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

Seashells and Beach Bling at Shellabaloo 3 Shell ‘N Tell

Posted by on Sep 1, 2013 in Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Jewelry, Right handed Lightning Whelk, Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 3 | 35 comments

Shell N Tell Shellabaloo 3

On your marks… Get set! It’s time for Shell ‘N Tell!  Our last night together at Island Inn Sanibel for Shellabaloo 3 was one of my favorite evenings because I got to see everybody’s exshellent shells they collected throughout the week and to see how well they did for their Shellinger Hunt. On the first night, I gave each sheller a scroll with a list of shells and Beach Bling to find throughout the week to display their fave finds and listed items on the last night for Shell ‘N Tell. The day before the festivities began, my kitty Dustie helped me prepare their scrolls…

shellinger hunt dustie

I was so amazed and tickled at all of the cool shells in awesome displays for our mini shell show! Here is Lou (FL) with her trays with SHARKS TEETH FOSSILS, the SANIBEL SIX, BEACH BLING and a MACULATED BABY’S EAR (you can see it better in the first photo).

lou shell n tell shellabaloo 3 sanibel bling

seashells beach bling iLoveShelling

Can’t you just see the fun Donny (Port St. John, FL) was having by that smile? Ha! That’s true beach treasure!

donny shell n tell shellabaloo 3 sanibel

donny shellinger hunt

Love, love, love how everybody showed their different display styles and different shells and bling like Marie (Kansas).

marie shellabaloo 3 shell n tell sanibel

See? Look how sweet that SAND DOLLAR is encircled with OLIVES, CONCHS, AUGERS,WHELKS, SLIPPERS and white clam shells. I love the red vegetation too!

seashells beach bling marie iLoveShelling shellabaloo 3


Martha (AR) made a simply elegant display!

martha shell n tell sanibel shellabaloo 3

She added some beautiful greenery to her shells and cool Beach Bling items of a TARPON SCALE, piece of CORAL and a metal stake. LOL I just loooove the humor of shellers!

martha shellinger hunt sanibel

Cathy (St Augustine, FL) had some awesome finds!

cathy shell n tell shellabloo 3 sanibel beach bling

See that big green thing in the middle top? That is part of a PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR she found at Cayo Costa. Such cool stuff! And dont miss the beautiful color of the LIGHTNING WHELK bottom left…

Cathy seashells beach bling shellabaloo 3 sanibel

Oh Angela (Windermere, FL), you are so cute! It’s amazing to see how many different varieties of shells you found…

angela shell n tell shellabaloo 3 sanibel seashells

angela seashells beach bling shellabaloo 3

OMG Jennifer (Ottawa, Canada)! You found so many big beautiful shells!

jennifer shell n tell sanibel shellabaloo 3

jennifer shell n tell sanibel shellinger hunt

Marisa (Ottawa, Canada) wasn’t sure if she was going to love shelling or not when her mom Jennifer asked her to come with her to Shellabaloo at the Island Inn. By the end of our shelling week, she looked like she was just as “into” finding shells and beach treasures as every body else. And look at the great ones she found!

marisa shell n tell shellabaloo 3

Annette and Jim (IL) were so much fun to hang around with for the week. And they had some great luck finding some awesome shells too…

annette jim shellabaloo 3 shell n tell

As you’ve probably noticed, some the Shellinger Hunt items listed were… “Find 10 KITTENS PAWS then display them in a COCKLE SHELL.” and “Find a dozen JINGLES and display them in any large BIVALVE shell.” Since I loves me some Beach Bling, They had them find 2 pieces of Beach Bling as well. Annette found 2 OPERCULUMS!

annette shell n tell shellabaloo 3 seashells

Jim found an OPERCULAUM as well and did a nice job of  … “Find 5 DOUBLE COQUINAS with different colors”.

jim shell n tell sanibel seashells beach bling

Nancy (San Diego, CA) had a gorgeous display with her very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR she found while snorkeling at Cayo Costa.

nancy shell and tell sanibel shellabloo 3

She found 2 gorgeous LACE MUREXES and SHARKS EYES as well.

