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

Shell ‘N Tell At Shellabaloo 2

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Atlantic Giant, Cockle, Conch, Cone, Horse Conch, Kitten's Paw, One-Tooth Simnia, Sea Whip, Shark's Eye Operculum, Shark's Teeth, Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 2, ShellingAdventures, Tusk Shell | 31 comments

Michele Junonia Sanibel Bill

After you enjoy feeling the excitement of finding shells on the beach, you get to enjoy the excitement all over again when you show them to someone else that “gets” what you found and knows how you feel. That’s why our Shellabaloo 2 “Shell ‘N Tell” was one of my favorite days of the whole week during Shellabaloo. Do you see what Michele (Ohio) is holding in her hand in the first photo with her husband Bill? She found a JUNONIA! But that’s not it… she found what she calls “The Trifecta!”… A large HORSE CONCH and a large WHELK along with her JUNONIA. Do you think she was a happy girl or what! So happy for you Michele!

michele trifecta seashells

Here are some of her other finds (minus the JUNONIA since she was showing it to the others when I took this) …

seashells found sw florida shellabaloo 2

For the week of Shellabaloo 2, I made up another Shellinger Hunt. The hunt is really meant to just have fun learning about different shells and not to overlook some of the common shells like JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS because…. well… because I think they are beautiful too! So you will see some of the displays with a dozen JINGLES in a COCKLE SHELL because that was point for the Shellinger Hunt. It wasn’t about who could find and take the most shells off the beach- it was all about enjoying the shells that were found… and some bigger points for finding things like The Sanibel Six or finding the rarer shells. It was so much fun to see these shellers find shells they’ve never found before and to rediscover the ones that can easily be overlooked.

shellinger hunt dustie

On our last day, I asked everybody to bring their fave finds and/or their entries for the Shellinger Hunt at our home base at Island Inn so we could all see what everybody else was collecting. We set up tables for each person to display their shells and it turned out to be a mini Sanibel Shell Show!

Shellabaloo 2 Shell and Tell show

Terri (NY) made a beee-uuuteeeful display of her favorite finds.

Terri seashells shellabaloo

Lee and Susan (Cuba) narrowed down their favorite finds on a cooler tray for the Shellinger Hunt…

Lee Susan shell display

Of course I added a BEACH BLING category on the hunt ( i Love the BLING!) so it’s so funny they added a dried up fish tail that looks just like a MERMAID and a washed up fishing bobber as the faves in that category. LOL

lee susan shellabaloo shellinger hunt

Rick (Texas) brought a plate of his fave shells… the miniature shells. I just love how everybody organized their shells so creatively!

Rick miniature shells favorite

rick miniature shells sanibel

Rick’s wife Murfy showed her faves along with her favorite vintage shell book…

Murfy seashell display

There is one shell in the middle of the others that is a little different. It looks like some sort of a TURITELLA… which I dont think is native to this area. I think it is either a FOSSIL shell that found it’s way to the gulf on a high tide from sidewalk fill or it was left over from a party or wedding after someone bought shells to decorate with. Hmmmm.

Murfy seashell display shellabaloo 2

If there was a prize for being creative…  Sharene and Tom (Ontario) would have won for creativity!

sharene tom shellabaloo shells

seashells display shellabaloo 2 sharpen tom

Rusty and Donna (Apopka, FL) narrowed down the favorites and of course it included an ALPHABET CONE and the SEA WHIP that had the ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS I showed you in the first Shellabaloo 2 post.

Rusty Donna seashells shellinger hunt shellabaloo

rusty donna seashell shellabaloo hunt

Roger (MO) told me that his favorite shells were the minis he found at Lighthouse Beach. It was his first time finding WENTLETRAPS, RICE OLIVES and TUSKS so it was really fun to find something new.

roger shells shellabloo shellinger hunt

roger shells shellabloo

Margie (AL) is so adorable! Her favorite shell was the PONDEROUS ARK because she loved the black PERIOSTICUM (the shell’s “skin”) on the white shell so that’s all she collected. She is going to make a black and white frame for a mirror when she gets home so I hope we get to see it!

Margie shells for mirror

Ponderous ark shells sanibel shellinger hunt

Cutie Pie Becka needed her own table to make room for all of her newly found treasures.

Becka shells shellinger hunt

Kendra (IN) had a sweet organized display of her favorites but also for the Shellinger Hunt.

