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

Different Cone Shells From Sanibel Florida

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Alphabet Cone, Bowman's Beach, Dusky Cone, Florida Cone, Sanibel, Seashells | 15 comments

Finding shells on Bowmans Beach Sanibel

We’ve been enjoying walking along the shore at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach this summer since we’ve had our best luck finding shells no matter which direction we comb the beach. Clark had an eye for the cutie mini shells this time. As soon as he found that little DUSKY CONE (on the tips of the horsies/candy/candy corn/mac n cheese…. errrr… those juvie HORSE CONCHS) I remembered that on one of my latest shelling adventure cruises I tried to show how one can tell the difference between those and the ALPHABETS and FLORIDA CONES.

small shells from Bowmans Beach Sanibel

So let me try to show the difference of the shells to you too. Here is a handful of the DUSKY CONES to show you how big they are and the different colors and patterns. Also, check out that each one of them has spiral ribs along the body of the shell. If you run your thumb over the shell, it won’t be smooth, you will feel all of the the little ridges.

Dusky shells from Sanibel Florida

Here’s the difference between a random ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and the DUSKY that I pulled from our collection of Sanibel shells to see the different patterns and the normal adult size of each.

Different cone shells from Sanibel Dusky Florida Alphabet

In this view, you can really see those ribs on the DUSKY compared to the other two that are mostly smooth.  Cool, huh?

Dusky cone shell ribs compared to florida and alphabet cone


So next time you find a small little cone shell, look a little closer to see which one you’ve found. Maybe it will be a DUSKY CONE like Deseray found years ago that I showed in my post Rainbow Of Miniature Shells that we compared to her sweet little ALPHIE.

UPDATE: Ive had a few people ask about the difference between the Duskys, Stearns and Jasper Cones. I used to call some of them Jasper Cones but I was corrected a few years ago (can’t remember who told me- MurexKen maybe?) that the Shell Museum says that Jaspers and Stearns aren’t found in our area- only Dusky Cones. So I guess Ive gotta go with with that too unless they add them to the list. Im def no scientist ;0

Dusky alphabet cones sanibel


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Love Bucket Of Shells

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Alphabet Cone, Cone, Island Inn, Rocksnail | 20 comments

seashell awesomeness

It was an especially good day on the Sanibel today. On the beach at Island Inn, the weather was perfect (high 70s), the water was calm, there were piles of good shells… and I had Clark with me. That’s why I love this next photo… it’s everything I love all in one shot. Clark, the beach, the water and a ton of shells to pick through to collect in an aqua shell bucket.

i Love Shelling seashell bucket

My day was made.

happy super sheller clark

I wasn’t the only one loving the day either, if there’s a good shell pile it seems I always find Connie K. right smack in the middle of it. Ha! She can sniff ’em out!

combing the beach for shells

I also met another happy gal… Faith from Ohio. She is a ball of fun!

Beach combing Faith

These are just a few of the beautiful shells she found. She found a LIONS PAW too but I didn’t get a chance to see it since she had already packed it up in her room. Happy.

Beach combing shells on Sanibel November

Sitting on the big pile of shells (after walking to the right from Island Inn), I saw OLIVES, CONCHS, WHELKS, SCALLOPS and TULIPS but I had to snap a picture of this adorably tiny horsie candy (juvie HORSE CONCH). Omigosh- so stinkin cute.

Sanibel shell candy

Clark’s fave find of the day was of course that awesome ALPHABET CONE (first pic) but mine was this teeny tiny ROCK SNAIL SHELL.

juvie rock snail shell

I haven’t found a ROCK SHELL in a while and I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen one this small before. I love it!

aperture view juvie rock snail shell

Wishing on this shell tree that everybody gets to experience a day like this on the beach to feel this calm and happy about simple pleasures.

shell tree wishes


PS- Thank you Heather for the heads up about the shell pile!

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Shellucky Boating Day

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Alphabet Cone, Big Hickory Island, Colorful Moon shell, Cone, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fort Myers Beach, Lightning Whelk, ShellingAdventures, Sight Sea-R Cruises, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat, Whelk | 24 comments


iLoveShelling giveaway shells and stickers

We had a shellucky boat trip shelling adventure yesterday! On each iLoveShelling cruise, every person gets to choose a shell and a bumper sticker out of my very large bucket-o-shells (collected by either Clark or me) to get the day started with at least one shell in your pocket for good luck. It’s the Shellucky Shell… and it works! The forecast for our shelling adventure on Sight Sea-R Cruises out of Fort Myers Beach yesterday was stormy skies and rain so I thought we were going to get rained out… but then…

The rain stopped,

The skies turned blue,

The sun started shining

On our iLoveShelling cruise.