shell n tell shellabaloo 3 sanibel nancy

Trish (CO) added some doilies to spruce up her already beautiful display…

trish shell n tell sanibel shellabaloo 3

Her husband Gregg had some oh so fab shells too!

gregg shell n tell sanibel shellabaloo 3

Here are Gregg and Trish’s shells combined to make a gorgeous display with flower petals added for color. Fabulous!

shellabaloo 2 seashells and beach bling

After being overwhelmed at seeing everybody’s shells all at one time, I tried to take my time and look back through some of the shells again. I got back to Gregg and Trish’s display and looked again at the WHELKS. OH MY GOODNESS! “EVERYBODY COME HERE!” I shouted.   Look what Gregg found!

gregg right hand whelk


*UPDATE: Oops! After lots of research and talks with Dr. Leal, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is a KNOBBED WHELK…. not a right-handed lightning whelk.

He had no idea it was special and just put it in his favorites pile along with all the other WHELKS and CONCHS. Yes! It should be in your favorites pile! We went to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum at the beginning of our shelling tour where Dr. Jose Leal had mentioned to us that the LIGHTNING WHELK was the only left handed gastropod in our area. It is extremely rare to find a RIGHT HANDED LIGHTNING WHELK.

right handed whelk shellabaloo 3

But back to the Shellinger Hunt results! The winner was based on points scored from each of my questions and treasure hunt finds listed on the hunt rules. Thank goodness Super Sheller Clark was there to help with the judging because it was very close. Drum Roll Please…..

Congratshellations! The highest score is Lou!


winner shell n tell lou sea life by congress junonia necklace

 Thank you Sealife By Congress for generously donating an amazing prize of a stunning silver JUNONIA pendant on a silver chain!

junonia necklace sealife by congress iLoveShelling

On the first night, I had announced the winner’s prize of the necklace and let everybody get a glimpse of what the Shellinger Hunt winner would receive. Do I look excited or what? hahaha It’s from my favorite jewelry store. Thanks Jessica (from Hillgate Communications) for the photo!

junonia necklace sea life by congress

Lou was a happy, happy gal to wear her new fab  JUNONIA necklace.

lou junonia necklace sea life by congress

Our 5 day shelling adventure brought a group of kindred spirits together for a shelling trip of a lifetime. We started as shellers and bonded as friends.

shellabaloo 3 shellers on beach sanibel island inn

Clark and I thank Island Inn Sanibel for organizing this unforgettably shellacious event and hope to be announcing dates for the next Shellabaloo very soon -you will be the first to know. We’re already looking forward to Shellabaloo 4!

pam clark rambo sanibel beach

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Shellabaloo 3 Shellers Find Seashells And Spectacsheller Camaraderie

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Captiva Cruises, Island Inn, Shellabaloo 3 | 19 comments

seashells sanibel island inn

 I’ve often said that shellers are the nicest people on the planet and after spending five days with the 13 awesome shellers that joined us for Shellabaloo 3, I’m positive that it’s true. It was truly spectacsheller! We shelled the beach at our home base at Island Inn Sanibel

sanibel stoop shellabaloo 3

Angela found “candy”! LOL Yep, she found three sweet baby HORSE CONCHS and her sister Cathy found a huge SHARKS EYE and a beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK that was the most incredible shade of mauve I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry, I’ll show you a closer picture of it on my next post…

angela cathy shells shellabaloo 3

Marisa was the BANDED TULIP queen! I think she found about five of them within an hour.

marisa tulip shell shellalbaloo 3

Everybody was finding great shells… Jessica (who helped organize Shellabaloo for the Island Inn) found her first ALPHABET CONE!

jessica alphabet cone shellabaloo 3

We were so fortunate to have choices of shelling the wrack lines or shelling the water line. Fun!

sanibel stoop jim shellabaloo 3

Gregg and Trish and the rest of us had a crazy fun time on our boat ride for a shelling trip to the island of Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises

gregg trish cruise cayo costa shellabaloo 3

Look who joined us on our cruise! Rusty and Donna from Shellabaloo 2! Thank you so much for joining us- so fun to see yall again…

rusty donna boat to cayo costa shelling

Oh gosh, there were so many other people I want to show you that were on the boat too but they deserve a whole other post on their own. I’ll show you more soon.

