Shellzam! Brenda from Indiana found an empty, big, beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK on our iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R cruise to Big Hickory Island today. Wow!
Cuties Rachel and Danielle helped her shellebrate while feeling happy with their finds too on this fabshellous adventure. So fun!
It was a fun and gorgeous morning pulling up to this small island sand bar at low tide.
Emily and Lily from Kentucky found SAND DOLLARS, shells and some cool bling…
Jessica (NY) found a nice size ALPHABET CONE, SHARKS EYES, ROSE PETAL TELLINS and lots of WORMS SHELLS and her mom Kathy found a very cool ROSEATE SPOONBILL feather in the wrack line.
Dima and Amy (MI) found some beauties!
Kelsea and Lori from South Carolina showed me their fave finds which included that cool BRYOZOAN COLONY, LACE MUREX, an awesome dark twisty WORM SHELL, GAUDY NATICA, WHITE CRESTED TELLIN and ROSE PETAL TELLINS.
Kim and Jon from St Louis showed me their faves too… a sweet baby ALPHABET CONE, a gorgeous FLAT SCALLOP, SUNRAY VENUS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS and wormies.
Leah, Julianna, June (MD) and Gramma Diane (NJ) found most of their shells in a little honey hole in the water. Way to go girls!
On the way to the island, we saw ROSEATE SPOONBILLS, STINGRAYS and DOLPHINS as I chose a winner for the Sealife By Congress sterling silver sand dollar pendant giveaway. Congratshellations Mackenzie! It was such a pleasure to meet you and your mom Tammi and your sister Peyton.
Everybody else on the cruise was happy too. They received a $25 certificate towards a jewelry piece of their own. Yay! Thank you Sealife By Congress– thats so nice!
I think everybody on the cruise found ROSE PETAL TELLINS and CORAL.
And everybody found WORMIES!
First Mate Meg even shelled for 5 minutes and found a BEACH BLING “Sea Hero” that guarded some of her other finds. cute!
Oh and Ingrid (from my last post) joined us as well and showed us her JUNONIA she found in front of the Island Inn on Sanibel yesterday. Boom Shellalaka!
We were so lucky to have a beautiful warm sunny day to spend 4 hours hanging out and shelling together.
I am so happy to announce that starting in August, Sight Sea-R Cruises has changed the hours for their regular shelling cruises EVERY Wednesday to go from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm (instead of leaving at 10am). Spectacsheller! So our iLoveShelling Sight Sea- R shelling cruises will be the same.
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.
Not only is the island filled with our favorite treasures (shells, of course)….
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.
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!
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!
Let me tell you… this boat turned into a parrrr-taayyy!
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…
We also saw a rare sighting of a SEA TURTLE popping out of the water and we also witnessed countless pods of BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN.
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.
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.
We couldn’t believe how many WORM SHELLS we all found…
And lots of SHARK’S EYES…
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!
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.
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).
Brooke and Josh from Georgia had favorites too… SAND DOLLARS.
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.
Thank you Captain Phil and Meg for such a great adventure!
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.
To make a fairy tale ending, on our way back to the dock we watched the sun set over the 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!
Thank 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.com. You won’t be disappointed.
If you want to catch an iLoveShelling shelling adventure with me as your guide (once a month), CLICK HERE
Rose Petals Make The Heart Grow Pinker.
Even though we’ve had good luck finding shells on Sanibel in the last week, it’s fun to visit other Southwest Florida beaches to see what different treasures are washing up. Since we haven’t taken our boat out in lawd knows how long, it was time to dust the Shellfish off and get out on the water.
With the holiday hustle and bustle in high gear, Clark and I wanted a day to relax, float about and shell to our hearts content without a schedule.
It was an exshellent day for boating and beach combing near Lovers Key.
Here’s a closer look at the sweet shells we found. I’m always so happy when we find ROSE PETAL TELLINS! They are just …. well… pink and happy but we don’t find them as often on the beaches of Sanibel. And you know it’s a good day when we find WORMIES… oh yaya. So of course these are all my faves but the SHARKS EYE is a standout as well as that very bright yellowish PEAR WHELK on the top. You may have noticed that the SHARK’S EYE is nesting in a BUTTERCUP LUCINE, but did you notice the bivalve that the ROSE PETAL TELLINS are nesting in? It’s a CHALKY BUTTERCUP LUCINE. It’s a little hard to tell how much bigger it is than the “regular” BUTTERCUP LUCINE but you can see how much bigger it is if you look back at the first photo. It’s always fun to find shells we dont see that often on Sanibel… even if its a not-so-collectable bivalve like the beautiful ANGEL WINGS.
On our boat ride back to the marina, we spotted two DOLPHINS jumping out of the water in the wake of a pretty big boat. Weeeeee! I can’t believe I got a picture of them!
Sending sunshine and seashells to you all. Errrr… well, Carolina Girl Karen… that would be “Cyber sunshine and virtual seashells”. LOL
Join us for a Shelling Adventure!
