Big time fun at Big Hickory Island with this big bunch of fabshellous folks!
Our boat with Sight Sea-R Cruises took us to this amazing island with clear blue water, lots of sunshine…
And seashells to find on the beach.
And treasures to find in the water.
I’m a little delayed in posting, but this was last week on Halloween day. Cutie trick or treaters found lots of seashell treats.
That’s an amazing ALBINO LACE MUREX along side those 2 FLORIDA CONES, huge BABYS EAR and sweet striped SUNRAY VENUS. Fantastic finds!
I couldn’t believe I even found a fossil SHARK’S TOOTH.
Every time I’m on this cruise, I’m thrilled to meet and see shellers find such exquisite gems. I look so forward to these trips!
Did ya see the awesome post about this shelling cruise written by Robin Draper of Authentic Florida? Her Authentic Florida blog is devoted to giving us the best info on everything cool thing in Florida and I’m honored she came on this boating trip with us. Check out her article… http://www.authenticflorida.com/articles/where-to-go/find-florida-shells-with-a-shellebrity/.
And check out her blog…
Thank you Robin for all you do give us a peek at all the hidden gems of Florida. And you’re so dang cute and fun!
Join me on a beach combing adventure! CLICK HERE
Low tide Sunday morning shelling at Blind Pass ….ahhhhhhh. Hawg heaven!
Even if there wasn’t a shell in site, I would have been a happy girl just to walk on the beach, breath the salty air, feel the waves touch my toes and hear birds singing their sea songs. But I did have a bonus… Shells!
While I was finding my mermaid loot, I met Lisa and Stan (Tampa) with their 2 kids Josh and Allison finding their own treasures from the sea.
Stan was snorkeling about chest high to find some CONCHS, OLIVES and an ALPHABET CONE that he pulled out of his pockets to show me…
But that wasn’t it! They had a big bucket filled with CORAL, PEN SHELLS, a few BANDED TULIPS, an APPLE MUREX and a nice SUNRAY VENUS.
I walked over to the Sanibel side of the pass and met Holly from Sanford, Florida who found an awesome orange HORSE CONCH.
I love this mid size HORSE CONCH! There are some BARNACLES around the lip and spire but I suggested waiting to get home before trying to get them off. When those barnacles are anywhere near that fragile lip, I suggest being very delicate picking around that lip by inserting a dental tool in the middle of the barnacle to work inside out first…being very easy. I’m sure it will clean up beautifully if you take your time… its worth it- that’s a fantastic find!
I even stopped by Gulfside City Park (mid island Sanibel) for a few minutes today too just long enough to find another tiny SAND DOLLAR. Sweet!
Okay, I can’t wait to show you a closer view of my other finds today. I was very happy to find a double ATLANTIC WING OYSTER . I know it’s not so pretty on the outside…
But goodness… look at that special inside. It’s pearlescent!
My fave find of the day is an ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH!
It looks a little yellow because it has the PERIOSTRACUM (the skin) still on it but if I cleaned it completely off, it would be stark white…. ALBINO! Okay- this is funny…. When I told Clark I found an ALBINO, he first congratulated me then looked at my photo of it since I left the shells in the sink in the garage. He said “That’s not an ALBINO, Pam!” (Ha! He thinks he’s the ALBINO expert since… well, I’ll have to give it to him… he does have a knack for finding them). So I sashayed to my shell stash and brought him my shell. “Hmmmm….Oh, okay.” He said. HAHAHA
I haven’t decided yet if I want all of the PERIOSTRACUM off yet so I’m going to be like Scarlett Ohara so… “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
PS- Did you see “land” snail in my bucket too? I found a ROSY WOLF SNAIL (bottom left about 7 o’clock) on the path back to my car. It’s still “rosy”.
**** Calling all shellers! We are having a SHELLATHON in January CLICK HERE for details! ****
There’s nothing better than boating to a beautiful island to “hang” out on the beach with aqua waters and seashells surrounding the shores. You can even bring your own hammock to hang out in if you get tired of finding seashells. Ha!
That’s why 48 of us gathered together on the dock of McCarthy’s Marina to catch the iLoveShelling Captiva Cruise to Cayo Costa yesterday.