Kendra shellinger hunt sanibel

She was so afraid she was going to lose her first TUSK SHELL so she wrapped half of a bandaid around it so she would know where it was (on the blue plate). LOL

kendra seashells shellabaloo

Pat (Boca Raton, FL) had an amazing display of shells and BLING for the Shellinger Hunt.

pat shells shellabaloo shellinger hunt

While I was oooohing and aaaahing at all of her finds, she pointed out a piece of BEACH BLING that she wanted to know what it was. Whoa! Pat! You found the OPERCULUM to the SHARKS EYE! Clark just found our first ones just last month so I was absolutely thrilled for her that… A) she saw it and picked it up… and B) that she knew it was something special to show at the Shell And Tell. See why I love these shellers? Who else would think this thing on the beach was cool…

moon shells sharks eye operculum

pat shellinger hunt shellabaloo treasures

Speaking of awesome shellers, unfortunately, Gina couldn’t come to the Shell ‘N Tell but I still have to show you one of her exshellent finds… Gina found a yellow SEA WHIP. We find the purple ones a little more often but not the perfect yellow ones like hers. And no, I couldnt get her photo either because she was a little camera shy but Ha! I took a “long-arm shot” with me in it so we could get her picture and the SEA WHIP. LOL    And yep, you guessed it! There were two ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS on it!

gina pam yellow sea whip

I have found yellow SEA WHIPS before but never one with the yellow ONE-TOOTH SIMINAS on it. Yahoo! Gina did! Such a treasure!

yellow sea whip one tooth simnia

Okay back to the Shell ‘N Tell with the rest of the awesomeness…. Here’s Cindy with her huge HORSE CONCH I showed you in my last post! Now you can see all of the other fabulous shells she found as well.

cindy shells shellabaloo shellinger hunt

She also found a big ALPHABET CONE …which is part of 2 sets of The Sanibel Six for her Shellinger Hunt finds. She found a FLORIDA CONE to make her other set. And look at all of the SHARKS TEETH!

shellinger hunt cindy shells shellabaloo 2

Okay… It’s time to announce the winner of the Shell And Tell and you won’t believe this prize! The winning sheller went home with a silver JINGLE SHELL necklace made by Sealife By Congress. It is beautiful! This new Sanibel jewelry store in Periwinkle Place Shopping Center is filled with seashells, SEAHORSES, DOLPHINS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and every other sea life in gold, silver and with tasteful gemstones as well. I was thrilled they wanted to give our winner this perfect shell necklace.

Sealife By Congress jingle necklace

After much laughter and ado, we narrowed the winners down to Michele (with her JUNONIA and  HORSE CONCH) and Cindy with her HORSE CONCH based on their points score…

shellabaloo 2 shell winners

Before we announce the winner, Cindy and Michele clicked their CONCHS as if it was a toast. Cute and so much fun!

cindy michele conch shells

Drum Roll Please! …. wait for it…… The winner is Michele! Her JINGLE necklace is perfect for her! Congratshellations, my friend!

pam rambo michele winner necklace jingle

 I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun both Shellabaloo 1 (in January) and this Shellabaloo 2  have been since it really brings amazing people together with not just shelling in common but we all seem to be like-minded in so many other ways. It’s quite a bonding experience, I must say. Thank you Island Inn for hosting such a great Shellapalooza. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know when the next one will be- no dates of been set yet for this 4 day Shellathon but as soon as we’ve come up with a plan, you will be the first to know.

But wait!  I’m gathering a group of shellers for an afternoon of shelling at Cayo Costa next Sunday May 19 from 1-4pm on a Captiva Cruise. Join us! CLICK HERE for more info or call 239-472-5300 and ask to come along for the next iLoveShelling cruise!

seashell shelling adventures pam

Shellabaloo 2 seashell pile captiva

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Total Coup at Shellabaloo 2!

Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 2, Uncategorized | 29 comments

shell find Sanibel shellabaloo

Total coup at the Shellabaloo 2! Woo Woo!

We are all so happy for Cindy from Missouri after she found this shellacious empty HORSE CONCH on the beach at the Island Inn yesterday during Shellabaloo 2. She is still two clouds above nine since she found it in the water in the midst of a pile of PEN SHELLS. How awesome! Congratshellations!

