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

Spectacsheller Times!

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013 in Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Shellabaloo 1, ShellingAdventures | 34 comments

cayo costa florida state park beach

On the third day of our Shellabaloo, the Island Inn organized a fabulous shelling excursion for us to explore the quiet and undeveloped beaches on the island of Cayo Costa. So we gathered aboard Captiva Cruises‘ catamaran called “Playtime”, and headed for our secluded paradise.

captiva cruises playtime

 After walking through a charming tree canopy trail with a sanded pathway,

cayo costa trail paradise

we arrived on a shelly beach with picturesque trees and roots that act as a perfect trap for seashells.

tree roots cayo costa florida cruise

Then everybody scattered! Some searched the roots…

Cayo costa shellers tree roots

Some searched the wrack lines…

shell collecting cayo costa florida

Mike immediately started hunting the clear waters and found this gorgeous live LIGHTNING WHELK. After admiring the spectacular beauty of this live creature, he gently placed it back in the water. We hope it lives a much longer life and to breed more beauties!

mike live lightning whelk

Patty was completely mesmerized by the minis! She found lots of tiny seashells she never dreamed of paying attention to before like oodles of LUNATE CRASSINELLAS!

lunate crassinellas

Here she is holding her minis and decked out with her awesome mermaid and seahorse tattoo along with Captiva Cruises’ Captain Brian…

capt brian patty captiva cruises

It was so much fun to show everybody exactly where and how to spot the shells they were hunting for!

pam rambo shelling guide

Right after I showed Jo Ann the different shells to look for in this wrack line, she showed me a COFFEE  TRIVIA. Wow! I don’t find those very often!

Jo Ann trivia shell

We all had an amazing day being together and sharing our finds (CLICK HERE to see some of the other shells we found) and telling our stories while being on the island then comparing notes on the boat ride back. After arriving back at the dock, we all got together for a group shot to remember our exshellent time together.

shellabaloo group captiva cruises

So now that I’ve told you all the shellsational things we did over the 4 days like staying at Island Inn, cocktails and dinner at Traditions On The Beach, shelling at the different beaches and the excursion with Captiva Cruises (I didnt even get to show you the visit to Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and dinner at Doc Fords! so sorry!) … I also made up a little game of a “Shellinger Hunt” for everybody! Nope, not a scavenger hunt…. a shellinger hunt! For each of our destinations, I had questions for everybody to play along to find certain shells and learn a little something more about the island. It was fun even to put it together since I had lots of help from my adorable, sweet kitty Dustie…

shellinger hunt dustie

I even tied WORM SHELLS to each of the Shellinger Hunt scrolls so it would start everybody out with a fun shell…

worm shell tied shellinger hunt

Congratshellations to winners Kathy, Karen, Jackie, Helen, Mike and Carolyn of the first ever iLoveShelling Shellinger Hunt! They won gift cards to the new awesome frozen yogurt shop on Sanibel called Zebra Frozen Yogurt. YUM!

shellinger hunt winners

Thank you Island Inn for organizing this 4 day spectacsheller event!!! Everything was perfect. Even the last sunset of our time together right on the beach in front of the inn was perfect…

sunset at Island Inn Sanibel

As promised, we are working on more dates to organize more shellsational events just like this one at the Island Inn so more of us can share such a special time together. I hope to announce that very soon!!!

Ahem…. but meanwhile, while the next Shellabaloo date is still in the works… I have some exciting news!


Yes! I have secured some dates so we can meet each other, enjoy a boat ride together and shell, shell, shell together on the beautiful secluded island of Cayo Costa!!

Captiva Cruises Playtime

 Get ready to meet the best people on the planet… other shellers just like us!

These are the dates for the iLoveShelling ShellingAdventure!

  • February 17- morning cruise from 9am-12      (Sunday)
  • March 16- morning cruise from 9am-12          (Saturday)
  • April 13 – Morning cruise from 9am-12           (Saturday)
  • May 19- afternoon cruise from 1pm-4              (Sunday)

Call Captiva Cruises for reservations at 239-472-5300 and tell them you want to join the iLoveShelling group on one of these dates!