Before we boarded the boat, I got to hang out with Shelling Sistahs Duska and Natalia. I love bonding with the shelling family!
Then as we boarded the boat , the show began with MANATEES swimming around us…
And more bonding with Shelling Sistah Lisa! Lisa Feds (There are quite a few Lisas so I’m gonna call her Lisa Feds) has been commenting on my blog for over 2 years so I feel like we know each other so I had to take a long-arm-photo of both of us together. It’s so nice to put a face with a name, right?
After a gorgeous 1/2 hour boat ride, we landed on the island of Cayo Costa…
It is so picturesque!
Then we got to shelling…
Super Sheller Clark was giving tips on how to shell in the water with his shelling “backhoe” when rumor spread quickly that he found something cool…
He pulled a live ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH out of the water…
First of all, it is rare to find an ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH so it was so cool to be able show the shell to so many people who had never seen one before. But then to be able to show one that is still alive is pretty cool because you realize that there is no mistaking that it is an albino and not just white because of being beach worn.
You can see the only color that is on this shell is the PERIOSTRACUM which is the brownish skin on the bottom and top. After showing this gorgeous ALBINO to everyone, Clark walked this live mollusk out in the water to keep living a happy healthy but colorless life.
I was tickled to see Debbie from Fort Myers Beach again. She was on the first iLoveShelling cruise in January then came back for the April iLS cruise (when she found a huge 14 inch empty LIGHTNING WHELK) and she came back again on this one! I’m gonna miss you Debbie if you don’t show up on the next iLS cruise in June! Here she is with Capt Brian and her best finds…
She’s got the eye for the BABY’S EARS. It just goes to show you that every day is different on each beach. I can usually spot those BABY’S EARS every time I visit Cayo Costa but didn’t find one this trip… and look at the huge one she found along with the FALSE
ANGLE ANGEL WING.
This was the only TUSK SHELL that I saw but it was a big one…
Super Sheller Clark struck again! This is why Karen gave him his “super sheller” name years ago… not only did he find an ALBINO shell, he found rare GOLDEN OLIVE.
A GOLDEN OLIVE is a LETTERED OLIVE with a yellow (citrine) color… and this one is huuuuge!
I have to introduce my favorite sheller of the day. This is Kaylie from Minnesota and she found a whole bag full of seashell goodies to take home and treasure forever. Thank you so much Kaylie for joining us on this shelling adventure to Cayo Costa!
After a fun afternoon on the beach, the adventure continued on the boat as we shared our finds… literally. I saw Terenia, Denise and Laura (who came down from Tampa for the day) with some nice SAND DOLLARS and SUNRAY VENUSES.
Then they told me they didnt actually find them… “a guy out in the water was finding them and gave them all to us”. That is so nice! I had to find out who it was. It turned out to be Ken Figa. I have “met” Ken before online because he has a facebook page called Sea Shell Collecting so we have a lot in common. He said he didn’t find anything unusual so he didn’t need to bring any more SUNRAY VENUS or SAND DOLLARS home with him so he gave them all away. See? That’s why I call this a shelling family. It’s such an amazingly nice community.
Warren from Utah found some treasures to fill his shelling tote to take back to his wife Tami who couldnt make it on the cruise with us since she injured her knee a few days ago. So sorry we missed you Tami! I hope I get to meet you when you are better!
On the boat ride to Cayo Costa, Greg had mentioned that he wanted to find a CONE. He was a man with a mission because he did find one.
Here are Pam, Sarah and Greg’s fave finds and a little BEACH BLING too. Greg’s cone doesnt seem to look too good in this photo but in real life, I swear it looked so much better!
Shelling sistahs Lynn (she’s got on an iLoveShelling cap!) and Kelly found some favorite things too.
Lynn was very happy to have found her first SEA BEAN and when I talked with Kelly, she was just thrilled with everything she found but mostly that Lynn fought her fear of boats by going on this shelling cruise. If I heard Kelly correctly, I think this was Lynn’s very first boat ride. I am so proud of you Lynn and I am so honored that you chose this cruise to be your first with such a gorgeous day with perfectly calm waters. Now that you’ve taken your maiden voyage, I hope it wont be your last.
