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

Golden Day On Cayo Costa

Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in Blue Heron, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Florida Wildlife, Golden Olive, Melampus, Olive, White Melampus | 7 comments

Golden Olive live mollusk Oliva sayana

We had a golden opportunity to watch a healthy, live GOLDEN OLIVE that Sara found in the water on our iLoveShelling adventure boating to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises on Friday. It’s always so thrilling to see a GOLDEN OLIVE (which is the not-so-common yellow color form of the LETTERED OLIVE) much less, be able to the live creature come out to say hi. Of course Sara placed it back in the water where she found it after I quickly snapped a few photos. So cool- good eye Sara!

Sara indiana with golden olive

The Shellucky Bucket of shells really works! On each of my shelling trips, I have a bucket of shells that pass around so everybody can pick a lucky shell to put in their pocket to give them a little bit more luck on our day together. Most shellers are already lucky but I feel like Clark and I are lucky enough so we want to share our luck by putting our shells we collect in the Shellucky Bucket so shellers like Barbara (CA), Judy and Bill (Fort Myers) to tune into even more Rambo shellapathic senses. haha

barbara cali, judy, bill ft myers shells

Every single time I step on the beach at Cayo Costa, there’s a special feeling I get. I think it’s called… peaceful and easy.

Boating to islands for shells

And it’s exciting! Sharon, Gina, Sue and Barb from Kansas City, MO all found SAND DOLLARS.

Sharon, Gina, Sue, Barb Kansas City with sand dollars on Cayo Costa Florida

So did local sheller Dale from Ft Myers.
Dale Ft Myers with sand dollars on Cayo costa

Dave and Becky (Kansas) found SAND DOLLARS too along with some other nice finds too.

Dave Becky Kansas Sand Dollars from Cayo Costa

Kelli (MN) was searching in the high tide wrack line for the mini shells.

Kelli MN at cayo costa

She found a few shells that I haven’t found in a while… a MORTON’S EGG COCKLE (golden!) and a SPECKLED TELLIN. She was also happy to find her first BABYS EAR.

speckled tellin, babys ear, mortons egg cockle

Shells on the beach Cayo Costa Florida

Susie and Chris from Oregon found sweet little COMB BITTERSWEETS in this same shell line pictured above.

Susie Chris Oregon comb bittersweets

I love how each of the COMB BITTERSWEETS have their own unique patterns and golden colors on them.

comb bittersweets

This was a special girls trip for Irma and Joyce who were visiting SW Florida from Canada. Joyce knew every single shell name so it was so much fun to see what they were finding.

Irma, Joyce Canada visit sanibel for shells

Bivalves! Be still my heart. They were thrilled to have found quite a few Purplish Tagelus and to realize how many different colors of JINGLES and COQUINAS are found on Cayo Costa.

bivalve mollusk purplish tagalus jingles coquina

Jackie and Ritchie visiting from Flagler Beach found a few faves… COCKLES and CONCHS.

jackie ritchie flagler beach shells on cayo costa

It’s always so much fun to hang out with so many fabshellous beach combers together in one place to really see how we all find so much joy on the beach. 

collection of seashells and beach bling

I looooove to see all of the different treasures and identify the ones that are firsts time finds for folks. The largest white shell is a BABYS EAR, the brown shell to the left of it is a COFFEE MELAMPUS and the small white shell is a WHITE MELAPUS.
babys ear coffee white melampus


Teresa from North Carolina found all sorts of gifts from the sea and is also showing off her other gifts too- a new bumper sticker and $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress .

Teresa NC with shells and gifts from the sea

On every iLoveShelling shelling trips, each passenger receives that $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers on Sanibel (and the iLoveShelling bumper sticker- heehee). Oh happy days!

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

It was so much fun to see friends Cliff and Tina on our trip too with their family Scott and Tracy. It was such a beautiful day and seeing y’all made it that much better!

Cliff Tina Scott Tracy

You can join us on one of our iLoveShelling adventures too! For dates and info CLICK HERE


Blue Heron on Cayo Costa


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Shellebrating Earth Day

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Island Inn, Lettered Olive, Olive, Sanibel Hotels, Sanibel Seashells Surf Video, Video | 19 comments

Beach combing on shell filled Sanibel shore line

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to breathe the salty air with a walk along the shell filled beach at the Island Inn this morning.

Seashell beach on Sanibel Island

I didn’t collect many shells today because I just wanted to hear the ocean sounds, smell the beach, feel the sea breeze and to see the amazing view. Sanibel beach with lots of shells

… And give a little thanks to Mother Earth for this paradise I call home on Earth Day.

shells on the beach with cloudy skies

I asked Lynn from Charleston, SC if she had found any treasures and she replied with “Every single shell on this beach is a treasure”.