Yep. I did it again. I got up at the crack of dawn to catch low tide… but this time I went to my fave beach on Fort Myers Beach. I found SAND DOLLARS galore!
And I wasn’t the only one finding them. I saw Ft Myers Beach local sheller Debbie (from our April iLoveShelling Cruise) with her hands full of SAND DOLLARS too.
But hold on… I’ve got to tell you the coolest story. Being obsessed with shelling reunited these friends after 20 years!
Back in February, Heidi (who follows iLoveShelling!) had signed up for our May Shellabaloo 2 and commented on the iLoveShelling Facebook page … “We did it!! We signed up for Shellabaloo 2! These two Kansas girls will be there with “shells” on!! Obsessed!!!”. Debbie saw her post and recognized her name and wrote her a message. Yes! It was the same Heidi she knew years ago when their kids grew up as best friends. Ha! Moms reunited! But unfortunately it turned out that Heidi had to cancel her Shellabaloo trip due to a health problem in the family. That’s when Debbie stepped in and told her when the health issues were resolved, Heidi had to come visit her in Fort Myers Beach to shell to her hearts content. She did.. And they found shells! They are two kindred spirits brought together again by the love of shelling. Here are Shelling Sistahs Heidi and Debbie…
Don’t ya just love that story? So it gets better… When Heidi showed up, Debbie told her that the only shell that she really wanted to find while she was there- was an ANGEL WING. It was their last shelling day together when I saw them and low and behold… que the Angelic choir in the background…. Debbie found the biggest ANGEL WING she could have ever imagined. LOL
We all found lots of other fun goodies too… like double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS.
THIS Really spiny SPINY JEWLBOX…
Woop! There is it. A FLORIDA CONE.
These were all within 4 feet of each other just laying on the beach.
To make the morning even better, I saw Loree and Roy too! I met them for the first time on the June iLoveShelling cruise so it felt like it was old home week on Ft Myers Beach. So much fun to see you both!
Loree showed me that she found a pair of FALSE ANGEL WINGS and also a pair of SUNRAY VENUS too. It was interesting to me that she pulled them both out to show me so I asked her to take a look at their shapes of both the shells… don’t they look similar in shape other than their size? That’s because they are in the same family- Veneridae. The FALSE ANGEL WING is in the VENUS family instead of the “true” ANGEL WING family. Cool, huh?
I’m so happy I made it out for the Sunday morning low tide to catch the full moon over the horizon. If you want to catch a low tide any where near Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva I would suggest shelling at least one hour before through at least one hour after the lowest tide of the day. Wanna check for the next low tides? Check out the Tide Charts HERE.
Meet other obsessed shellers or hang out with us to learn more tips to finding shells. Join us for a Shelling Adventure!
Everything seemed to be coming up pink roses while I took a walk on the south stretch of Fort Myers Beach Friday afternoon. ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, AUGERS, SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS and BANDED TULIPS all had a beautiful pink tint. The beach was blushing with beauty!
The last time I was on this beach I found oodles of shells but I thought it may have been because of Tropical Storm Andrea. Obviously not! I went to see my friend Stefanie on south Fort Myers Beach again but this time, she went shelling with me. She was thrilled to find a SAND DOLLAR!
Well, let me rephrase… she was ecstatic when she found 7 SAND DOLLARS (one broke- waaaa)! Along with the ROSE PETAL TELLINS and ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, we found a GAUDY NATICA, a NUMEG, OLIVES, FIGHTING CONCHS, 2 SHARKS EYS and 4 KINGS CROWNS. Wow!
You had to pick up each FIGHTING CONCH and KING’S CROWN to look inside to make sure nobody was home. It was fun to see lots of live shells but it was way more fun to find an empty one to shout about. “It’s empty! Look how pretty!”
We met Alysa and Justin visiting from Colorado…
They were finding great shells too!
I knew we were going to have good luck anyway though. As soon as we stepped on the south end of the beach we were surrounded by DRAGONFLIES. I’m not sure you can see them all in the next photo but click on the pic to enlarge it to see thousands of them. They bring good luck!
I tried to rescue one of them that got stuck in a tidal pool but not sure if she made it. She was sooooo beautiful!
Stefanie and I had a wonderful time collecting not only shells but very cool BEACH BLING. It’s a hidden gem!
This beach reminds me so much of Lover’s Key beaches with the same types of shells but with the added bonus of SAND DOLLARS. I guess it should remind me of that beach since it’s right across the bridge from Lover’s Key State Park. It’s a little harder to get to this beach because there is limited public parking…BUT… there are about 5 metered parking spaces about 5 blocks north on Flamingo Street. If you want to do a little shopping in Santini Plaza, you could park there and walk across the street to the beach. I think this is another reason why it’s such a good shelling beach- not much competition! LOL
PS- Remember- Big hats and sunscreen. We only want to find pink shells and pink bling… not pink skin!