cindy horse conch shellabaloo

But wait… let me back up for those of you who aren’t quite sure what SHELLABALOO 2 is exactly. Island Inn Sanibel put together a 4 day, 3 night shelling package including 7 meals, a beautiful goodie bag, a trip to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and asked me to gather and guide this group of shellers to the best possible places to find seashells and treasures from the sea. What? Hang out with a bunch of folks that love shelling as much as I do? Shell Yaya! So I had to give it a fun “shell” name (of course- it’s the iLoveShelling thang!) … so “SHELLABALOO” was born.We had the first Shellabaloo in January… and it was a Baaa-laaaast! So we had to do it again with this unbelievably fun gang…

shellabaloo 2 sanibel island inn pam rambo

Before I show you more a-mazing shells that were found by these shell hunter extraordinaires, let me introduce a few more of my new friends to you that I didn’t get to show you on the last post. We started off at a cocktail party at the Island Inn where I met Becca (Ft Myers), Margie (Alabama) and Paula (Alabama)…

becka margie paula shellabaloo

Helen and Cathy both came from Arkansas to join the shellastravaganza…

Helen cathy shellabaloo

Although this is a little blurry because of a “long arm” self portrait …Clark was there to meet everybody to share a few of his “Super Sheller” secrets as well.

pam clark rambo shellabaloo

It was a fab party thanks to cuties Blanaid and Jessica! They worked out all the details on behalf of the Island Inn…

blanaid jessica hillgate communications sanibel

I promise to get to everybody else too but let me get you to the beach pictures. I showed you our day at Gulfside City Park and the gigantshellous mound we hit at Blind Pass Captiva on Tuesday on my last post

sharene pile shells bp

Yesterday we did a full shelling day on the secluded island of Cayo Costa by way of a boat cruise by Captiva Cruises. How fun!

captiva cruise cayo costa shelling shellabaloo

Terri (NY) and her mom Darlene (CA) got to enjoy a perfect day on the water…

terri darlene cruise cayo costa

On the way, we saw DOLPHINS as we passed the private island of Useppa and several other pods in different areas but you know how that goes with wildlife… out of prob 20 shots, this is the only semi-good one. LOL

dolphin useppa island

Once we got to the boat dock at the Cayo Costa State Park Ranger Station, we took an island style “shuttle” to get to the beach side.

cayo costa state park florida shuttle

We hit the beach to find clear aqua blue water and a wide stretch of beautiful beach all to ourselves…

rusty sharks tooth hunting shellabaloo

I was so surprised to find an area with oodles of SHARK’S TEETH and other FOSSILS like this STING RAY BARB on the far right of my hand!

fossil shark teeth sting ray barb

I showed Terri what I found and within minutes she found a handful of her own…

pam rambo guide cayo costa shelling

Donna and Rusty (Apopka, FL) found some too!

donna rusty shell cayo costa

They were filling up a smaller tub inside their buckets to catch all of their SHARKS TEETH…

bucket fossil sharks teeth

Susan (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) was thrilled to find SHARK’S TEETH too!

susan pam rambo shelling cayo costa shellabaloo

She showed me her SHARKS TEETH, then asked me about another piece she found… Oh Yaya! It’s a FOSSIL PUFFER FISH MOUTHPLATE!

fossil puffer fish mouth plate


Cindy and her husband Roger (MO) said they spent a whole day in Venice, Florida last year but didn’t find one SHARKS TOOTH. They were both thrilled to find their first ones!

roger cindy collecting sharks teeth shellabaloo

Lee (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) had the eye for bigger shells..

lee shelling cayo costa shellabaloo

He found a bag full of double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS and some LIGHTNING WHELKS…

sunray venus whelk shells cayo shellabaloo

Kendra (Indiana) was coming back with a full shell bag too…

Kendra seashells cayo shellabaloo

After a picnic lunch and a full gorgeous day on Cayo Costa, we boarded the boat to head back to Captiva…

santiva cruise boat cayo costa

But do you think we stopped shelling once we got back??? No!!! These are my kind of shellers. Half of the group headed to Lighthouse Beach to find out how to find WENTLETRAPS…

Shellabaloo finding wentletraps sanibel

Yep. We found them and lots of other minis…

miniature seashell collection shellabaloo

The evening’s perfect low tide left a wrack line of tiny treasures…

miniature seashell collecting shellabaloo

Lee, Tom and Sharene (Ontario, Canada), Lisa (NJ) and Kendra (and me!) all had quite a spectsheller day…

i Love Shelling group sanibel lighthouse

I have more to show you but… ACK!  I’ve run out of time! I have a few more introductions and some VERY amazing finds (just as amazing as Cindy’s HORSE CONCH!) that I will show you at our “Shell And Tell”. We had our own Sanibel Shellabaloo Shell Show- so stay tuned! Here’s a sneak preview…

shellabaloo 2 seashells sanibel

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Yahoo! Shellabaloo 2 Is Here!