Lynn visit Sanibel from SC to find shells

I feel the same Lynn!

purple scallops and cone shell in netted bag

John from Rhode Island plopped right now in the water and waves where he was finding all sorts of treasures. He found an amazing live purple FIGHTING CONCH that he gently put back in the water to live a healthy life after we all admired it.

John visits Sanibel from RI finds conch shell

After this little SEA STAR said “Hello” then waved “Good Bye”, the surf washed in and took her right back out to sea. Hmmm… Or maybe she was saying “Raise your hand if you Love Shelling!”

Raise you hand if you Love Shelling along with Sunny Sea Star

This OLIVE shell was playing “Hide ‘N Seek” with me.

Olive among sea shells and waves

A beautiful treasure may be right in front of you but if you don’t appreciate it when you can, it may disappear in a moment. Always keep your eye on the ball… well, in this case… the SHELL. ;)

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Shelling at Crystal Clear Cayo Costa

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, live lettered olive, Olive, Snowy Egret, Southern Quahog, Southern Quahog Juvenile, Starfish, Two-Spined Sea Sea Star | 8 comments

Two-Spined sea star starfish Sanibel Island Florida

The waters surrounding Cayo Costa yesterday on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises were so calm and crystal clear, we could see all sorts of amazing live creatures like this TWO-SPINED SEA STAR…

clear turquoise water in southwest florida


live lettered olive

As well as huge live HORSE CONCHS with several colonies of different hitch hikers making their home.

live horse conch with hitch hikers

It was shellsational!

shelling the water on Cayo Costa

Sylvia from PA was thrilled to find quite a few empty FALSE ANGEL WINGS.

Sylvia PA with angel wings on Cayo Florida

It was an ANGEL WING kind of day! They may not look like much here in this next photo, but trust me… they are very special finds when they have just come out of the water still little dingy and packed with mud with both halves still together. These were only just a few of all the ones we found. It was so cool!

empty double false angel wings

Sally, Kathy, Lynda and Mary from MI were some of the lucky ones to have gotten handfuls of them.

Shellers Sally Kathy Lynda and Mary MI on Rambo trip

Lynda also found some other favorites too.

shells on a blue towel

Carrie and Valerie (KY) couldn’t help but stay in the water to hunt for treasures.

Carrie and Valerie (KY) find shells in clear Cayo Costa water

They were both finding ANGEL WINGS plus some other awesome shells.

seashells found in sw florida on shelling trip

Rock hounds from Michigan- Nicole, Joe and Steve were happy to hunt for gems in the warm clear water. It was so much fun hearing about their PETOSKY STONE treasure hunts compared to hunting for shells. Thanks for the lesson!

Nicole, Joe and Steve MI find seashells in sw florida

They found a variety of goodies but I especially loved Nicole’s JUVENILE SOUTHERN QUAHOG with the zig zag pattern (bottom left). When the Southern Quahogs get older, they lose that great pattern so its always fun to see it at this stage.

juvenile southern quahog among other shells found on shelling trip

Kathy from NC was a-dorable all dressed in her aqua and shelling sister tee. So much fun to meet you!

Kathy NC with i Love Shelling tee shirt

And talk about a-dorable… real true shelling sisters Cindy (Ohio), Teresa MD and Margie (Ohio) are only 3 of 7 sisters… with 7 brothers. They are the sweetest happiest gals and it was a pleasure to meet y’all!

Cindy, Teresa MD and Margie Shelling Sisters from Ohio

Local sheller Deena found a bucket full of double SUNRAY VENUS shells. Thank you for coming with us Deena- just know Im thinking about you this week.

deena ft myers with sun ray venus shells

Vanessa, Ana, Marta and Alice came to SW Florida all the way from California to find shells… and they were ready! Ana, it was so much fun to compare notes with you on some of the shells and beach adventures.

Vanessa, Ana, Marta and Alice CA find shells

Shelley, Kianna and David (MI) were very lucky that the water was so calm and clear to have spotted a huge perfect ANGEL WING and to get it back to the CAPTIVA CRUISES dock safe and sound.

Shelly, Kianna and David MI find angel wing shell Captiva

It’s always fun to meet families that shell together like Eddie, Bill, Donna, Isabella, Steve and Michele from Delaware. They all have great shelling eyes that they must have gotten from Donna.