For more information about reservations CLICK HERE

Yippee! Can you believe it? Tickets are only $50 for this shellacious get together so book soon to save your spot on one of the iLoveShelling ShellingAdventures to Cayo Costa! Come join me!

pam rambo seashells



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Seashell Show And Tell

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Colorful Moon shell, Cone, Long-Spined Star Shell, Shellabaloo 1, Turkey Wing | 41 comments

seashell strewn beach

Now that you’ve met the members of the “Maiden Voyage” (cute name, Patty!) for the Shellebaloo on my last post, it’s time for a little seashell show and tell. I have 2 personal favorite shells found during our 3 days together (other than the LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL of course). The first shell is Carolyn’s absolutely perfect ALPHABET CONE…

carolyn alphabet cone

And the other one is Sara’s COLORFUL MOON shell. There was questions about it being called a GAUDY NATICA so I explained that I used to call it that too but since the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum calls it the COLORFUL MOON, I figured I should start trying to call it that. Any way, here’s Sara and her beautiful shell…

sara moon gaudy natica

Isn’t it beautiful? She told me this was her favorite find of the week. Good one!

sara's gaudy natica

I asked everybody else to get out their favorite shells to see which shells made them happiest so we gathered at the gazebo at our home base of the beautiful Island Inn to have a show and tell. Carolyn and Mike added a few to their faves along with her ALPHIE…

carolyn seashells sanibel

Amy showed me her teeny tiny juvie TURKEY WING…

amy turkey wing shell

Karen, Helen and Jackie chose an ALPHABET CONE, TOP SHELL, LACE MUREX (notice that sweet little pink nose) and a KING’S CROWN…

karen helen jackie

Sally and Jim collected a beautiful assortment of different shells to name a few like the green cap filled with TUSK SHELLS, a BRUISED NASA, TINTED CANTHARUS, WHITE MELAMPUS, COFFEE MELAMPUS, a SEA PEARL, a CLOUDY PERIWINKLE (inside the BUTTERCUP LUCINE), and a WENTLETRAP. Nice, huh?

sally jim periwinkle tusks tinted cantharus

Traci and Rob found the SANIBEL SIX

traci rob sanibel six

But when I asked Traci what her one favorite shell was, she told me it was definitely the double OYSTER…

double oyster traci


joann sid angel wing trivia

Isn’t this fun seeing which shells make people happy? Well, this next one made me very happy and made me laugh out loud! Maureen laughed then told us that her favorite shells were speaking to her… maybe by aliens or through hieroglyphics on CROSS BARRED VENUS shells. LOL Now that’s a gal that has a great sense of humor!

maureen Hieroglyphic seashells

This is quite a seashell collection by Kathy and Bill for their favorites. Love, Love that WORMIE (WORM SHELL) and ALPHIE for sure! And I saw that piece of CORAL in her shell bag and “may” have influenced her to put that in her faves too. (oops! but I was so drawn to it! So pretty!). Of course I love the others too… NUTMEG, LACE MUREX, BANDED TULIP, BUBBLE, FIG, SEA PEARL and angel wing.

kathy bill seashells

Arabelle chose a BABY’S EAR, WHITE MELAMPUS and a SEA PEARL as her favorites. I am so tickled she found that BABY’S EAR!

arabelle seabean wt melampus baby

Last but not least was the awesome LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL Joe and Patty found along with some of their other faves… a PURPLISH TAGELUS, TUSK and a KING’S CROWN to name a few.

joe and patty long spined star shell

 I love how easy it was for everybody to pick through all of their shells to narrow it down to the ones that meant the most to them. Each person sees something different in each shell whether it is color, pattern, markings, size, shape or just the location of where they found it. They were all so happy with what they found!

sunrise beach combers

PS- Stay tuned because I have a surprise for you on my next post! We might have another get together soon!

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A Shell Of A Good Time!

Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Dolphin, Shellabaloo 1 | 23 comments

shellabaloo shell cayo costa

We had a shell of a good time every single minute this week during the SHELLABALOO starting at the Island Inn!! It was an unbelievable shellapalooza! The weather was gorgeous with the DOLPHINS coming out to greet us.

dolphins sanibel sea life

The shelling was terrific.

seashell beach florida

The meals were outstanding.

joe patty jim sally traci

But most of all, my new fabulous friends were an absolute joy to be with and an amazing group to share our love for shelling together. Honestly, I haven’t come down from the high I felt while bonding with each and every one of these awesome shellers. So I have to introduce each one to you before we get to the rest of our shelladventure.

