Archive for Sea Bean

sea biscuit urchins rams horn shells scotch bonnet

Finding perfectly dried beautiful SEA BISCUITS, URCHINS and fragile shells like RAMS HORNS on the beach is always an exciting experience during our vacations.

collecting shells and urchins in BVI Anegada

We found all of these gems last week on Anegada Island in the British Virgin Islands while combing the white sandy beaches surrounded by light turquoise waters.

Anegada harbor with aqua turquoise water

Its amazing to me that such lovely and fragile pieces of natural art can be found laying in the sand completely intact and unbroken by the sea. RAM’S HORNS (Spirula spirula- the internal shell of a SQUID- ) are so brittle I’m always afraid they will break in my suitcase when traveling home so I have to plan my packing. (And yes! That’s a HAMBURGER BEAN I found- so excited!)

rams horn squid shells with hamburger bean

That’s why choosing a few specimens to bring home gets difficult knowing we have to pack them to survive airport luggage handling and my own klutzy mishaps with carry-ons. I’ve learned through the years, we must get creative in our packaging… use everything we already have. I bought a few Tervis tumbler souvenirs with sippy lids (I told you I was a klutz) so I packed some of our SEA URCHINS in the cup then added RAMS HORNS wrapped in bath tissue to fill the top. The key is to pack a container so that nothing rattles or moves inside the container and nothing can crush it.

The Bitter End plastic cup with lid for breakable shells

Just to make it even more snug, I pushed the cup into Clark’s dive bootie as another layer of cushion. I pushed it all the way down into the foot part of the bootie- it doesn’t take much more room in your luggage that way.

safely carry fragile seashells in luggage

Not one broke!

packing breakable shells in travel luggage

We always take at least one plastic lidded container with us to our beach destination filled with snacks or something so we will have space in the luggage for treasures on our return trip. This was perfect container to safely travel with SEA BISCUITS and a shellmungus SEA URCHIN Clark found. If you don’t take a container with you, then while on vacation buy chicken or fruit salad for lunch one day and save the plastic container and lid for packing your shells. Choose tubs/cups/containers that won’t crush when you have the lid on them.

Packing urchins for travel

Since this wasn’t a small, tight space like the Tervis cups, I wrapped each URCHIN, SEA BISCUIT and bright pink PEN SHELL (Clark filled the inside of the PEN SHELL with tissue as well to keep it from crushing) and other fragiles in the container….
plastic container paper tissue for fragile shells to transport

But instead of being excessive with the tissue, I wrapped the larger URCHINS with my sun shirts to give them more padding and to fill the empty spaces so nothing would move inside when I put the lid on it. Make sure you don’t pack it too tightly so it bulges when the top is secure.  Wrap a tee shirt around the closed container and made sure that it was in the middle of my luggage with padding around the corners.

pack fragile sea shells urchins in tee shirts

I ended up putting a SPECKLED TELLIN pair and a SUNRISE TELLIN pair (Clark’s finds) in with these fragile pieces too… Oh and my SCOTCH BONNET…

Sea urchin collection in plastic tub for transporting breakables

They all made it without breaking!

beachcombing collection from Anegada BVI urchins rams horns

Since I got them home in one piece and they are still a little sandy… now to rinse and clean them. Most of these URCHINS and SEA BISCUITS were already pure white after being bleached out by the sun and sand so all we did is rinse them off while on vacation but didn’t do a great job. It’s a good thing I just wrote instructions for cleaning URCHINS from Sanibel before we left for vacation – for SEA URCHIN cleaning tutorial CLICK HERE.

I still have a few more containers with the tough solid shells and BEACH GLASS we found on our sailing trip in the BVIs so I’ll show my packing job on those for my next post. Until then…

sailboat at sunset in BVIs

PS- For more tips on packing fragile beach combing treasures for transporting home from your trip…

http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2014/08/01/packing-breakable-seashells-safely-for-traveling/

http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2013/02/02/shelling-trip-adventure-to-turks-and-caicos/

http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2012/08/01/dear-fragile-seashells-please-dont-break-on-the-way-home/

 

pam rambo shelling trips

Sep
28

High Tide Beach Combing

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seashells among shell shards

Low tide isn’t the only game in town when it comes to beach combing. For us, the best time to shell is whenever we have an hour or more of free time. This weekend that free time ended up to be early evening (my fave time of the day) at high tide.

