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

i Love Shelling Cruise to Mystery Rocks

Posted by on May 14, 2016 in Big Hickory Island, Bryozoa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 16 comments

alphabet cone

Nice ALPHABET CONE, Denise!  She found this incredible shell (incredishell) while beach combing with her family Devin, Paul and Gwyneth (they found awesome shells as well!) at Big Hickory Island on our iLoveShelling adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises earlier this week.

I had such a great time seeing everybody find ANGEL WINGS, WORM SHELLS, SUNRAY VENUS shells and some much more. It’s what makes it so special to me.


beach combing

It was so much fun to talk to Sarah and Catherine about their shelling trip to North Caicos they took last year. After I posted about our trip to Turk and Caicos in 2013, they followed our same trip and loved it just as much as we did.

IMG_6111 seashells on green

I’ve “met” Jason and Twyla on iLveShelling Facebook page but I finally got to meet in person on our trip. It was a blast to hang out with y’all!


Jason showed me the KNOBLESS FIGHTING CONCH he found compared to the regular “knobbed” FIGHTING CONCH. And of course one of a few SAND DOLLARS he found.

knobless knobbed fighting conch

Subreda and Sumita came all the way from Mumbai, India to visit local sheller Menju and to join us for our shelling day. They are awesome they even shared some yummy Indian snacks – deeee-licious.  Thank you so much for shelling with us, y’all.


These are some of Sumita’s shells…


The shelling girls Mickey, Becky and Carolyn came out to shell with us too.


Mickey found her first SEA PEARLS…

sea pearls sea beans swfl

Sisters Robin and Sue went for totally different shells.


Sue found an awesome ALPHIE, ANGELS, TULIP, KINGS CROWNS and cool Beach Bling like BRYOZOANS and SEA PEARLS.


Robin found happiness in the mini shell pile… look at that sweetest lintiest SAND DOLLAR omg.

mini shells

We were in the presents of lots of other mini shell lovers too like Cheri.


Hey Hey, They are back! Jerry and Livy are learning their way around Big Hickory better than anybody on the beach and in the water. They’ve been on this same cruise quite a few time and it’s so dang cool that Jerry shares his knowledge with everybody too.

jerry livy


On our boat ride to the island, I saw Jon and Bob with snorkel gear so I asked Jerry if he would give them any tips. While Romaine combed the beach her men, Jon and Bob snorkeled around the water and used some of Jerry’s advice… Oh yea. Happy faces!


Most of our shellers found their treasures on the beach, like Diane and John…


… and Laura, Mike, Paula and Jim

IMG_6099… and Wendell and Liz . IMG_6098

On the return boat ride after our fabshellous shelling adventure,  Bob and Romaine had mentioned they find Fulgurite pieces (fused quartz that happens when lightning strikes the sand. Remember the movie “Sweet Home Alabama”? ) on beaches of North Carolina and they thought they found some FULGURITE on Big Hickory too. Since shellers are so like minded, I showed their pieces to our whole boat of shellers … come to find out, we all collected similar pieces. Ok, so…. these are the pieces in the photo below. We are still trying to figure out if they could be FULGURITE. Last year on this iLoveShelling cruise, we had a geologist on the boat and he thought it was wave tumbled concrete from an old concrete structure. He thought the holes were old shells that had crumbled over time. Hmmmmmm… the mystery continues. Concrete? Or FULGURITE? Whadaya think?
maybe fulgurite lightning strikes sand rocks

To make the day even happier, everybody received their gift certificate from Congress Jewelers too!

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

It was an amazing day with awesome folks. Thank you for coming!

pam rambo with shellers on cruise


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Chillin’ With A Chilly Shelling trip to Cayo Costa

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Beach Bling Sea Debris, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Crucifix Shell, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Echinoderm, Sea Bean, Sea Cucumber, Sea Pearl | 10 comments

seashell collection variety

We’ve had a nice cold snap that brought in some great lines of shells this week just in time for our iLoveShelling beach combing adventure to Cayo Costa island with Captiva Cruises.

island boat to shell beach

Okay, I know…. I should actually say “chilly snap” instead of “cold snap” since it was in the 60s but with the wind and being in the boat, it feels great to break out the jackets in Florida. So we bundled up and hit the beach just like twin sisters Debbi, Darlene from MA who found SUNRAY VENUSES, ANGEL WINGS, an ALPHABET CONE and lots of other treasures.

twin shellers with loads of shells

Those were the same favorites that Pam and Mark from Baltimore found too.

pam and mark baltimore

Joe, Liliana (NY) and Tim (Michigan) filled their shells buckets to stock up on some fun with art projects for the winter.

happy family on beach shelling

I love days when there are lots of BEACH BLING that washes up on the shore as well… so lucky! A CRUCIFIX SHELL.

crucifix shell

We even found a live SEA CUCUMBER washed up on the beach so we snapped a photo then returned it to the water.

sea cucumber

I got soooo tickled with this next group of shellers from Pennsylvania… Stephen, Kathy, Phyllis and Dennis. Every step of the way, these guys were smiling and laughing with every stoop- y’all are so much fun! And congrats on your “concrete” find, Dennis. heehee

happy shells

I wish I could have shown you all the cool stuff Stephen found but the SHARKS EYE, BANDED TULIP, OLIVES and SUNRAY VENUS were so striking. Of course that fact that he picked up a BUTTERCUP, you gotta like this guy (Clark loves BUTTERCUPS so Im a little partial to them). He had found the little olive (on his wrist) on a previous trip to Sanibel so Kathy made that bracelet for him. I love that!

sunray venus shells

It was a wonderful day to be chillin’ with so many cool shellers and find out we have mutual friends. Jim Tony, Bert and Lois say “Hi” to Diana for me! ;)

sunray venus shells

Well, some of my photos didn’t turn out so well but I still wanted to show you that there are so many different and unusual things to find … from COFFEE MELAMPUS to MORTONS EGG COCKLES to SEA PEARLS to JINGLES to TULIPS to OLIVES.

shells from island
This is exactly what makes shelling so much fun.

shells on blue

You can tell by seeing everybody all wrapped up on the way back to Captiva having a little Shell N Tell like Marie from Michigan.

cruise boat of shellers

Its always so much fun to see the treasures.

shell collection from trip

Its always such a treat to see Sue Bunkin whom I met on the beach years and years ago along with her beautiful family. Sue has spread the shelling love down through the generations of her family and now out to her girlfriends Mary, (Sue), Helen and Karen. shelling girls

It was so much fun to meet Mary and Karen (Lakeland, FL) when they showed me their favorite shells they found – OLIVES and TULIPS… while Karen told me that my blog and videos have helped her teach Marine Science to her students. Wow! I’m so honored I could help share the love and wonder of the beach and sea creatures with her class. Thank you Mary and Karen, that makes me verrrrry happy.

Mary Karen FL Marine science

You can also see happiness in the face of Michelle from Denver after she showed me her 2 incredible double VENUS SUNRAYS. These beautiful gifts from the sea will be perfect reminders just how special a day out on the water and exploring a new beach really is.

sunray venus

As always, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers  (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!

Sanibel Sealife Congress Jewelers gift certificate

Join me on another iLoveShelling adventure CLICK HERE 


PS- In the first photo, are WORM SHELLS, FALSE ANGEL WING, BABYS EARS, LETTERED OLIVE, LIGHTNING WHELK and ROSE PETAL TELLIN found by Diane from Tucson on our trip (she didn’t want her photograph again- heehee)

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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 | 19 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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