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Shellabaloo 2 | 24 comments

shellabaloo 2 shellers with pam rambo

An amazing group of 24 shellers have gotten together from all over the country (and even Canada and Cuba!) to share the Shellabaloo 2 shelling experience on Sanibel and Captiva! It all started last night with cocktails and fabulous dinner at Island Inn Sanibel to share in our excitement for the next few days of our shelling adventure. Our dreams came true after seeing the shellacious shell pile waiting for us at Blind Pass Captiva this morning.

captiva shell shellabaloo


There were oodles of shells waiting to be uncovered. Terri found a gold mine of goodies all in one spot. She found the Sanibel Six in less than an hour!

terri found shells

Then I heard that familiar little yelp… you know, that one when someone finds something really good. Susan (from GTMO Cuba!) found an ALPHABET CONE!

Susan alphabet cone bp

Shelling Sistah Lisa (NJ) found her own seashell honey hole right near the jetty rocks…

lisa shells bp

She found a WENTLETRAP! We find them often on Sanibel but rarely on Captiva so this was a really good find there. She also found a FLAT, WORMIES, a KEYHOLE LIMPET, and WHELKS…

seashells wentletrap wormies

Tom plucked a beautiful BANDED TULIP out of a scoop of shells he was sifting and Sharene matched him with an awesome NUTMEG…

tom sharene shells shellabaloo

Nice, huh?

banded tulip nutmeg

After a picnic lunch, we moved on to shell at Gulfside City Park to find huge wrack lines of shells and BEACH BLING. I think Rusty and Donna love Beach Bling as much as I do!

collecting shells sanibel florida shellabaloo

They found a purple SEA WHIP with two ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS on it!

sea whip one-tooth simnia

Along with finding lots of other goodies, Pat’s (Boca Raton) fave was this delicate PAPER FIG…

Paula paper fig shell

These photos are only the tip of the iceberg of the shells found today and only a few of the spectasheller folks I’ve had the privilege of hanging out with the last 2 days.

shell mound captiva shellabaloo

The Shellabaloo 2 will continue for two more days of shell filled fun so I will have lots more photos and introductions to make of my new found shelling buddies. If the weather and shell piles continue like today, we are in for another exshellent day in store for us tomorrow. I’m psyched!

shelling sanibel shellabaloo

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Sanibel Shellabaloo 2 For You!

Posted by on Feb 11, 2013 in Captiva Cruises, Island Inn, Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 2 | 39 comments

Island Inn Shellabaloo 2

That’s right!  Shellabaloo 2 will be May 6, 7, 8 and 9 this year 2013!

If you missed the first Shellabaloo in January, you missed a spectacsheller time …but now it’s YOUR chance to have all the fun! Shell to your hearts content and at the same time, get to know other shell crazy people with the same shelling passion as you. I can’t wait either because I’ll get to hang out and bond with shellacious people just like me for 3 days! It’s a blast!

shellabaloo 1 2013

Here is what the Shellabaloo 2 will be all about!

Island Inn Sanibel Street Sign

It’s a shellabaloo at Island Inn Beachfront Resort May 6-9, 2013! Island Inn has put together a spectacsheller shelling package  so we can shell together and get to know each other. It will be soooo exciting to meet y’all! There’s no telling what we will find by sharing all of our shelling secrets.

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. I think they love shells as much as we do!

Island inn Sanibel shell display

So let me tell you more about our shellers’ retreat. On may 6th 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!) and dinner at one of Sanibel’s best restaurants called Traditions On The Beach. And guess what, Super Sheller Clark will be there too!

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!

shelling sanibel turner beach

Not only will we have a great treasure hunt, but Island Inn will deliver a scrumptious picnic lunch to us on the beach. This turns into the perfect time for “show and tell” to share a few of your favorite seashell treasures of the morning’s hunt and re-energize for the afternoon shelling adventure.

shellabaloo lunch

 On Wednesday the 8th, Island Inn has provided another exshellent adventure for us as well… A Captiva Cruises full day 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

If your travel buddy doesn’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! Here are some details that Island Inn has graciously put together for us…

iloveshelling hotel package

Call 800-851-5088 today and reserve your spot for this awesome exshellaganza by booking a room for 2 or 3…

island inn sanibel room pic

… or a cottage that sleeps 6 to 8!

island inn sanibel cottage hotel room

For more detailed information and itinerary CLICK HERE.

sanibel shellers row

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 accommodations pricing 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!

sunset at Island Inn Sanibel

 FYI- Remember, This sold out in 36 hours after I posted the January event so don’t wait since there are only 25 spots available. Hope to see you soon!

pam rambo iLoveShelling


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