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

Everything’s Coming Up Rose Petal Tellins in Big Hickory

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Beach Seed Pods, Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Dove Snail, Rose Tellin, Rusty Dove Shell, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat, Sparse, Sparse Dove | 8 comments

rose petal tellins alphabet cone and sharks eye beach finds

Julie (Colorado) must have put on her ROSE colored glasses to find so many ROSE PETAL TELLIN shells on our iLoveShelling Adventure on Sight Sea-R Cruises trip. And how ’bout those beautiful SHARKS EYES and ALPHABET CONE too?

julie colorado shell seeker

There were so many different shell and wrack lines to look through since the beach was so wide on Big Hickory Island. Margaret (NC) searched way up high on the beach to find a few treasured SEA PEARLS.

margaret nc sea pearl sea bean beach combing

sea pearl beach comber find

It was really cool to see Russ on our trip again because he always finds such interesting stuff.


Russ found 2 dove shells swfl

He found two little shells that aren’t so easily spotted. The one on the left is a RUSTY DOVE shell and the one on the right is a SPARSE DOVE. I don’t find the RUSTY DOVE all that much so I think thats a really cool find- exshellent!

rusty and sparse dove shell

Kathy and Mark found all sorts of cool treasures… 

Kathy Mark shelling cruise

I’d say this was a pretty awesome day to find that really yellow HORSE CONCH, huge SHARKS EYE, an ANGEL WING, FLORIDA CONE, ROSE TELLIN, perfect WHELKS, WORMIES (!) and if you could only see how beautiful that FIGHTING CONCH is with a spectacsheller purple interior.


Cutie Shellootie Isabela and her gramma Karen (Wisconsin) found all sorts of goodies too. 

isabela karen Wisconsin shellers

They both love all of the shells and beach bling too. I have a feeling there will be a really fun shell craft day in their future. Fun! Ohhhhh and especially withthat ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER.

seashells and beach bling for artist

So many happy faces and cool shellers were out with us… like Debbie and Leah from St. Louis.


debbie leah sharks eye shell horse conch

Once that HORSE CONCH is cleaned up, it will be really fabshellous- it’s such a nice size. And talk about size… that SHARK’S EYE is huge.

horse conch and sharks eye

Talk about happy! I love this cuteness of Connie from Pine Island with that tiny little perfect SAND DOLLAR. That’s always something to be happy about.

Connie pine island sand dollar

Well, of course there’s WORM SHELLS to be happy about too! Diane wanted to find her first WORM SHELL… and she ended up finding way more than one and an ANGEL WING too. Gotta love those wormies.

Diane found worm shells georgia

There was so much to explore and it was fun sharing it with shellers like Kiva and Doug from Ponce Inlet, FL.

kiva doug ponce inlet shellers

We all found such a variety of different treasures.

fargo worm shell

I found a few treasures too! Look at these cutie sisters Diane and Marilyn in their i Love Shelling tees and bright shelling gear.

diane marilyn chicago i love shelling t shirts

Did you notice that these Kansas City gals Sheila Candace and Toni have their hands up? They are showing off their cutie OLIVE bracelets that Candace made them all for their shelling trip to Florida (CLICK HERE to see bracelet tutorial to make your own). So cute! Oh and do you remember Candace? She is the one who inspired me to find out about that TEXAS LONG HORN BRYOZOA and learn about that cool BEACH BLING.

Sheila Candace Toni shell bracelets and seashell collecting

Thank you Kathy and Charlie (PA) for the blast from the past and wearing your Sanibel Six tees. It was so fun to see y’all.

sanibel 6 tee shirts Kathy Charlie PA

I have to apologize to some folks since my iPhone camera got a little wacky- it fogged up. Dunno, but I still have to show you Cathy and Pete’s finds even though the pic isn’t great- Im so sorry!


cathy pete foggy shells

I know the photo isn’t great but the shells and bling were so beautiful, I’m sure you can still appreciate them (?).

shells from Big Hickory Island

Any way, it was a blast of a time out on the water boating to one of the out islands of SW Florida. Thanks for joining me, y’all!

Shelling trip to Sw Florida out islands

Join me on another iLoveShelling adventure CLICK HERE 


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Buckets Of Beach Bling and SeaShells

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl | 6 comments

Several shells and Bunches of beach bling

Spectacsheller shells and bountiful beach bling… everywhere!