Sight Sea-R cruise boat Fort Myers Beach

Yay! Not only did we have clear skies… we found lots of shells!

Shells found on Big Hickory Island, Bonita Florida

And not only did we have a sunny day finding seashells… we got to hang out with other fabshellous shellers like Ralph, Sharlotte, Beryle, Mitchell and Susie from Texas.

ralph, sharlotte, beryle, mitchell, susie on iLoveShelling cruise

And the shellastic California girls! California girls visit Florida

Did I mention we had a great day finding shells?

Shells of Big Hickory island Bonita Florida

As I said, our day started a little iffy with the weather but then everything turned out shelltastic. Barry (from the east coast of Florida) had a pretty iffy morning even after the skies cleared up. When we got to the island he headed straight to the water, did a few stoops to pick up a few treasures then realized… his iPhone had fallen out of his top pocket. Ack! I saw he had a sick look on his face so he told me what happened… he couldn’t find his phone. My first thought was…. call in the troops! We’ve got a boat load of shellers who looooove to find “things”! So I shouted an announcement down the beach “Everybody look for a lost iPhone!”  I don’t normally shout on the beach but we were the only ones on this beach and I felt like I was with family already… so I figured, why not? Two minutes later, snorkelers Jen and Dwayne found Barry’s phone in the water and held it up like they had just found a JUNONIA. Weeehooo! I love hanging out with shellers- such kind people. Seriously.

Snorkelers Jen and Dwayne found Barry's iPhone

I took this photo of Dwayne snorkeling just moments before I talked to Barry. Its weird how things work… if either Barry or I had waited one more minute to tell other people to look for the phone, Dwayne wouldn’t have been in that exact spot where he found his biggest find of the day. Good eye, Dwayne, good eye!

snorkeling Bonita Beach Florida

What else did Dwayne and Jen find snorkeling? This is just a small sampling of all of their loot. They had two bags full of awesome stuff.

seashells and coral shelling on Big Hickory Island Florida

Guess who else was on the cruise… Conne from Shellabaloo 4. Not only was I happy to see her, I was so happy for her that she found an ALPHABET CONE. Such a cutie.

Conne found an alphabet cone!

Barry’s wife Alex found an ALPHABET CONE too. She didn’t let anything stop her from having a great time!

Alex with alphabet cone in Bonita Beach

Canadians Marilyn and Ted were having luck finding WORM SHELLS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS, SAND DOLLARS and a few SEA PEARLS too.

Canadians Marilyn Ted visit Bonita Florida

I think everybody came home with some lovely treasures.

shells collected on Big Hickory Island

Speaking of lovely treasures, everybody on this iLoveShelling cruise received one more lucky gift… a $25 gift certificate to Sealife By Congress jewelry store on Sanibel. On each iLoveShelling cruise through February, each sheller will receive one too- Wow!


I thank you Sealife By Congress and these folks thank you too… like Jude and Chris from NY

jude chris NY boating in swfl

Karen from Maine…

karen with large coral piece

And Mariann and Bruce from Ohio…

Mariann Bruce Ohio on iLoveShelling shell cruise

We all shared a wonderful day with so many gifts….

Sanibel stoop sheller Big Hickory Island

Finding treasures by the sea.

Lightning whelk shell in the sand

Join us on one of our next iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R shelling cruises! Sight Sea-R Adventures– $50 for 4 hour shelling cruise with iLoveShelling cruise with Pam. Call 239-765-7272 or CLICK HERE . Dont forget, the Sight Sea-R has shelling cruises every Wednesday so even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, they have other fantabshellous shelling adventures too.

sight sea-r feb 2015

Or join us for more iLoveShelling beachcombing adventures- CLICK HERE for more information.

PS- We aren’t ready just yet…. But….. Be on the lookout for an exciting announcement for the next Shellabaloo! Yay!!!! Soooooon!

PSS- What is Shellabaloo? CLICK HERE to find out.