Sea oats frame a Sanibel beach

Long walks on the beach are always lovely, but to find sweet little shell treasures along the way… that’s priceless.

mini shells surrounded by seashell shards

I loooove to sort through the high weak line among the SEA WEEDS and SEED PODS… ooooohhh… a SEA PEARL!

sea bean beach combing

And more little beach treasures near the Sanibel Lighthouse…

yellow prickly cockle and seed pod

The beach was Bubblicious! There were thousands of BUBBLE SHELLS lining the beach.

bubble shells in the sand cybershelling

There are always little surprises on the beach whenever you take the time to look … whatever the tide may be.

sea pearl bean in a clam

Mini shells on a Sanibel beach

Coming soon… (just a few more details) and then new Shellabaloo dates!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Jul
25

Mind Blowing Beach Bling in Guantanamo Bay

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collecting sea glass in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Do you get excited when you find SEA GLASS? Me too! It’s another beautiful gem most beachcombers love to collect while looking for shells and other BEACH BLING on any walk on any beach. Oddly enough, lots of our friends don’t really get why we travel the world in search of beach treasure… until I tell them we found a honey hole for SEA GLASS. Then their ears perk up! LOL Well, since it’s impossible to bring back enough SEAGLASS in our suitcase for everybody who wants some from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba… here is a CYBERSHELLING (CYBER-SEAGLASSING) photo from last week’s adventure on Glass Beach in Gtmo (CLICK HERE for the history of this SEAGLASS). Just click on the next photo to enlarge it so you can find your own SEA GLASS. Fun! Then I’ll show you some of the other cool BLING we found.

Glass Beach guantanamo Gtmo seaglass

In my last post (CLICK HERE), I showed you some of the beautiful shells and areas we combed but couldn’t really explain how much fun Clark, me, Lee and Susan had picking through the high tide dry wrack lines in search of Bling. See that incredible SEA FAN Susan found? Un-beee-liev-able!

Rambo and Merrill shelling beach in Guantanamo Bay Cuba GTMO

I just loooove me some Bling! I’m trying to identify all of the different SEA URCHINS we found but it is not so easy. I’ll try to get close up photos of each one but oh lawd, I need more time. So … I’m almost positive we have…. WEST INDIAN SEA EGGS, VARIEGATED URCHINS, LONG-SPINED URCHINS, CLUB-SPINED URCHINS, ROCK-BORING URCHINS and SEA BISCUITS. We could  have picked up hundreds of the CLUB-SPINED SEA URCHINS that had probably gotten tossed up by a storm weeks before. They were in the highest wrack line and completely dried and preserved. Cool!

We also brought home SEA HEARTS, HAMBURGER BEANS (SEA BEANS), a few pieces of CORAL, 2 small SEA FANS, a few VERTEBRAE, PURPLE CRAB shells (haven’t looked them up yet), OPERCULUMS, old turquoise CUBAN TILES and… you see that piece of striped POTTERY on the bottom right? Lee told me that piece probably dates back to the Spanish- American war era circa 1898. Amazing, right?

Gtmo Beach Bling urchins, sea beans, pottery chards, crabs, operculums

Lee found these pieces of POTTERY from the same era. Wow- Its almost a complete plate! He said he will donate some of the pieces to the base for history and environmental research.  (Errrr…. my piece came home with me- it’s way too cool! heehee)

Spanish pottery fragments in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Talk about cool… I found two complete old Cuban Hatuey beer GLASS BOTTLES made in the 1950s. These were so popular, Bacardi is now making this beer again.

Hatuey Beer bottles Cuba circa 1948 found in Gtmo

More awesome BLING on the beach! Lee found this WWII US Navy uniform button while he was picking through the rock and pebbles looking for SEAGLASS like in the CYBERSHELLING pic. Whoot Whoot!

Vintage US Navy button found on beach

Let me show you just a few more shell photos before I sign out for the day…. Clark found these spectasheller THORNY OYSTERS that haven’t even been really cleaned up yet. They are gorgeous. We find these in SW Florida but most times they are only fragments.

Thorny Oysters Spondylus americanus found Guantanamo Gtmo Cuba

Here’s the interior of one…

Thorny Oysters Spondylus americanus interior Guantanamo Gtmo Cuba

Lee found the mac daddy of the THORNY OYSTERS- it’s huge and with some good spines…. Both sides!

Lee with double thorny oyster

It was completely packed with hard mud and limestone so it will take a little work to get this baby cleaned up but it will be well worth it. It’s a beauty!

double thorny oyster gtmo cuba

I always think these are so funny…. the BLEEDING TOOTH. Shall I say more?

Bleeding Tooth shells Nerita peloronta Gtmo Cuba

These are some of my favorite minis we found this trip… BEADED MITERS.

Beaded Miter shell Mitra nodulosa Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

Clark was excited (and me too) to find this HEXAGONAL MUREX since we’ve never found one before.

Muricopsis oxytata Hexagonal Murex Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

It’s always a thrill to find a new shell!

Muricopsis oxytata Hexagonal Murex Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

Again, we have to thank Lee and Susan for sponsoring us, being our shelling guides and letting us share this extraordinary place with everybody to learn what types of shells we can all find in the other Caribbean Islands. We are forever grateful.

Lee and Susan Merrill Guantanamo Bay sunset

I will get more shells cleaned up and photographed soon but the FLAME HELMETS are so shellsational, I had to add show you these before I go out and hit my home beach. It was fabulous finding shells in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but it’s always so wonderful to be back home on Sanibel Island… especially with a cool evening low tide. Have a nice weekend!

Flame helmet Cassis Flammea  Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo