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.
Hayla, Hope, Linda and Todd from Tennessee were like little fish as they snorkeled the whole time- fun!
But even before we got to the island, California girls Teri and Allana and the whole boat witnessed…
A DOLPHIN show on the way to Cayo Costa…
Up on the beach, Kurt and Beverly from Minnesota were amazed by the JINGLE SHELLS. Kurt said “This should be called Jingle Beach!”.
Beverly showed me her hand filled with JINGLES along with a fave little SEA URCHIN and colorful COCKLE.
So pretty … and it really is “JINGLE BEACH”. They are everywhere! I picked these up in prob less than a minute.
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 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.
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!
Most of the shells (like COCKLES and SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS) Lindy from South Carolina found were at the waters edge as well.
The “Tweezer family” Deb, Judith, Brennan and Ericca came on our cruise too!
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!
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.
And talk about awesome BEACH BLING… Terry, Sue, Rich and Micki found the coolest treasures…
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”.
This is Fintastic Beach Bling!
PS- Be safe everybunny.
Join me on an iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure. For dates and info CLICK HERE
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.
Long walks on the beach are always lovely, but to find sweet little shell treasures along the way… that’s priceless.
I loooove to sort through the high weak line among the SEA WEEDS and SEED PODS… ooooohhh… a SEA PEARL!
And more little beach treasures near the Sanibel Lighthouse…
The beach was Bubblicious! There were thousands of BUBBLE SHELLS lining the beach.
There are always little surprises on the beach whenever you take the time to look … whatever the tide may be.
Coming soon… (just a few more details) and then new Shellabaloo dates!
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!
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… [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5JREIahbeM[/youtube]
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.”
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!
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.
We saw the Gasparilla Island Light…
We went to the Boca Grande Historical Society…
Brian’s friend Kim showed us fossils and artifacts on display at the sweet little museum…
We went to the Port Boca Grande Light…
Then we hit the beach!
Where we sifted for SHARK’S TEETH…
Susan found a few FOSSILS like SHARK’S TEETH, fragments of STINGRAY BARBS and BONES.
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.
These local gray drift seeds are called SEA PEARLS. So… now we know where they come from!
I found a few WHITE MELAMPUS shells that were only 1/2 inch to 3/4…
But Susan found the grandpappy WHITE MELAMPUS weighing in at about 1 and 1/2 inches.
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….
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!
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.
When we got back to the dock at McCarthy’s Marina, the MANATEES were waiting for us!
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.
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?)
You probably do the Stoop while you are on Sanibel…. but do you Phoon? This was my first experience with phooning so I got a real kick out of it (no pun intended ;)). Definition: To Phoon is to do a pose in a “running man” position. Phooning is accepted anywhere and wherever there is a camera.
Meet the phooners…. Laurie (IL), Kim (IL), Chablis (IL), Wendy (CO) and Katy (CO)
Kim is a phooning expert, has a blog called Snug Harbor Bay where she talks about her neck of the woods, does geocaching (she had to explain that to me too) and of course…she’s a sheller. She is an interesting busy, busy bee!
Chablis was the lucky phooner who found the nice BABY’S EAR and after looking at this TULIP SHELL EGG CASING, we decided to put it back in the water since it was still very hydrated and the sacs looked like they were about ready to pop out. We’re keeping our fingers crossed they survive.
Tulip Egg Casing
Clark and I took a walk together later on in the day further west of the lighthouse near Seaside Inn and I found a BABY’S EAR too!
I spotted another MARGINELLA! Now that now that I have them on my radar, I’ve found a few more.
Marginella on the left
Clark picked up an EGG COCKLE since we haven’t seen those in a while either.
Egg Cockle shell
This is the first SEA BEAN I’ve seen in a while too….
sea bean in the sea weed
That’s what we do when we can’t find the SANIBEL SIX, we sift through the sea debris and look for “oddities” that we don’t normally see. Wait! Hold on! I didn’t mean Phooning was an oddity! It’s not an oddity…… it’s a photo-optity.
Sea Pearls in scallop
Have you ever found a SEA BEAN? Well, they really aren’t “beans” but are seeds of plants from around the world that get carried into rivers then to oceans then wash up on beaches. There are almost one hundred different types of SEA BEANS but the kind we find on Sanibel are called SEA PEARLS.
Sea Beans in Scallop close up
I first heard about SEA BEANS last year after seeing a collection by our beach combing friends Mary and Dick.
Sea Bean Collection by Mary and Dick
Sea Beans drift onto beaches around the world, particularly after higher than normal tides with sea weed and drift wood just like I found this one pictured below. So if I don’t find many shells (like today) I always have sea beans to look for.
Sea Bean on the beach
Today I found this one and a few others at the Lighthouse beach….. and guess who Clark and I ran into…CShells!
CShells and Richard enjoying their scoops
Just a reminder to come see me at the Captiva Holiday Village Dec 4, 10, 11 and 12! CLICK HERE for details.