After we got back to McCarthy’s Marina where Captiva Cruises‘ docks, we had our own little Shell and Tell where some of us did some more hanging out and showing our favorite shells or BLING. Andrea had some fun finds!
She showed a SAND DOLLAR, SUNRAY VENUS, a double FALSE ANGEL WING and she said she ha found the other shells before (CERITHS and FIGHTING CONCHS) but she thought that the SLIPPER SHELL was different because it wasn’t smooth on top. She found a SPINY SLIPPER SHELL. I need to do a whole post on SLIPPER SHELLS because as some may be common, there are 6 different SLIPPERS in SW FLorida. I’m glad she pointed out that this one was different.
Lisa Fed found WORMIES! And she wanted to add the CRAB CLAWS to add a little BLING to her faves too. Love it!
Here are Debbies faves along with that big ole BABY’S EAR I showed you at the beginning of the post. Funny thing is, I have seen those little round pine-cone-ish looking balls on the left side of the next photo but I have no idea what they are from. She added those and the SEA PEARL for her BLING but we’d love to know what they are. Anybody? UPDATE: Thank you all for helping me identify this pine cone bling! They are “CONES’ from the AUSTRALIAN PINE TREES. Thank you as well Eric Milbrandt of Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation for giving me the link to “Genus Casuarina“.
Okay and one more….
I had to take one more photo of Clark’s GOLDEN OLIVE today so you could see it a little better… well, and because I just wanted to look at it again and hold the dang thing :) Wow! It’s a beauty!
You can join in on the fun and you can hang out with a boatload of other shellers on the next iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa June 19, 2013 (Wednesday) – 1pm to 4pm by calling 239-472-5300 to make your reservation. This cruise was sold out (weehoo!) so don’t miss the boat… and if you do miss the next one, don’t worry, CLICK HERE to find more dates.
On a serious note… As Clark and I and the whole shelling family are thinking of those in Oklahoma and Texas effected by the violent storms and terrible tornados, I found some good info to share on how to help through the Red Cross HERE.
It was a gorgeous sunny day on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa yesterday! This beautiful HERMIT CRAB found a nice home inside this CONCH shell for lots of us to ooooh and ahhhh over it then see it go safely back into the water. But Debbie was soooo fortunate to have found this gigantic LIGHTNING WHELK completely empty!
Yowza Debbie! So happy for you! She also found a GAUDY NATICA (aka COLORFUL MOON SHELL) EGG COLLAR and a SHAGGY PARCHMENT WORM TUBE. But that gorgeous WHELK stole the show.
Holy mackeral! Super Sheller Clark found an empty LIGHTNING WHELK too. When we got back to the boat, Clark and Debbie showed their big finds of the day…
It was a day for finding big shells because Erin found another big LIGHTNING WHELK. After letting everybody see this beautiful creature alive and well with the original mollusk still inside, she walked it back into the water to live out its healthy life to breed more WHELKS. Way to go, Erin!
Like I always say… Every day the beaches change. One day the shells are piled on the beach and some days you have to work at finding them. I have to admit, we never found a huge pile of shells but this was an awesome group of shellers because they not only found those huge shells, but they found other beautiful shells they were happy with as well…
Did you notice in the last picture that little tiny SCALLOP SHELL? Love it!
Others were finding FIGHTING CONCHS and SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Aaron from Kansas City was finding the mini shells for his mom…
He found BABY’S EARS, FALSE ANGE WINGS and an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK. I think that other shell is either and OYSTER or a big KITTENS PAW but I didn’t even look at since I was inspecting the fab ALBINO WHELK.
I know this is a broken shell, but as soon as I peeked inside Shanna’s shell bucket on the way back to the dock and saw this piece, I woooped it up! She found the lip of a DEER COWRY! DEER COWRIES are very rare in Southwest Florida since they don’t live here. They live further south in the keys so for it to travel this far north… I always think any piece found here is a fun find. Especially the lip.
Here is Shanna and her mom Patricia (both from Georgia) with her fave find.. a WORM SHELL :)
I was thrilled to find a SPECKLED TELLIN! This is another shell I don’t normally find on our beaches. Between Clark and I, we only have about 4 that we’ve found around here (SW Florida) so to me, it’s a pretty rare find.