Amazing beach with shells

On our iLoveShelling adventure to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises, we were welcomed to a beach loaded with all sorts of beach treasures.

Captiva Cruises shelling trip with iLoveShelling

Such an awesome way to shellebrate our shell filled day by being with other very cool beach combers like Kristin, Shannon and Carolyn (Kentucky and Ohio). Those were Shannon’s shells and bling in the first photo- aren’t they so adorable? (the shells And the girls!)


Girls adventure trip to the beach finding treasures

There were shells everywhere we looked…

dream beach covered in seashells
Sweet Olivia from Indiana was quick to learn all about how to tell the difference between live and empty sea shells and SEA URCHINS.

Girl finds gifts from the sea on the beach of Cayo Costa

She and her mom found a fragile little HEART URCHIN. It’s so much fun to find the whole URCHIN in tact since we only see these fragile tests after big storms.

Heart Urchin beach treasure

Her cutie sister Lexi found one too. Shellucky girls!


Lexi Indiana receives gifts from the sea on the beach

Lexi was also lucky enough to find lots of ANGEL WINGS too. She has 3 different kinds in her hand… FALSE ANGEL WING, TRUE ANGEL WING (ok, its really not called a “true” but since there is a “false”…. why not? heehee) and a FALLEN ANGEL WING on the far right.

False, true, fallen angel wings

Pam and Christine from VA  had their hands full looking through the huge shell pile as soon as we stepped off the boat.

beach combers finding shell loot

I was surprised how many fabshellous WORMIES everybody found. Love that long bright white one with the perfect tip!

worm shells baby ear angel wings

As we walked to the tip of the island, there was yet another huge pile of shells to explore.

Tree roots and seashells on Florida island beach

Megan, Sanibel and Jeremy (PA) were worn out after looking for shells they had never found before. Ummmm…. did you catch what her name was??? Sanibel! Such a beautiful name, right?

A family finding shells on a secluded beach

These are just a few of the very cool shells that Jeremy pulled out of his bag to show me…. these were his first WHELKS. Congrats!

whelk shells on the beach

Barb (Wisconsin) and Debbie (Arkansas) met shelling 6 years ago on vacation in Sanibel and now vacation every year together along with their husbands.  Beach buddies.

Beach girls finding shells in Florida

Debbie found her first GAUDY NATICA!

sea urchin angel wing gaudy antic tulip olive

David and John from Michigan are the die hard shellers of their family so they left the wives on Sanibel and hopped on the boat with us. On the way back it started to lightly rain so they packed up their loot before I got a chance to take a photo of their awesome finds and braved the rain the entire ride back. Another crazy adventure… And thanks so much for the shell candy, guys ;)!

Boat ride from Captiva to Cayo Costa Florida

Jennifer (Chicago) carried her fave shell and bling finds in her cap so she could show her husband John (her chauffeur- heehee).

shelling cruise treasures to cayo costa florida

Can you believe how many BABYS EARS? … aNd look at that humongshellous WORMIE.

hat filled with seashells

Can’t you just hear the shells clicking, clacking and jingling as you look at this pile of shells thinking about picking through them? The COCKLES and SEA URCHINS were unbelievable… oodles and oodles of them. Now you see why Olivia had to learn about which SEA URCHINS she couldn’t take. (CLICK HERE for more info)

Seashells upon shells and sea urchins

It was an amazing beach day hanging out with the coolest bunch of beach combers.

shells on purple

To top it off, everybody received a $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress as a thank you from Congress Jewelers for joining our iLoveShelling cruise. They are so generous!

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

Life doesn’t get much better

So many shells on the beach for picking

Join me on another iLoveShelling Adventure! CLICK HERE for dates and reservations…



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Pearls Of The Sea

Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Bowman's Beach, Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Lighthouse, Sand Dollar, Sanibel, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl | 18 comments

Sea Pearls and Babys Ears

SEA PEARLS and BABYS EARS were some favorite gems to be found at Lighthouse Beach this week. They blend in with all the other shells and bling so I feel so rewarded when I find one. It’s like I feel lucky that I saw the beauty in them when others may have passed them by without giving them a glance. That’s why beachcombers “get” each other, right? Beachcombers know there are hundreds of treasures the sea offers …but we just have to take our time to look for them.

beach bucks

But I feel luckiest when we meet other beach combers on the beach like Lee and Susan (formerly of Guantanamo Bay) who turn into friends for life because they feel the same way. So much fun!