Once we docked at Cayo Costa State Park marina, we hopped on the island shuttle for a ride to gulf side for our next shelling adventure…

cayo costa shuttle shellabaloo 3

Nancy put on her snorkel gear and found a live SAND DOLLAR within seconds. She put this one back in the water to live a happy life then found several white ones that werent alive. Keepers!

nancy live sand dollar shellabaloo 3

Donnie headed towards the high wrack lines to look for some unusual BEACH BLING. He found something really cool! He found an empty baby turtle nest that probably hatched just a few days before we got there. Just in front of Donnie in the photo, you can see the empty shells surrounding the hole in the sand. There were no stakes around the nest to mark or monitor it for research so I doubt anybody knew it was there. It looks like the babies made so… Hooray!

donnie with turtle egg shells from hatching on beach

He also found SEA BEANS and a few pieces of gorgeous SEA GLASS while walking next to the high wrack line on the beach…

donnie sea beans and seaglass shellabaloo 3 cayo costa

Jennifer found a live ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR in knee deep water. After oohing and ahhing at this fascinating creature, she gently put it back in the water where she found it…

jennifer live arrowhead sand dollar shellabaloo 3 cayo

Annette found one too! I rarely see the ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLARS so it was a treat to see how purple they are when they are still alive.

Annette with live arrowhead sand dollar

Woop! Woop! Marie found a white KEY-HOLE SAND DOLLAR so she got to keep this one…

marie with sand dollar cayo costa shellabaloo 3

We had such a great day finding all sort of shells and BEACH BLING like sand dollars and fossil SHARKS TEETH.

shelling cayo costa shellabaloo 3

A good time was had by all!

lou donny shellabaloo 3 shelling

But hold on, this shelling party was just getting started. We carried our shelling party into the evening as Martha and Marie and our group witnessed a glorious sunset.

martha marie sunset shellabaloo 3

Then we hung out together for cocktails hours…

Pam Rambo with Shellabaloo 3 girls

We were able to share our stories of our day and get to know each other.

shellabaloo 3 party doc fords

We all had so much in common!

shellabaloo 3 blanaid doc fords

We all seem to be kindred spirits.

shellabaloo 3 chris doc fords

Oh and let me tell you, we did not miss any meals. We had fabulous picnic lunches every day that were out of this world and we ate delicious dinners at different restaurants every single night. All of the meals were included in the package!

dinner shellabaloo 3

Even the FroYo party at Zebra Frozen Yogurt was part of the Shellabaloo package. Yummy!!!!

zebra frozen yogurt sanibel shellabaloo 3

I cant even find the words to tell you how much this week has meant to me and that it has been so special to have spent so much quality time together and have gotten to really bonded as a group. Since our 5 days together just ended today, I have lots more photos to sort through but I saved the best for last…  Shell ‘N Tell photos! And I have the results of our Shellabaloo Shellinger Hunt. You wont believe all of the A-Mazing shells this group found and the creative shell displays they put together. So Stay Tuned!

Shellabaloo 3 Doc Fords Sanibel


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Shellabaloo 3 Is A Charm

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 3 | 15 comments

blind Pass Shellabaloo 3 shell scoops

What’s the perfect equation for our great shelling adventure? Sunshine + seashells + shiny happy people = Shellabaloo 3!

gregg shellabaloo 3 shelling rake

We started off our adventure by hitting the beach at Blind Pass Captiva to find shells lining the shoreline rolling in… then rolling out. You had to have a shell scoop or quick reflexes to snag them out of the water which made the hunt even that much more fun.Jim and Annette from Illinois were filling up their shells bags with lots of OLIVES…

Jim Annette seashells shellabaloo 3 captiva

FIGHTING CONCHS were couldn’t make it in to their shells bags fast enough…. and CORAL pieces too!