Eddie, Bill, Isabella, Donna, Steve and Michele Delaware seashells

They had asked me where they could find WENTLETRAPS on Cayo Costa and I told them they were there but we don’t find the very often on that island. Low and behold Donna found a WENTLETRAP and her granddaughter Isabella found one too. Isabella inherited her gramdmoms shelling eye! Congratshellations!

wentletraps found on cayo costa

Join me for a Shelling Adventure CLICK HERE !

snowy egret on cayo costa

pam rambo shelling trips

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Happy and Healthy Along the Coast of Sanibel

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Golden Olive, Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Lettered Olive, Olive | 16 comments

Sea shell treasures

It still amazes me how many variations of beautiful shells can be found on Sanibel during a morning walk on the beach during low tide.

Low tide morning Sanibel

Laura drove to Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park beach from her home in Fort Myers Beach to collect a few shells this weekend. She may not have filled up her shell bag but the treasures she found were well worth the trip… especially the fabulous FLAT SCALLOP, MUREXES and gorgeous LETTERED OLIVES she showed me (in the first photo).

Laura finding shells on the beach

Her husband Shannon found lots of those same shells in the high tide wrack line.

Shannon finding shells on Sanibel

And he found oodles of CONCHS, DRILLS and TURKEY WINGS too to fill up his bag.

Shannon's shells

Our weather this weekend has been absolutely perfect with high 60s in the mornings and low 80s in the day. Love it!

Low tide Sanibel beach

Stacy (Pompano, FL) was having lots of luck shelling the tidal pools where she was happy finding all sorts of shell loot.

Stacy with olive shells

She found those glossy colorful OLIVES as well but she loves the minis too so my fave shell of hers was the tiniest and cutest little TOP SHELL (furthest to the left in her hand- cutie!).

Stacy's shells

I saw Barbara from NJ again but this time she showed me one heck of a beautiful shell she found… a GOLDEN OLIVE!

Barbara NJ golden olive

It was a dark mustard color – almost orange – and sooo beautiful but…. it was still alive.  Most of the shells at the shore line were alive but I found most of the empty shells in the high wrack line or in the higher tidal pools. Barbara showed her GOLDEN OIVE to us long enough for me to get a photo, then she returned it to the sea. Breed, GOLDEN OLIVE, breed! LOL

Golden Olive on Sanibel

It’s always nice to go on vacation like we did last week but living on Sanibel is sooooo nice to come home to. We are happiest living by the water’s edge on Sanibel just like most of the shells we saw at low tide this weekend… happy, healthy and very much alive.

Conch shell on Sanibel

Join me for a Shelling Adventure! Next one is tomorrow Oct 27, 2014 at 9am with Captiva Cruises. For more info CLICK HERE.

shelling adventures trips by pam


Oh and PS- I have something very special coming up this week… We are shellebrating iLoveShelling 5 years Shellaversary so Stay tuned!

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Successful Beach Combing Trip to Big Hickory Island

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Angel Wing, Big Hickory Island, Bonita Beach, Bonita Out Islands, Colorful Moon shell, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Dolphin, Fort Myers Beach, Lace Murex, Moon Snail, Murex, Olive, Sand Dollar, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 22 comments

Fort Myers shelling excursion to remote beach

This is what a path to beach combing paradise looks like.

Sea shell collection from day at Big Hickory with Pam Rambo

After arriving to the secluded island of Big Hickory on our iLoveShelling cruise with Sight Sea-R Cruises yesterday, we were welcomed by a shell filled beach and calm Gulf Of Mexico waters.

seashell collecting with i Love Shelling

WORM SHELLS and beautiful pieces of CORAL were every where…

worm shells and coral collected with Pam Rambo

In less than 5 minutes, Andrea found an incredishell LACE MUREX. She is such a lucky sheller! I met her in March on Sanibel after she found masses of great shells but the one I remembered the most was a CABRITS MUREX so it was so good to see her again. (CLICK HERE to see that post)

Andrea finds beautiful lace murex on i Love Shelling cruise

The first shell Gita found was a beautiful ROSE PETAL TELLIN.

Gita (GA) found rose petal tellin in Florida

It was so much fun to pick through the many shell piles to find so many treasures.

collecting shells at Big Hickory Island Florida

David and Willow were enjoying every minute especially the second Willow found her ANGEL WING. It’s the one shell she wanted to find on her whole trip from Colorado.

David and Willow Colorado find shells on Big Hickory Florida

One more thing checked off her “bucket” list…
white bucket shells on the beach

Don, Chuck and Marti from Libertyville, IL found such a wide range of gorgeous shells and beach bling.