This is how I found it so if you see it with the interior side up, you will know to pick it up too. Errrr… Now that I look at it this way, doesn’t it look like Spock lost his ear? Weird. haha
Speaking of ears…There were quite a few people that found BABY’S EARS for the first time ever…
So let me show you a few of these beautiful souls that Clark and I got to spend some time with to exchange stories and treasures…
I had to get my picture taken with Jeanine and Della from PA. They came geared up with their iLoveShelling tee shirts just like me. Thanks you guys!
There are 3 shellers in the next photo too. Jody and Melissa will be having a baby next month so their newest addition will already have shelling experience. Doesn’t she look great? Lucky baby!
Thank you Captiva Cruises‘ Captains Keith and Kelly for a perfectly safe and smooth boating morning.
And thanks so much to these fabulous folks for joining us for this spectasheller day!
Don’t miss this experience! Join us on our next cruise May 19 from 1pm to 4pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
There are so many different COCKLE SHELLS that live here in SouthWest Florida! Clark even found this wonderful ALBINO FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLE this weekend…
I’m sure that it’s an ALBINO since the shell looks so fresh with the ribs perfectly in tact without that dull matte finish that you get with beach worn shells.
Since I received a comment from Pat Bradley on a post last week who suggested that I add the PAINTED COCKLE on my Seashell Identification page (Thank you Pat for the great suggestion!) I couldnt stop thinking about how many different COCKLES there are. So when Clark found the ALBINO COCKLE I remembered I needed to photograph the PAINTED EGG COCKLE…
Then I realized I didn’t have the very common FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLE on my Shell Identification page either… Geez, so many COCKLES. I’m getting frazzled!
So I might as well show the whole gaggle of COCKLES we have in our collection of shells. This includes of course the ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE…
And probably my favorite… the YELLOW PRICKLY COCKLE.
Well wait, I take that back. I think the BROAD PAPER COCKLE is my favorite COCKLE but I just don’t find them often. Take a close look… have you found lots of these?
We can’t forget about the tiny MORTON’S EGG COCKLE either! They are so stinkin cute!
And finally, we have the VELVET EGG COCKLE (which I normally just call it a plain ol EGG COCKLE)
There is a STRAWBERRY COCKLE as well, but I didn’t find one this weekend when I looked for COCKLES and I can’t remember ever picking one up. So when we find one, (and we will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled!) I’ll let you know.
But before I sign off for tonight, I met a really nice local gal Mary Beth from Fort Myers on the beach by the Sanibel fishing pier. (yes, the water is that ice tea color again… too much rain so overflow of the lake and river – ugh. It will clear up soon)
While I was looking for COCKLES, she was on the hunt for minis. She showed me this sweet little MARGINELLA along with some other excellent specimens.
My world has been splashed with so many amazing colors of shells lately! These gorgeous tiny TRUE TULIPS (above) were a combination of both my finds and SS Clark‘s finds over the last few weeks as well as these little HORSE CONCH candies. These are the shell colors we dream about!
Since I just talked about the process I took to clean the big size HORSE CONCHS in my September 5 post, I thought I’d tell you that I only rinsed these shells with fresh water before I photographed them (as well the shells on my last post). None of these shells needed any more cleaning than just a rinse as you will see. I did put mineral oil on the TULIPS to bring out the color but I didn’t on these HORSE CONCHS because… well… I ran out of time. ;)
I’ve showed a few colors of the CALICO SCALLOPS (and even named them!) but here are some rich colors of the ROUGH SCALLOP. I just love this lemon yellow one Clark found…
Even the NUTMEGS have been rich with color.
Not only did we find so many different patterns and colors on LIGHTNING WHELKS, I even found one without color at all… an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK! See the white one on the bottom row?
I think this ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK deserves a close up shot. You can see that it still has a shine to the exterior which would be a sign of an albino. Beach worn white shells have a dull matte finish so you can tell that the sun bleached the color out of them.
Hmmm. This photo makes it look blue. Dang it. It really isnt blueish but since it was so bright white against the blue, the lens got tricked and the white balance went wacky. If I get time, I’ll try to retake it but you can see the true color with all of the other LIGHTNING WHELKS but hopefully you can see, this one is in excellent condition with a nice glossy aperture.
Now every where I look I see amazing technicolor I thought were only saved for dreams.