In my first 2 posts about our weekend trip to Honeymoon Island State Park, I showed you some cool treasures we found like TURBANS, MERMAID MONEY, AGATIZED CORAL GEODES, rock art and a variety of shells… but wait! I still have a few more things I want to show you. Like the biggest KING’S CROWN we’ve ever seen! Clark found this live mollusk on the bay side of the northern tip of the island.
Of course we put him back where Clark found him after peaking at this awesome creature…
We saw a MANATEE! It’s always a bonus to see them so close to the shore and this guy wasn’t shy at all so came up to say “hi”…
On our walk back we found 2 SAND DOLLARS along with some of the other shells…and remember, it’s a 5 mile round trip- whew! I even wish we had taken more than the 100 fluid oz. we packed for the “hike”.
On Sunday, we decided to take the scenic drive back through Clearwater Beach down to Pass-A-Grille since we heard the shelling was good against the jetty rocks. Nuttin, Honey. All I found was my butt busting on a rock after I slipped on an unsteady chunk of the jetty. Ouch!
Pass-A-Grille jetty rocks
I met a nice couple a few years ago in my shop Kirby Rambo Collections (Clark sold it for me in 2004… 4 weeks before Hurricane Charley. Talk about timing!) who showed me a bag of WORM SHELLS they collected on Fort De Soto beach. I’ve been wanting to check it out ever since so we stopped there too while passing through St Pete. We didn’t find much there either but that’s okay. It was fun to just walk the beach and see the lay of the land. Just like I tell people that visit our beaches….. the shelling changes every day on each beach. There could have been hundreds of WORM SHELLS there the day after or before we walked it. It’s the hunt that makes it fun!
Fort De Soto beach
When I was sorting through our shells when we got home, I found a few bivalves that we had collected on Honeymoon Island that were a little unusual. It might not be so pretty but this ATLANTIC FAT TELLIN which should be called the bent tellin because it has an obvious bend in the middle of it.
I think you can see the bend a little better at this angle…
Shelling Sistah Moira showed me a facebook photo last week of this same LUCINE shell in the next photo. The closest thing I found at Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is the THICK LUCINE….. but it looks more like a worn PENNSYLVANIA LUCINE to me. I found the same shell on Honeymoon too….
Here’s the inside… some people wouldn’t think this is too pretty but for identification purposes, I have found that the interior of the shell is just as important to identify it correctly as the exterior.
I also found a very worn WHITE CRESTED TELLIN. It’s the first one I’ve ever found.
So now that I’ve shown you all of our treasures from our weekend getaway, I thought I’d throw in a few places we enjoyed other than the beaches. Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures but we both loved the little town of Dunedin (pronounced dun-E-din). It’s one of those quant little village-y areas with funky art studios, sweet gift shops and really good restaurants and bars- most with live entertainment so you can just wander around before and after dinner to enjoy the town. Our fave restaurant was a place called Kelly’s Chicaboom- awesome! We also loved this tiny restaurant/fish market called Olde Bay Cafe at the marina.
We had a wonderful time exploring another gulf coast town of Florida that offers some beautiful and different gifts of the sea but it was time to head back over the Sunshine Skyway…
…to get home to our little island paradise of Sanibel. Home Sweet Home!
The beach on Honeymoon Island State Park is filled with rocks all along the gulf side until you reach mid island so it was fun for us to see such a different landscape meeting the water. I was especially thrilled to see creativity at it’s best! Anthony from Oldsmar, Florida designed this beautiful piece of beach art that I have named (because of the first photo) “Rock The Horizon”.
We also found more cool rocks….. fossil AGATIZED CORAL GEODES which are Florida’s state stone (who knew we had a state stone?).
These stones are around 25 million years old and the Tampa Bay, Florida area is rich with them.
Similar to finding shellers on Sanibel, I found a rocker on Honeymoon. Rebecca from Clearwater comes out to the island on the weekends looking for GEODES.