seashells shellabaloo 3

We also have another Team Canada with us this time for Shellabaloo 3! Jennifer from Ottawa is hoping that her daughter Marisa will love shelling as much as she does by the end of the week.

marisa jennifer captiva shells Shellabaloo 3

I think you’ll get your wish, Jennifer! She looks like she’s enjoying the hunt to me…

Marisa action sanibel stoop

We also gathered at Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum for a fabulous private tour led by Dr. Jose Leal.

iLoveShelling group Shell MuseumiLoveShelling group Shell Museum

Dr Leal let us peek behind-the-scenes to see thousands of drawers filled with shells organized and cataloged to be used for educational purposes now and for the future. It was fascinating! But he stopped us in our tracks by showing this humongus FLORIDA HORSE CONCH found in local waters off Sanibel. We want to find one of THOSE this week! hahahaha

Dr Jose Leal Bailey Matthews Shell Museum horse conch

It is soooo much fun shelling the beaches with my new friends but we all get to know each other a little better in the evenings with cocktails and dinner. Marie McDermed and her sister Martha (Kansas) are absolute dolls!

martha Marie shellabaloo 3

The party really gets started when Angela Pryor and her sister Cathy (both from the east coast of Florida) are in the room. They are a hoot!

Cathy Angela Shellabaloo 3

Super Sheller Clark joined us for an evening at Island Inn Sanibel so he could meet these awesome shellers like Nancy from California…

Clark Nancy Shellabaloo 3

Here’s Nancy with fab new friends Tricia and Gregg (Colorado) and Lou and Donnie from the Space Coast of Florida. You would love these people! So much fun!

Nancy tricia gregg lou donnie shellabaloo 3

Today we are off on another shelling adventure… a cruise to Cayo Costa!

gregg shellabaloo 3 shelling rake

I am so tickled that this whole group seems to be in love with BEACH BLING just as much as I am. I’m thrilled! I love this! I’ll have photos of the shells and bling we’re finding and more stories too very soon. So… stay tuned! Shellabaloo 3 – gone shelling!

cathy shellabaloo 3 water shell scoop

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Join Us For Shellabaloo 3!!!!

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 3 | 25 comments

Island Inn Shellabaloo 3

YESSSSS!!!!!!!!   Shellabaloo 3 will be August 26 through 30th, 2013!

If you missed the first two Shellabaloo events on Sanibel Island, Florida in January and May, you missed spectacsheller times …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 new friends for 5 days! It’s a blast!

Shellabaloo 2 seashell pile captiva

Island Inn Beachfront Resort  has put together a spectacsheller shelling package  from August 26 to August 30 so we can shell together, share stories and meals and get to know each other. It will be soooo exciting to meet y’all! Here are the details!

Shelling vacation guided tour package

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. You will feel right at home because throughout the property there are shells here and there. I think they love shells as much as we do!

Island Inn Sanibel Office

We’ll start it off with a welcome meet and greet….in other words… paarrrtaaay! Then we’ll sit down to a fabulous dinner together…. along with Super Sheller Clark!.  And that’s NOT the only dinner included…  ALL MEALS are included in this package. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for each full day you are (see itinerary).

shelling gathering

The next morning, we’ll get a very special private tour given by Dr Jose Leal of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum … then hit the beaches to shell, shell, shell!

shelling sanibel turner beach

Island Inn has provided another exshellent Shellabaloo 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

But the most important thing is… getting to shell together makes our shelling connections even stronger- it’s like a family. Here are a few snapshots of some our unforgettable experiences we shared in the first 2 Shellabaloos…

shelabaloo group captiva cruises

shellabaloo 1 lunch

maureen collecting seashells

joe lightning whelk


Susan alphabet cone bp

i Love Shelling group sanibel lighthouse

captiva cruise cayo costa shelling shellabaloo

shellabaloo 2 shell winners

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! Call Now!

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! 1-800-851-5088!

pam rambo guide cayo costa shelling


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