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

Cayo Costa IHOP… Island Home Of Pancakes

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Cancellate Semele, Cayo Costa, Pancake Sand Dollar, Shark's Teeth | 29 comments

clypeaster subdepressus pancake sand dollar

Have you heard? The island of Cayo Costa has the best PANCAKES in the world! But save the butter and maple syrup because this is a PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR, baby.

pancake sand dollar bottom

It looks like a KEYHOLE SAND DOLLAR without the slits, right? Well wait until you see the side view because it really looks like a pancake with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

side view pancake san dollar

This is a really big find. Not only is it about 6 inches round but it is a very rare find here! It has one little crack on the top but other than that, it’s unbelievable.

pancake sand dollar size

I am so thrilled for Jan who found it on Cayo Costa last month. She said she was wading out at low tide to put a beautiful live horse conch back in the water and looked to her right in about knee deep water to see this beautiful find.  I think it was Mother Nature’s way of saying “Thank you”. It was a first for her and honestly, this is the first one that I have seen too so I was thrilled to see it in person. Here’s Jan and her PANCAKE…

jan pancake sand dollar

I met Jan last year at the Sanibel Shell Fair and as we were talking, Bill Geist and the CBS Sunday Morning Show crew started filming us. It’s a moment we will never forget so we became fast friends. Jan and her husband Bill are volunteers at the Cayo Costa State Park so Clark and I were invited to visit them on Sunday. They greeted us at the dock with a warm smiling welcome…

jan bill cayo costa dock

Just so you get your bearings straight, on Saturday’s iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa, we were on the south tip of the island but on Sunday we were visiting Jan and Bill on the north side of Cayo Costa. Here are the four of us… Bill, Jan, Clark and me.

welcome to Cayo Costa sign

I’ve only been to this part of the island one other time which I blogged about it HERE. So we felt so lucky to be able to ride in a golf cart because unfortunately the golf carts are private… don’t rent them on the island. It really is a secluded place so that’s what makes visiting here so wonderful.

golf cart cayo costa

The first stop was to see their shell collection from the past couple of months.  This is where she showed us the PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR but Jan also collects a few of her favorites or odds and ends. Look how big those SHARK’S EYES are.

cayo costa seashells volunteer jan

This is the prettiest CANCELLATE SEMELE !

colorful cancellate semele

Look at this rich purple color on the inside…

interior purple cancellate semele

 I love that she likes to find the unusual shells like this damaged “FREAK” SOUTHERN QUAHOG (well that’s what the large white shell with the dent in the middle looks like to me). AND she found three MACULATED BABYS EARS. The brown ones are so hard to find!!!

Maculated babys ear cayo costa

I could have ohhhed and ahhhed over all of her shells since each one she collected has a little something different about it. But we moved on because they wanted to show us her shell identification board she finished making this month. Wow! It’s beautiful. We got so tickled because she chose just about the same shells to put on her shell board that I chose for my seashell identification card. (It was St Paddy’s day so I had on my green)

pam jan identify shells

We met Resident Ranger Mary on her day off having fun. It was great to meet you Mary and thank you for everything!

Ranger Mary Cayo Costa

 On our way to the beach, we passed the small island cemetery with the plots lined with shells.

cemetery cayo costa

Then we hit the beautiful beach. This is on the north side of the island so behind Bill and Clark, you can see Boca Grande.

bill clark cayo costa

 You know we were looking hard for a PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR but no such luck. It was high tide and she said she found it near the camp ground beach. But I was happy because I found a SHARK’S TOOTH…

sharks tooth north cayo costa

We had a fantastic day exploring Cayo Costa State Park ! Thank you Jan and Bill for inviting Clark and me to hang out with you on your day off. It will be another special day to remember forever. And congratshellations again on your PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR! Way cool.

jan bill volunteers cayo costa

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