Of course you already met Joe and Patty from my last post (CLICK HERE to see) because of Joe’s macdaddy find of the LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL…

patty joe captiva cruises

Sally and Jim from Atlanta who I met 2 years ago in Captiva, joined us…

jim sally captiva cruises

Along with Traci and Rob from Virginia…

traci rob shell collecting

Maureen from California…

maureen collecting seashells

Mike and Carolyn from Richmond, VA…

mike carolyn captiva cruises

 Amy from California…

amy seashells captiva florida

Pat and Steve from Tennessee…

pat steve seashelling

JoAnn and Sid from Vermont…

joann sid shellers

Arabelle from New York…

Arabelle captiva cruises

Sara and Dan from Tampa, FL…

sara dan sanibel shell

And the Carolina gals Kathy, Helen, Karen and Jackie with their Carolina gentleman Bill…

carolina gals bill

See? An unbelievable group of folks enjoying every aspect of the world of shelling.

net shells florida

which always involves sharing…

touching live whelk

sharing shells

And learning…

pam rambo identify shell

Now that you’ve met this awesome group of shellers, tomorrow I’ll show you some of the cool shells and BEACH BLING they found! Fun! Fun! Fun!!!

Oh but wait…. if you are in the Sanibel area, tomorrow’s negative low tide (-1.1) is in the morning around 7am. That is a really low tide! That means so much more of the beach will be exposed to make it easier to spot more shells. You’ll even get to see what live mollusks look like. Just make sure you leave any live shell where you found it. We want them to breed so they make more beautiful seashells so we can enjoy them forever!

algiers low tide sanibel

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Seashell Star Of The Day

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Lightning Whelk, Long-Spined Star Shell, Long-Spined Star-Shell, Shellabaloo 1 | 29 comments

iLS longspines star shell

Let the Shellabaloo begin with a bang!!! That’s right folks! On our first day of the Island Inn shelling extravaganza, Joe from Ohio found a very rare (for this area) LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL! Holy Toledo! Ok, (hee hee) he’s not from Toledo, Ohio… he and his wife Patty are from Akron and had no idea what this shell was.

joe patty long spined star shell

Joe thought it was maybe the top of a cracked shell but as soon as I saw it I knew it was a rare find. For some reason I said it was a “sundial” and it stuck in my head since Im not used to seeing LONG-SPINED STAR SHELLS on our beaches. Whoops! So embarrassing! I’ve even blogged about LONG-SPINED STAR SHELLS when we found a few on a vacation to The Keys.

Here is Joe’s LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL in his hand to show you how big it is…

long-spined star seashell

Congratshellations! And guess what… He didn’t even consider himself a real “sheller”. He just agreed to go on this vacation since Patty is an avid sheller. Ha! I think he might be hooked on shelling now too, huh? Here’s the aperture side of the shell.

aperture long spined star shell

I have got soooo many photos to show you since we’ve all been have a ball shelling and hanging out together but I had to post this first thing. I’ll have more photos and stories coming soon! But wait… now that I’m on the subject of Joe and his awesome shelling skills, I have to show you another beautiful shell he found too… a LIGHTNING WHELK!  The mollusk was alive inside it so he had to put it back in the water where he found it but it is always a thrill to see this awesome creature.

joe lightning whelk

I promise to get to everybody else and their found treasures very soon so I can introduce you to all of these fabulous shellers like …

shellabaloo seashellers

…and like these fabulous shellers too!

shellabaloo shelling group

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iLoveShelling Shellebrates 3 Years With A Shellabaloo!