Don, Chuck, Marti from Libertyville find shells in Florida

Oooohhh- Look at that huge TULIP along wit a PAPER FIG, FLORIDA CONE, ROSE PETAL TELLIN, SAND DOLLAR and TOP SHELL Marti found. And not to mention the fragment of JUNONIA – she got some spots! Shells picked up on Little Hickory beach with Pam Rambo

It was so much fun to hang out with Sue and Andrea from CT since they were thrilled to check off a few things on their bucket list like a CRUCIFIX SHELL for Sue and ANGEL WING for Andrea. They are birders as well as shellers so they checked off a few birds like the ROSEATE SPOONBILL and ROYAL TERN on their birding list on the boat ride over.

Sue and Andrea from CT finds shells on i Love Shelling cruise

angel wings shells and crucifix

shells in a beach net

It was a great day meeting shellers like Steve and Becki from Ohio.

Steve Becki (Ohio) find sea shells on i Love Shelling tour

found shells on sw florida beach

I caught up with Sanibel local Karen on the way back to the boat. Oh my goodness- She found 2 ALPHABET CONES!

Sanibel local Karen finds 2 alphabet cones on i Love Shelling cruise

As we got back on the boat to cruise back to Salty Sams Marina, it was the perfect time to peak at what other goodies this boat load of awesome folks like Anthony, Sonya (VA) and Sue  (Alaska) found.

Anthony Sonya (VA) Sue  (Alaska) on Big Hickory shelling cruise

Shellzam! Sonya found 3 ALPHABET CONES! Oh… And look at all three of those FIGHTING CONCHS on the left. All three of them have bright purple lips. I think its always special to find just one with a purple aperture but to find 3 in one day is very cool.

shelling excursion shells found

Janet from Pennsylvania had great success too! She was doing most of her beach combing on the shore and her husband Paul said he pretty much hung out in the water the whole time. That’s about how Clark and I shell too!

Janet Paul Pennsylvania visit Fort Myers on cruise

Janet was a happy girl to find a KINGS CROWN, double SUNRAY VENUS and OLIVES without the tips to make bracelets. The FIGHTING CONCHS she found had jet black openings- so pretty too.

beautiful shells found with Pam Rambo

Birthday girl Shelly (love her name!) and her husband Mitch (AKA her boyfriend for 32 years) found some amazing treasures.

Shelly and Mitch find shells on i Love Shelling cruise

Happy birthday to you Shelly! 2 ALPHABET CONES along with so many other great finds- wow!

shells collected on shelling cruise with Pam Rambo

Happy birthday to Linda from St Louis too! The birthday girls both found ALPHIES! Congratshellations!

Linda from St Louis finds alphabet cone shell Big Hickory Island

As I was hanging out with another Linda, her daughter Katie and granddaughter Emma (Missouri) looking at shells… Linda told me when she saw Linda from St Louis, she realized they went to nursing school together. Small world!

Linda Emma and Katie from MO visit Fort Myers shell cruise

These were Emma’s fave treasures. Sweet!

Emma's shells

Loved these to from Andrea and her family too…

shells in a horseshoe crab

Every minute of the 4 hour trip was such a pleasure to meet other like minded people and find hidden gems.

Florida cone in shell pile

Lettered Olive in a pile of clam shells

To experience the beauty of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve and to see lots of DOLPHINS, bird and other wildlife on our way to and from the island on the boat is priceless.

shelling and dolphin cruise with Pam Rambo

I normally don’t collect anything while on the iLoveShelling cruises because I now enjoy the experience of sharing information and teaching others what to look for. I like that better than collecting more MUREXES, WHELKS or other shells that we have plenty of. But…. that being said… I found a treasure too yesterday! In the highest dry wrack line, I found a lovely pink ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER. Ooooooo- such a treat!

roseate spoonbill feather in beach wrack

Join us one of our next shelling adventures or Shellabaloo! CLICK HERE for dates and events.

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Shelling Trip Worth The Wait

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Alternate Tellin, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Coquina Limestone, Lettered Olive, Olive, Speckled Tellin, White Crested Tellin | 18 comments

Pam Rambo with shelling group at Captiva Cruises

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!

Lady Chadwick at McCarthy's Marina

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.

Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce Athens TN shelling in SW Florida

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!

Carol won seashell necklace from Sanibel's Sealife By Congress jewelry store

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!

Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren, Cameron get $25 for Sealife By Congress

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.

boating to seashell paradise in Florida

Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…

Sea shells found on Cayo Costa Island Florida_1

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.

Coquina Limestone from Cayo Costa Florida

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!

Landon with alphabet cone with iLoveShelling shelling adventure cruise

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!

Landon giving seashells on shelling cruise_4


speckled, white crested alternate tellins moons_1

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!

Michele and Debora finding shells_1

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!

making jewlery from found shells_1making jewlery from found shells_1

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.Finding seashells on iLoveShelling shelling trip _1

Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.

collecting sea shells on a Florida island

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

Captiva Cruises shelling boat Santiva

For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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