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Maiden Voyage Sight Sea-R Shelling Cruise Was Incredishell

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Alphabet Cone, Big Hickory Island, Bonita Out Islands, Cone, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fargo Worm Shell, Rose Tellin, Shark's Eye, Shelling guides SW Florida Sanibel, ShellingAdventures, Sight Sea-R Cruises, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat, Sunsets, Worm Shell | 15 comments

Sight Sea-R Cruises shelling excursion

Our first iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R Cruise was even better than I could ever even imagined! This brand new Sight Sea-R boat proved to be the absolutely perfect shelling excursion with plenty of room to take our 48 amazing shellers to this new shelling destination only accessible by boat… Big Hickory Island.

shells found on iLoveShelling shelling adventure cruiseshells found on iLoveShelling shelling adventure cruise

Not only is the island filled with our favorite treasures (shells, of course)….

sharks eye shell found on iLoveShelling cruise

We kicked this shelling adventure off with lots of other goodies too. Giveaways! Clark and I brought a big bucket of Sanibel Six shells so everybody could pick out a lucky shell to get things started.  Then we treated everybody to iLoveShelling waterproof Seashell Identification guides, bumper stickers and had raffle prizes for hats and tee shirts. So. Much. Fun.

i Love Shelling giveaway prizes

Our biggest surprise was from Mary and Jana of Sealife By Congress– my fave jewelry store. You won’t believe it, they gave every single person on this cruise a sterling silver sealife charm. Seriously. They came on the boat with large baskets filled with beautiful pieces of jewelry and let us all pick our gift of hand made sterling silver dolphin, starfish, sand dollars, scallops and yes… even junonia charms. So sweet!

Mary and Jana of Sealife By Congress

Texas cutie cousins Pat, Pam, Kay, Peggy, Debby and Linda were thrilled to all receive such a gracious gift of jewelry. Thank you Sealife By Congress!


pat pam kay peggy debby linda texas cousins with jewelry prizes

Let me tell you… this boat turned into a parrrr-taayyy!

happy shellers on shelling cruise

So to top it off, on the boat ride to the island we spotted lots of different wildlife. There were dozens of species of birds but we were most excited about seeing many ROSEATE SPOONBILLS…

roseate spoonbill with ibis sighting

We also saw a rare sighting of a SEA TURTLE popping out of the water and we also witnessed countless pods of BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN.

dolphin sight seeing on shelling excursion

This was already so much fun and we hadn’t even starting shelling yet. But I was soooo ready… especially since I saw Holly had made a special shell bucket for herself with “My Shell Holl” on it- heehee. She also made one for her husband Ted that said “Collect-Ted Shells” and she made one for me with “My Pamtastic Shells”. OMG So stinkin cute.pam Ted Holly with Pamtastic shell buckets

We were all ready to hit the beach to find shells. And we did! Sandy from Fort Myers Beach’s newspaper The Island Sand Paper found some awesome shells to make her smile. Go back and take a look at the second photo from the top, those are her shells- See? Awesome.

Sandy from Sand Paper with seashells from Sight Sea-R Cruise

We couldn’t believe how many WORM SHELLS we all found…

worm shells found on shelling cruise

And lots of SHARK’S EYES…

sharks eye shell found on iLoveShelling cruise

During the boat ride back, I asked how many people found CONE shells (and not ones they picked from the “lucky bucket”) and 19 shellers raised their hands. Wow!

shells found on sight sea-r shelling cruise

I’m always so happy to meet families that shell together. Christine, Anthony, Paula, Bryce and Dominic (from VT and MA) were such a pleasure to talk to.

christine anthony paula bryce (VT) dominic mass on cruise

I asked Bryce what his favorite thing about the cruise was and he reminded me that together we saved a SEA HARE that got washed up on the beach. We put the SEA HARE back in the water and after a minute, he revived and swam away- that was his favorite moment. I asked Anthony what his favorites were and he immediately showed me his ROSE PETAL TELLINS (with 2 COCQUINAS as well).

rose petal tellins

Brooke and Josh from Georgia had favorites too…  SAND DOLLARS.
brooke and josh georgia found sand dollars on shelling excursion

Clark and I loved hearing Keri (also from the Sand Paper) tell about shelling bringing back so many memories of her childhood while shelling with her grandmother. I think that’s why we love it so much… we explore the beach like we are kids again and remember those days.

sight sea-r cruises shelling adventure

Thank you Captain Phil and Meg for such a great adventure!

Captain Phil and Meg on Sight Sea-R Shelling Cruise

I still can’t believe how exciting every moment was with perfect weather seeing DOLPHINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILLS, OSPREY, PELICANS, a SEA TURLE, lots of seashells and the best group of people Clark and I could wish for.