Look at this one she found. I’m starting to understand why these are so fun to collect….
This is the tip of a rock that I found embedded with lots of tiny crystals. Romans thought AGATIZED CORAL to have great healing powers.
Look at all of these gorgeous patterns and colors.
Along with the TURBANS and SHIVA SHELLS I showed you on Road Trip To Honeymoon Island- Part 1, we also found a nice variety of shells along with the rocks. Can you identify most of these shells? (click on the photo to enlarge)
And you know I loved finding my minis…
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of “Road Trip To Honeymoon Island- Part 3” coming to your computer screen soon. 😉 heehee
Oh and BTW, I got a photo from our friends Dick and Mary who were shelling off West Gulf Drive beach access #7 yesterday. This is great news for good shelling this week.
Summer Road Trip! Clark and I wanted to take a quick weekend getaway to celebrate our 15th year wedding anniversary (!) so we hopped in the car on Friday night and headed north on I-75 with no reservations and no time restraints. We first heard about Honeymoon Island at the Sanibel Shell Fair and Showa few years ago so we set our radar for somewhere in that vicinity. After a 2 1/2 hour drive, we ended up at the Best Western Yacht Harbor Inn in Dunedin, Florida just in time for sunset.
After a big breakfast Saturday morning and a 10 minute drive, we were ready to seek and explore Anniversary Island…. whoops…. I mean, Honeymoon Island.
Unfortunately, there’s only parking on the south side of the island but we wanted to get to the north tip…. so we started our beach combing journey 2.5 miles to the north tip and right away found CHESTNUT TURBANS in between the rocks.
And more Turbans…..
This is only a pittance of what we found and we could have brought home a gazillion…
Since we were seeing oodles and oodles of these TURBANS, I started looking for their operculums called SHIVA SHELLS or CAT’S EYES or even called MERMAID MONEY. Capt. Brian told me about them last month so I figured since all the signs were there, we’d find them…. and we did! This is what they look like…
Once we got the eye (no pun intended- ha!) for them, they were everywhere. Can you find them in this next picture? Click on the photo if you want to enlarge it for virtual SHIVA SHELLING…
They look like albino split peas to me and just about the same size averaging about 3/8 of an inch.
Here’s a photo with a TURBAN so you can see the size a bit better…
Pretty cool, huh? I have so much more to show you so this is just Part One of our weekend trip because I can’t wait another second to tell you who won the Susick Sea Shell Sifter ! …….Drum roll Please!
The random winner of the Susick Sea Shell Sifter GiveAway is Kelli G.! Congratulations Kelli G and thanks to all of yall for your comments to enter!
Coming Soon- Road Trip To Honeymoon Island Florida – Part 2
Kelly's 15 inch horse conch ..... Photo by Linda
Conch-A-Bunga!!! That’s a humongous HORSE CONCH!
I just got this note from Kelly…..
“Hi Pam, I found this 15 inch FL horse conch recently at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin and 2 minutes later while jumping for joy my friend Linda found a 10 inch one. It was high times at low tide for sure. Kelly”
Linda's 10 inch horse conch ..... Photo by Kelly
OMG- What a day!!! I’m sure they are still celebrating. Congratulations on TWO awesome finds and thank you for sharing. HONEYMOON ISLAND STATE PARK
And that’s not all, folks! My friend Sherrill found a CABRIT’S MUREX at Blind Pass yesterday. Wowee!
Cabrit's Murex photo by Sherrill
This is a pretty rare shell to find on our islands (it’s still not on the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum website) especially since it still has some of those fabulous spines still intact. This is gorgeous! Don’t you think? Congratulations!
Cabrit's Murex 2 photo by Sherrill
Sherrill’s words about her new treasure-
“……couldn’t believe how fragile it is… almost like a paper fig in thickness, and it looked like it was made of spun sugar! Nature is absolutely amazing. I can’t believe it survived crashing waves and tons of people walking on that pile of shells.“