells and puffy white non-stormy clouds. Paradise found.
Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…
Lauren found the cool piece “rock” made of shell fragments which I used to believe were just chunks of cement made by fishermen used to keep their crab traps from moving around in the water. Now that I’ve questioned all of those different shells that are normally in the mix, I realized that they are fossil fragments cemented in limestone called COQUINA LIMESTONE. And yes, the “largest” shell on the right side is…. a COQUINA.
Landon started snorkeling as soon as he got off the boat and in just a few minutes, he showed me he found an ALPHABET CONE. Yay!
By the time we got back on the boat, he and his mom had two big bags filled with shells. They had so many FIGHTING CONCHS and LETTERED OLIVES, he decided to walk around the boat to give everybody any of the shells they had found. So sweet! In October they have another shelling trip planned which they told me was inspired by my post of our trip to Turks and Caicos. We want to hear how it goes!
On the beach, we were finding a few BABYS EARS, quite a few WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, ALTERNATE TELLINS, SHARKS EYES, CANCELLATE SEMELES, ANGEL WINGS and one SPECKLED TELLIN as well.
The larger shells seemed to be in the water so the clear aqua was very inviting to just go for it like Michele from Los Angeles did. Can you believe how clear that water is? Wow! Since her mom Debora (NY) is an artist more than a sheller, she decided to the opportunity to take in the island scenery and do some graphite drawings of her shells. So lovely!
Alex and Tara encouraged Isabelle (Gainsville, Florida) to use a stunning pice of pink pearlized WINGED OYSTER shell she found for the seashell pendant for her sterling silver charm from Sealife By Congress. Perfect idea!
It’s impossible to explain how much fun we all had after almost 9 hours of hanging out together on the cruise and because of our rain delay. It actually turned out even better because the rain gave me more time to get to know these fabulous folks… Sarah and Sandy from Arora Ontario… Grace, Melia and Teresa from St Louis… Pat from Michigan, Carol from Cape Coral, Belinda from Ohio and Kevin and Kerry from Pennsylvania.
Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.
But… Even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, Captiva Cruises has shelling cruises to Cayo Costa twice a day- one at 9am and one at 1pm. CLICK HERE for more info
For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!
Our Sanibel Shellabaloo shelling adventure this week was fabulous! As I’ve said before… shellers are the nicest folks in the world. This was proved one more time as our spectacular group gathered together on the beachfront of the Island Inn to meet each other to spend 4 days collecting seashells and sharing our lives with each other.
Suzi came from England to join us for our exshellent adventure to find beautiful shells and soak up the beautiful sunshine.
Each day we shelled the beach at Island Inn then tried the other beaches of Sanibel like Gulfside City Park and Lighthouse Beach.
Carol from Connecticut had the best luck at Gulfside City Beach finding the mini shells.
Malgorzata from New Jersey, Cindy from Michigan (right) and I hit a mini honey hole so we shellebrated by taking a selfie… errrr… or should I say “shellfie”. heehee
John joined us from Tennessee as he charmed our group with his southern style. And btw, he designed that beeeeauteeeful shell display in the first photo. Gorgeous!
He found such a variety of shells from a double JEWELBOX to OLIVES to a WHITE CRESTED TELLIN.
Talking about southern charm… we had three Texas sisters join us. Lisa, Sonnye and Suzanne have been shelling most of their lives and coming to Sanibel for almost 30 years. We loved hearing their history of shelling the island and other places in the world.
Of course we took a Captiva Cruise to Cayo Costa!
Cindy’s husband Bill took advantage of the crystal clear water to snorkel for shells.
He found a nice size LIGHTNING WHELK!
Clark went on the trip with us too and found a huge KINGS CROWN… but then realized it had a HERMIT CRAB occupying the shell so put it back in the water.
Some of us were lucky to see a MANATEE leisurely swam by to say hi.
I think the most fun we all had was sharing discoveries with each other…
I love sharing our meals together but I think my favorite was “FroYo” at Zebra Frozen Yogurt!
There is still more to come for more shell photos and you’ll get to meet the Shellabalooers a little more on my next post… so stay tuned!
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!