Clark and Pam Rambo on shelling cruise

To make a fairy tale ending, on our way back to the dock we watched the sun set over the Sanibel Lighthouse…

Sunset over Sanibel lighthouse

It was a very special day to remember. Oh but wait… I still have more photos and I have just a few more things I want to share with you about this day on my next post. The surprises continue!

watching sunset on shelling boatThank you Sight Sea-R Cruises!

You can catch a cruise too. Hop on a regularly scheduled shelling cruise on the Sight Sea-R to Big Hickory every Wednesday at 10am, Call 239-765-7272 or go to the website at http://www.sightseaflorida.comYou won’t be disappointed.

If you want to catch an iLoveShelling shelling adventure with me as your guide (once a month), CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam


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Seashells Rock Southwest Florida

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Alphabet Cone, Baby's Ear, Cabrit's Murex, Cone, Fulgurator olive, Junonia, Scotch Bonnet, True tulip, Tulip | 19 comments

seashells you can find on Sanibel Island Florida

Shells! Shells! Shells!  I teased you yesterday with a quick update post of Beth’s beautiful seashells she found at Lighthouse Beach after west winds whipped through Southwest Florida a few days earlier in the week, but it really was just the start of an incredishell couple of shelling days.

beth from ohio found beautiful shells on a visit to sanibel florida

A few of you spotted the TRUE TULIP Beth (Ohio) found, which I believe is the prettiest TRUE TULIP I’ve ever seen. It’s “truly” spectacsheller!

beautiful true tulip found on sanibel island florida

Well… on second thought it may be the second prettiest one to the one I found while videoing after a storm on the post Fishing For True Tulips At Sanibel Pier. heehee

aperture opening of beautiful true tulip on sanibel island

I saw Connie Miller and John again and they were having a BABYS EAR hay day.

connie john shelling sanibel

She was filling her coffee cup with other treasures too but I was amazed with how many BABYS EARS.

babys ear seashells found on sanibel island florida

Jana, Andrea and Ruth Ann from Tennessee not just found beautiful LIGHTNING WHELKS….

jana andrea ruth ann from tennessee visits sanibel florida for shells

They found The Sanibel Six ….and to my surprise, Andrea found a SCOTCH BONNET! The Lighthouse Beach isn’t really known as SCOTCH BONNET territory.

seashells found at sanibel lighthouse beach in march

Later in the day, Ruth Ann posted a photo on the iLoveShelling Facebook page that Andrea found a CABRITS MUREX the same day on Captiva. Shellzam!

cabrits murex

I must have just missed them because I was on Captiva watching this major shell pile form at Blind Pass later in the afternoon….

seashells washing up on shore of captiva island florida

This is where I met Cathy (Ft Myers) after she found two SCOTCH BONNETS while the shells were rolling in. Holy Cowrie!

cathy found scotch bonnet shells on captiva island florida

But wait! after I took that photo of her holding her 2 SCOTCH BONNETS…. I heard her squeal with excitement! She found #3!!! BoomShellalaka!

3 scotch bonnets found in sw florida on captiva

It was a very happy birthday for Suzy (Fort Myers) because she found her own SCOTCH BONNET too. Here she is shellebrating with her husband Frank. Shelltastic!

suzy frank found a scotch bonnet on captiva

In a few hours, I watched lots of the shells roll back into the Gulf Of Mexico but there were so many still at the waters edge and in the pile.

beach full of shells on captiva island florida

I saw my friend Faye from North Carolina (she lived on Sanibel for years and years) find a huge handful of shells.

faye finds shells at blind pass captiva

Nice, huh?

sea shells found at blind pass captiva in march

Faye actually had a little help from Super Sheller Clark as he scooped the water with his shelling backhoe and brought us shells to sort through. Clark is on the far right getting those shells for us! I haven’t even gone through our shells yet to get a photo but I do know that in all of these years shelling Clark had never found a CARRIER SHELL… until now. He found four! hahah It’s one shell that he said he just didn’t have an eye for…. I repeat…. until now. Yay Clark!  I’ll get pictures and show you later. ;)

shelling blind pass

Right as I was leaving, Len from Illinois showed me a couple of shells he found.

len from illinois found a fulgurator olive shell

He found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Exshellent find along with the very nice NUTMEG.

