While shelling at Blind Pass Sanibel, I took a little break to the high dry beach sand to drink some water and reapply some sunscreen. Most of you are the same way I am- anywhere on the beach I still can’t help but look for shells. So that’s what I did. Up on the dry sand away from the water… on the part of the beach most people stomp over on their way to the water’s edge… scanned the sand and look what I found.
I found quite a few SHIVA SHELLS (CHESTNUT TURBAN OPERCULUM). Im rich! I found MERMAID MONEY! (or MERMAID TEARS)
They were sitting in the sand just like this…
When I started getting excited to find them, I realized that I was missing some since they were upside down… errr… I call it “upside down” since the swirly part wasn’t showing like this…
Omigosh, then I found a SPECKELED TELLIN…
During my short rehydrating break, I found the SHIVAS, the TELLIN, BORING TURRETS, a bright orange FLY SPECK CERITH, MAUVE MOUTH DRILL and SOUTHERN FLATCOILS.
We find SOUTHERN FLATCOILS at Cayo Costa just about every trip in the high wrack lines. They are LAND SNAILS that get washed up on the beach with the sea weeds so you might find them in the same areas you find might find ROSY WOLF SNAILS and SEA PEARLS.
I also found some CHESTNUT TURBANS as well.
Along with finding DARK CERITHS, ROUGH SCALLOPS and APPLE MUREXES, all of these smaller surprise shells up on the high dry beach made my day that much more interesting. Love that stuff!
Our iLoveShelling shelling cruise to Cayo Costa had a rain delay Tuesday morning but just like shellers know how to make broken shells into beautiful pieces of art or jewelry, everybody who was there made the most of our time we had together. Captiva Cruises made our delay turn into something to talk about! We all gathered on the Lady Chadwick boat to stay safe until the storm passed (which BTW, wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon) where we could chat about my favorite subject… shelling! After a couple of hours of “shell n tell” and the weather still iffy, we all decided that most of us could come back the next day. Lets go for it!
So yesterday, our iLoveShelling cruise -round 2 – brought us sunshine and smiling faces! Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce from Athens, TN were bright and cheery just like our whole crowd.
While boating to the island, I picked a winner for the sterling silver seashell charm that Sealife By Congress gave as a gift to one lucky iLoveShelling cruiser. Carol won!
For everybody else on the entire iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress gave a $25 gift certificate so each of these shellers could have a sterling silver charm as well. Here is Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren and Cameron with their Sealife By Congress gifts. An awesome jewelry store with an awesome way to start off the day. Remember, on every scheduled iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress will give gifts as well!
Then we pulled up to Cayo Costa to find crystal clear water, a beautiful beach with a string of seashells and puffy white non-stormy clouds. Paradise found.
Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…
Lauren found the cool piece “rock” made of shell fragments which I used to believe were just chunks of cement made by fishermen used to keep their crab traps from moving around in the water. Now that I’ve questioned all of those different shells that are normally in the mix, I realized that they are fossil fragments cemented in limestone called COQUINA LIMESTONE. And yes, the “largest” shell on the right side is…. a COQUINA.
Landon started snorkeling as soon as he got off the boat and in just a few minutes, he showed me he found an ALPHABET CONE. Yay!
By the time we got back on the boat, he and his mom had two big bags filled with shells. They had so many FIGHTING CONCHS and LETTERED OLIVES, he decided to walk around the boat to give everybody any of the shells they had found. So sweet! In October they have another shelling trip planned which they told me was inspired by my post of our trip to Turks and Caicos. We want to hear how it goes!
On the beach, we were finding a few BABYS EARS, quite a few WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, ALTERNATE TELLINS, SHARKS EYES, CANCELLATE SEMELES, ANGEL WINGS and one SPECKLED TELLIN as well.
The larger shells seemed to be in the water so the clear aqua was very inviting to just go for it like Michele from Los Angeles did. Can you believe how clear that water is? Wow! Since her mom Debora (NY) is an artist more than a sheller, she decided to the opportunity to take in the island scenery and do some graphite drawings of her shells. So lovely!
Alex and Tara encouraged Isabelle (Gainsville, Florida) to use a stunning pice of pink pearlized WINGED OYSTER shell she found for the seashell pendant for her sterling silver charm from Sealife By Congress. Perfect idea!