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Island Inn, Shellabaloo 1 | 84 comments

iLS 3 year

Happy 3rd Birthday iLoveShelling! Can you believe it? I wrote my very first iLoveShelling blog post October 10 three years ago on this very day. I feel like I’ve known many of you so much longer since our passion for shelling has brought us so closely together. For me, the most amazing thing that has come from the birth of this blog is together we’ve learned so much about seashells by sharing our shelling adventures then being so fortunate to run into each other while collecting shells on the beach. It means so much to me to be able to put a face to the name that you have given to your wonderful comments. Shellers are amazing folks and I’m so happy to be a part of this exshellent community. I feel like y’all are part of my family now!

I’ve had so many people suggest that we have some sort of sheller’s event to gather together to meet, shell, share tips and tricks and share our shelling stories. So now for the shelltastic news!

Our event has come true!!!

Island Inn Sanibel Street Sign

It’s a shellabaloo at Island Inn Beachfront Resort January 7-10! Island Inn has put together a spectacsheller shelling package  so we can shell together and get to know each other in real live person. It will be soooo exciting to meet y’all!

Old style Sanibel Island Inn

If you are familiar with the Island Inn, you know that it is a beachfront hotel that has kept the unique feel of “old Florida charm” with a rich history of seashells. This was where the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show was first started.

Island Inn Sanibel Office

You will feel right at home. Throughout the lobby, there are shell displays…

Island inn Sanibel shell display

They love shells as much as we do so it’s the perfect setting for us.

yellow seashell case island inn sanibel

So let me tell you more about our shellers’ retreat. On January 7th after your private tour of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, I will join you back at Island Inn with a meet and greet (in other words… paarrrtaaay!) at one of Sanibel’s best restaurants called Traditions On The Beach. When I have a special occasion dinner, this is where I always want to come so it’s perfect that this will be a VERY special occasion.

Sanibel Restaurant on the beach Traditions

Then the next morning, you wake up to the sound of those seashells calling your name… so we’ll hit the beaches for an amazing shellathon! This will be the best treasure hunt ever. There’s no telling what we will find by sharing all of our shelling secrets. What a blast!!!

shelling sanibel turner beach

On Wednesday the 9th, Island Inn has provided another exshellent shell adventure for us as well. A Captiva Cruises boat trip to Cayo Costa! Wahoo! There’s a good chance we’ll get to see dolphins and manatees on the way there too. Another reason why we love shelling.

Captiva Cruises Playtime

Yall know how much Clark and I love to shell around the tree roots at Cayo Costa so now I’ll be able to shell this area with YOU.

Loads of shells in the tree roots on Cayo Costa

Okay, so this all starts at our home base at Island Inn with awesome accommodations right on their private beach.

Kimball Lodge Island Inn Sanibel

There are limited (!) rooms available but there are a couple of choices on rooms which are similar to this charming room…

Island Inn Sanibel Room

Or this awesome room…

Island Inn sanibel 2 bed room

Believe it or not, every room has a balcony with a gulf front view.

sanibel room with a view

If you or your travel buddy don’t want to spend every waking moment shelling (really? ;)), there are plenty of options just steps away from your room. Like relaxing by the pool with a view of the gulf.

Island Inn Sanibel beach pool

Or playing shuffleboard with a view of the gulf…

island Inn Sanibel shuffle board

Play horseshoes … and yes, also with a view of the gulf.

Island Inn Horse shoes beach

They also have stand up paddle boards and kayaks you can rent out.

Island Inn sup kayak sanibel

Or you could rent a bike to check out the rest of the island…

sanibel island inn bikes

But the most important thing is… I do hope that we get to shell together to make our shelling connections even stronger. So Join us! (SOLD OUT -please see below) Here are some details that Island Inn has graciously put together for us (heehee, I know, they put “renowned expert” Who would have thought? It tickles me :))


Thank you Island Inn for organizing this event. This is going to be a shell of a good time for all of us! So join in on the fun by calling Island Inn for pricing (sorry it’s SOLD OUT) and any details and they can answer any of your questions at 800-851-5088. Don’t miss out on the shelladventure of a lifetime! UPDATE: 10-12-12-  OOPS! This package is SOLD OUT! I’m so sorry if you didn’t get a chance to join us but since this sold out within 36 hours of this post, I’m sure there will be another one in the future. You will be the first to know when there is another date set!

sanibel shellers row

Sanibel dusk seashell conchs

pam rambo iLoveShelling

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