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

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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High Tide Beach Combing

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in Lighthouse, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl | 20 comments

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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Gift Of The Sea Bean

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Sea Bean, Sea Pearl | 40 comments

sea pearl hot beans

Life has been hustling and bustling with holiday festivities so to sink my toes in the sand yesterday was heaven on earth. Just to breath the sea air and hear the water lapping on the shore gave me the peace I needed. I had no expectations to find any rare collectables but the actual combing of the beach is what I knew I needed. Ahhhhh. Mother Nature always seems to give me the perfect gift of the sea. Yesterday’s gift was a handful of SEA PEARLS!

sea pearl burn bean

A few weeks ago, I had a local fella who grew up on Sanibel come to the house to fix a few things. As soon as he saw my little “dish” of SEA PEARLS, he started laughing and told me those “Hot Rocks” brought back funny memories of his boyhood life growing up on the island. He said they would rub the SEA BEANS back and forth at a fast pace on the sidewalk, jeans, wood or just about anything to get those PEARLS hot as the dickens. Then they would touch the “Hot Rock” on the skin of their unsuspecting victim to shock them with heat. LOL Boys will be boys! Thank goodness, they aren’t hot enough to do any damage other than the other boys ego after screaming like a “girl”. hahah Okay, yes, I tried it just to see how hot is gets. It’s just hot enough to give a little startle….but I see why it was a kids game on the island. I’ve heard them called “Burn Beans”, “Hot Beans” and “Burner Seeds” but that was the first time I heard them called “Hot Rocks”- thanks Paul!

Want to find a few SEA PEARLS  too? Then talk a walk with me at the Lighthouse Beach by clicking the next image… 

PS- I know that little rope bracelet looks a little ratty now but I can’t bring myself to take it off because I still love it too much and it still makes me very happy. I wrote about it in May… “While on our trip to Thailand, we were blessed by a Monk who wrapped this string with a knot around our wrists. I was told it was called a “spiritual line” and we are to wear it until it falls off and not to cut it off. It is for good luck, good health and to remind us every day that today is special so live it that way. I immediately thought of those strings I used to tie around my finger to remind me to do something. So every day now when I look at this string on my wrist I am reminded that today is a gift.” 


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Collecting Fossils, Seashells and Memories on Boca Grande

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Boca Grande, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fossil, Gasparilla Island, Nickerbean Vine, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Shark's Teeth, White Melampus | 21 comments

Susan lighthouse

I couldn’t be happier to have another Shelling Sister that just moved to Sanibel! I feel like I’ve found my long lost Soul Sister… Susan. Of course she wanted to get the whole shelling experience on the Out Islands of Sanibel…. so before I knew it, she hired Capt. Brian Holaway for a shelling trip and she invited me to go along. Weehoo! First trip with Capt Brian!

susan capt b boat

We left the dock at 8 am but unfortunately the tide was too high to find good shells at that time so Capt Brian took us about an hour north to the beautiful town of Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island to show Susan a few landmarks by golf cart.

golf cart susan capt b

We saw the Gasparilla Island Light…

Boca grande Gasparilla Island lighthouse

We went to the Boca Grande Historical Society

Boca grande historical society

Brian’s friend Kim showed us fossils and artifacts on display at the sweet little museum…

artifacts boca grande historical

We went to the Port Boca Grande Light…

Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum

Then we hit the beach!

Boca Grande beach access

Where we sifted for SHARK’S TEETH…

sifting susan

Susan found a few FOSSILS like SHARK’S TEETH, fragments of STINGRAY BARBS and BONES.

Susans fossils

Along one of the beach paths we found a NICKERBEAN VINE with the prickly sea pods that host SEA BEANS which wash up on the beaches at times.

Nickerbean vine seed pods

These local gray drift seeds are called SEA PEARLS. So… now we know where they come from!

sea bean pearls nickerbean pod

I found a few WHITE MELAMPUS shells that were only 1/2 inch to 3/4…

white melampus identify

 But Susan found the grandpappy WHITE MELAMPUS weighing in at about 1 and 1/2 inches.

white melampus ss

UPDATE 6-21-12 – Susan H commented on Soul Sister Susan’s WHITE MELAMPUS saying “it looks as if Susan found a World Record Size (WRS) one. I’m serious, the largest size listed on Malacolog is 27 mm, which is just about an inch“.

So I got serious and dug through drawers of Clark’s dad old tools he inherited and found some very cool old calipers. Susan brought her shell over and we measured….

calipers measure seashell

Her WHITE MELAMPUS measured in at 30 mm. A World Record Size shell!! Thank you Susan H for giving us a heads up on this exciting news!

White Melampus aperuture ss

 I found a bivalve shell (it has a small hole in the top but it’s still pretty) that I didn’t recognize so after looking through all of my books… it looks like it’s a JUVENILE SOUTHERN QUAHOG. It has thin raised ridges that seem too delicate to be called a QUAHOG but I’m sure that’s what it is.

juvenile quahog

 When we got back to the dock at McCarthy’s Marina, the MANATEES were waiting for us!

manatee mcCarthys marina captiva

 We couldn’t have asked for a prettier day so thank you sooo much Soul Sister Susan for letting me tag along and to Captain Brian for guiding our gorgeous day.

seashells and sharks teeth


PS- Just if you are wondering…. Yes! Super Sheller Clark helped Soul Sister Susan and her beautiful family find their island home in paradise.  (I know, shameless plug …but hey, do you blame me?)

whelk on cayo costa

sailboat sand bar

pam brian susan boat dock captiva

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