nutmeg and fulgurator olive captiva florida

It has been so much fun to see the beaches change within hours and to witness Blind Pass fill up with shells again. I feel like its been three months since we’ve seen it get shell crazy by the jetty rocks. It felt sooooo gooood.

bucket of seashells on sw florida coast

I have to show you Erin’s JUNONIA again since it was so sweet.

junonia found on captiva island florida

I haven’t even caught you up on all the great shelling holes I found this week! Yes, Lighthouse Beach and Blind Pass Captiva have been fabshellous… but the shelling on Fort Myers Beach has been outragshellous too!

shelling fort myers beach point estero resort

Next post I will show you how amazing the shelling on the south end of Fort Myers Beach. Here is the first pile of shells I stooped over to find my first treasures yesterday on this beach. Just click on the photo to enjoy the CYBERSHELLING! I hope this incredishelling continues through the weekend!

cybershelling seashells at Fort Myers Beach Florida

UPDATE 3-20-14 around 6:00pm- I stopped at Blind Pass Captiva to see how the beach had changed. It was wiped clean of shells! Ack! There was still a small and very picked over pile of shells but most was just sand. All of the shells were taken back in the water. Darn it!

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Just Breathe. Shell. Love.

Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Cabrit's Murex, Cone, Junonia, low tide, Murex | 18 comments

cabrits murex Vokesimurex cabritii sanibel florida

Shellzam! Elyssa found a CABRITS MUREX! We don’t see these spectacsheller spiny treasures wash up on our shores of Southwest Florida very often so it was exciting to see such a beauty. But wait! Huh? Another one? Yes! Elyssa’s mom Jeanne (Indiana) found one too in the same area at Blind Pass Sanibel this morning. Woot Woot!

jeanne elyssa indiana find cabrits murex sanibel

They must have some good shelling blood in their family. Congratshellations y’all!

pair of cabarets murexes sanibel

I got out on the beach this morning before sunrise at a negative low tide to see what loot I might find washed up on the shore. First person I saw was Tracly (Gainsville, FL) with her flashlight – they were both beaming.

tracly seashells sanibel blind pass

She was thrilled to find her ALPHABET CONE along with a nice FLAT SCALLOP, TULIP, NUTMEG, WHELK and a very cool cluster of BARNACLES.

tracly negative low tide shells

It was so nice to meet Linda from PA too. She was overjoyed after finding her JUNONIA. Boom Shellalaka! This was just one of many great shells she found before I got there at 7am. She was there at 5am. hahaha Love it!

linda pa found junonia at blind pass sanibel

Erin (Ft Myers) and Shannon (Norfolk, VA!) were there with their flashlights too letting the shells wash up to their toes.

sanibel shellers collecting seashells

Erin and Shannon showed me their fave shells and I fell in love with her wrist tatt. (okay, I’m really not that cool to have a tattoo or to even call it a “tatt” but I couldn’t resist- heehee). Seriously though, its so sweet. It’s says …. just breathe 

just breathe in shelling

Savannah was collecting shells for her mom’s birthday…

gift of shells from melissa's daughter

Here is Savannah with her brother Tommy, her mom Melissa and dad Thom. Melissa told me that her mother Barb was the sheller of the family who got them all hooked on beach combing but instead of hitting the negative low tide, she wanted to bake Melissa her favorite birthday cake. Awwwww…. so sweet!!! Happy birthday Melissa!

melissa thom tommy savannah Wisconsin shelling sanibel

Kevin from Ontario was very happy to be in 70 degree weather but even happier to have scooped up the perfect ALPHABET CONE. He said his favorite saying is “Conch If You Love Shelling!” hahahha I’m Conching!

kevin ontario cananda visit sanibel florida

Okay, do me a favor…  I want you to go back up and look at the photo of the beach where Tracly was sitting with her yellow bucket and flashlight. That was at 7am … and by 10am this is what happened to that same spot. A shell mound! OMG That’s how quickly the beach changes!

sea shell pile sanibel florida shellers

I took a video so I’ll try to get that up and running soon so you can see for yourself how exciting it can be to watch the shells come in. Tomorrow is another veeeerrrry low tide in the morning so it should be fun to see what washes in next! To see the Tide Chart CLICK HERE.

melissa shelling sanibel negative low tide

Come shelling with us this Friday January 3, 2014!!! CLICK HERE for more info

shelling adventures trips by pam

pam rambo art gallery iloveshelling

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