Beach Combing with the Merrills

We not only found those SEA BEAN treasures at Lighthouse Beach, we combed the beach at Gulfside beach…

The boys beach combing low tide Sanibel

…Where we saw some nice SAND DOLLARS, OLIVES and a few other nice finds.

Shells and bling at Bowmans Beach Sanibel

Each beach we went to, we saw completely different shells and bling. We walked along Bowman’s Beach to find a few small shell piles…

bowmans beach shells and water

Lee caught a few SHARKS EYES rolling in the surf.

Shells at beachcombing Bowmans Beach

Oooooo… and look at that FLAT SCALLOP and ALPHABET CONE Clark found…  perfect!

Beachcombing shells at Bowmans Beach
This was my fave find of the week… a brilliant, bright orange RIBED CANTHARUS. Omigosh… Eye candy.

Ribbed Cantharus Bowman Beach beachcombing

But even if I didn’t find the RIBBED CANTHARUS, I found happiness…

Beach combing with friends

With some of my fave peeps …

Rambo and Merrills at Lighthouse beach

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Cruising to Sea Treasures Of Diamonds And Pearls

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 12 comments

Shells found on beach combing shelling trip in Florida

I had the best time beach combing with some pretty amazing folks yesterday on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises to Little Hickory Island yesterday. For some reason I felt like I already knew John and Amy from Colorado and when they showed me their shell loot, I felt like they were shelling twins to Clark and me. LOL Those are the shells (in the top photo) they found in the first half hour of hitting the beach.

John and Amy from Steamboat vacation Sanibel for shells

There were shells in the water and also a few nice piles up on the beach as well.

beach combers dream of a mound of shells

How could I not fall in love with Don and Delores from Michigan as they both have such a love for shelling and spread that happiness around to everyone.

Don and Dolores Michigan iLoveShelling shirt with shells

Here are a few of their fave shells they found. Such beauties.

Shells found beach combing south west Florida

Brandon, Jacob and Robin (NJ) found some awesome shells too…

Brandon, Jacob and Robin NJ beachcombing Florida

Check out Jacob’s perfect ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK. It is gorgeous! And Its amazing how many NUTMEGS were found on the trip too.

Albino whelk along with other beautiful shells

So after I took the picture with Brandon, Jacob and Robin’s shells, Robin came up to me a few minutes later to show me another shell she found. Excellent ALPHIE, Robin!

Alphabet cone on beach combing trip in Florida

Linda and Mike (New Hampshire) were thrilled they found some new shells and beach bling they’ve never found before.

Linda, Mike from New Hampshire find shells in Florida

Look at all the SEA PEARLS! It’s always fun to find something different washed up on the beach and it was the SEA BEANS for Mike and Linda. Another gift of the sea… PEARLS!

sea pearls and shells found along Gulf Of Mexico

Local sheller Ramona (Estero) has never been able to make it to Big Hickory before since you can only get there by boat. 

Ramona from Estero beach combing Big Hickory

I’m thrilled she came with us for her first adventure to the island… and that she found treasures like diamonds in the rough.

Seashells collected cruising through Estero Bay Florida

I always love to meet the “mini” lovers … and Patty (Chicago) was the “mini” shell girl yesterday. 

Patty Chicago finds beach shells

See? A handful of mini goodness.

IMG_2632 shells

Toni and Danielle (Orlando) were finding lots of keepers up n the high wrack line.

Toni Danielle from Orlando find perfect sharks eye shell

Toni’s favorite shell was this gorgeous and colorful SHARKS EYE that sparkled like a diamond too.

sharks eye moon snail shell

We had newbie shellers on our shelling trip…and they were so much fun! Texas girls Shelley (she was born to shell), Mitzy, Linda and Judy found lots of shells to put in their matching nets and bags (heehee) and saw each shell as a beautiful gift of the sea. They were bursts of fresh air all by themselves. 

First time shellers Shelley, Mitzy, Linda and Judy from Texas

As with all iLoveShelling shelling cruise trips, each passenger received a $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers’ Sealife By Congress store. Thank you Congress for being so generous to our shelling community.

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

It was a beautiful day with a beautiful group of shellers.

Beach combers at low tide in Estero flats

And with a lot of beautiful sharing of shells going on too.

sharing shells

The boat ride to the island was even so amazing as we cruised through Estero Bay with sightings of ROSEATE SPOONBILLS, DOLPHINS, a SEA TURTLE, a MANATEE, a STINGRAY and oodles of other birds and fish. It was truly a in paradise. Estero beautiful birding boat ride


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Fintastic Beach Bling On Cayo Costa

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Dolphin, Driftwood, Jingle, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Sharks- Sanibel | 21 comments

drift wood and seashells

The Gulf Of Mexico was clear, warm and bright turquoise at Cayo Costa this week for our iLoveShelling shelling adventure with Captiva Cruises. Just ask snorkelers Sue Ellen, Emma, Grace and Jeff from Louisiana.

Sue Ellen, Emma, Grace Jeff Louisiana snorkel sw florida

Hayla, Hope, Linda and Todd from Tennessee were like little fish as they snorkeled the whole time- fun!hayla hope linda todd tenn snorkel on cayo costa

But even before we got to the island, California girls Teri and Allana and the whole boat witnessed…

Cali girls teri, allana shelling cayo costa

A DOLPHIN show on the way to Cayo Costa…

Captiva Cruises dolphin watching boat ride

Up on the beach, Kurt and Beverly from Minnesota were amazed by the JINGLE SHELLS. Kurt said “This should be called Jingle Beach!”.

Kurt Beverly Minnesota find shells on Cayo Costa with bird

Beverly showed me her hand filled with JINGLES along with a fave little SEA URCHIN and colorful COCKLE.

Jingle shells on cayo costa

So pretty … and it really is “JINGLE BEACH”. They are everywhere! I picked these up in prob less than a minute.

Cayo Costa beach jingle shells

Mother Nature was really playing a hide and seek game with us since the shells were hidden more than usual. We really had to look high and low to find them but Dick and Yvonne from Indiana did a great job finding the larger ones.

Dick Yvonne from indiana find shells on cruise

Dick said he looked high and low around the tree roots in the water and found this spectacsheller WHELK then walked along the waters edge to find the rest of these beauties.

Dick's best shell finds from Cayo Costa

It was so nice to meet so many awesome shellers like Cutie Shellooties Diane and Joyce from Sarasota. Joyce found a beautiful WHELK (I showed in the first photo) about the same size as Dick’s WHELK – those LIGHTNING WHELKS must have been twins!

Diane Tomer Joyce Sarasota visit i Love ShellingDiane Tomer Joyce Sarasota visit i Love Shelling

Most of the shells (like COCKLES and SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS) Lindy from South Carolina found were at the waters edge as well.

shelling sw florida

The “Tweezer family” Deb, Judith, Brennan and Ericca came on our cruise too!

deboregon , judith cali, brennan, ericca montana

Hmmmm…. those tweezers must turn into a magical wand – a Shell Scepter- because Judith was the only who found a BABYS EAR up high on the beach… oh wait… she found 3!

3 babys ear shells found

Carla from Pompano, Florida was as tickled as sea punch to find this piece of DRIFTWOOD to hang her orchids in. I couldn’t even get the whole thing in the photo but it looked exactly like a SWORDFISH with a long sharp snout and knot for an eye. Awesome BEACH BLING.

carla pompano with driftwood
And talk about awesome BEACH BLING… Terry, Sue, Rich and Micki found the coolest treasures…

Terry Sue Rich Micki with beach toys and sea pearls

They were searching in the high tide wrack line and found SEA PEARLS, SEA URCHINS and the funniest sea toys-  2 SHARKS and a Bunny! I told them the story of the LEGO Beach Bling (CLICK HERE) but of course we should always pick up any of these toys even if we don’t keep for our “Kicks and Giggles Jar”.

shark beach bling finds and sea shells

This is Fintastic Beach Bling!

Not so Great White Shark on Cayo Costa Florida beach

PS-  Be safe everybunny.

shark chasing bunny to florida beach


Join me on an iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure. For dates and info CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

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How To Pack Fragile Sea Urchins and Shells In your Luggage

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Anegada Island, British Virgin Islands, BVI Shelling, BVIs, Hamburger Bean, Packing Fragile Seashells, Ram's Horn - Squid Shell, Sea Bean, Sea Biscuit, Traveling with sea shells, Urchin | 27 comments

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…


pam rambo shelling trips

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