It’s impossible to explain how much fun we all had after almost 9 hours of hanging out together on the cruise and because of our rain delay. It actually turned out even better because the rain gave me more time to get to know these fabulous folks… Sarah and Sandy from Arora Ontario… Grace, Melia and Teresa from St Louis… Pat from Michigan, Carol from Cape Coral, Belinda from Ohio and Kevin and Kerry from Pennsylvania.
Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.
But… Even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, Captiva Cruises has shelling cruises to Cayo Costa twice a day- one at 9am and one at 1pm. CLICK HERE for more info
For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!
If Utopia is an island of clear aqua blue water with strings of seashells lining the shore, then we found Utopia on Cayo Costa Island during our iLoveShelling cruise on Captiva Cruises this week.
My day started out with such joy and fun meeting Shelling Sistahs Cheryl (Venice) and Alice (Ohio via Venice, FL). Love them!
Our morning had a slight chill in the air around 62 degrees then quickly warmed to 80 in no time at all by the time we got to the island to start our search for shells.
Cheryl found the first BABY’S EAR! It’s sort of hidden by the JINGLES on the right but she is a JINGLE SHELL lover like I am so she started picking up as many JINGLES as she could.
You might recognize Shelling Sistah Katherine Haskins since I met her last year at Lighthouse Beach and so much enjoy her comments here on the blog.
She found a gorgeous SPECKLED TELLIN and either a very big BUTTERCUP LUCINE or a very yellow CHALKY BUTTERCUP LUCINE (I should have inspected the hinge more closely o see if it was the def CHALKY but either way its a very beautiful BUTTERCUP), and lots of other sweet bivalves.
We also had the HOTS join our cruise! Yes, they are HOT chicks but they call themselves the HOTS because they say they move slow as a Heard Of Turtles. LOL Nannie, J.E., Becky and Ginny from Georgia have a great time every where they go. Thank y’all so much for joining us and making me laugh!
Karen had no problem walking as far as she could as she looked at this gorgeous calm aqua water to find a hand full of SAND DOLLARS and OLIVES.
Karen couldnt wait to sort through the loot they found when she and her husband Scott got back on the boat.
I was very impressed with the treasures Jan from Chicago was going for.
She loves the bivalves or any shells she hasn’t found before so she was thrilled to have found a WHITE CRESTED TELLIN along with CANCELLATE SEMELES, a PURPLE SEMELE, COMB BITTERSWEETS, an ALTERNATE TELLIN and a STRIATE PIDDOCK. The orange ROUGH SCALLOP wasn’t a new find for her but it was one of her fave finds, she had to have it in her hand. Love that! Y’all know how excited I get to find a new shell, so its always fun to experience someone else who gets excited about finding new shells…. even if it isn’t a JUNONIA. heeehee
As soon as she showed me her WHITE CRESTED TELLIN, I looked down to find one too. Its funny how that happens, right? If we are reminded to look for a shell and get that color and pattern in your brain, it’s a tad easier to find one. Okay brain… remember – white shell with brown spots.
Every month when we have this iLS cruise, it’s such a pleasure to meet cool shellers like Lee and Renie from Houston…
And it’s especially great to see shellers again from previous years like Louie and Dee from Illinois.
Nancy from Indiana found a baby bear SUNRAY VENUS, mamma bear SUNRAY VENUS and papa bear SUNRAY VENUS…
Linda was thrilled to find her first POINTED VENUS (on the right), FALSE ANGEL WINGS and COMB BITTERSWEETS.
YAY! I was so excited that Annette and Jim from Shellabaloo 3 joined us as well! It is so much fun to catch up with them after we spent so much time together on our Shelling Adventure last year.
It was a gorgeous day on the water with a boat full of awesome shellers! Thank you all for making this an absolutely fabulous day!
Join us on our next iLoveShelling cruise April 2! For more details CLICK HERE
When the weather on Sanibel and Captiva is in the high 70s and low 80s during the winter months like now, it’s hard not to be outside every minute of the day… so the world slips away. This weekend, Clark and I took a few walks on the beach at Gulfside City Park to find beautiful shells like the ones in my hand. Clark was scooping just at the waters edge with his big metal shelling backhoe to pull up the LACE MUREX (Lacie!) and that very cool HORSE CONCH. We both found more MUREXES, CONCHS and WHELKS but gave them to some nice folks on the beach. And then the fog started rolling in…then out…. then in again. It was wild!
I found some beauties on the north end of Captiva at South Seas Island Resort last week too.
Although you can only get to this beach if you are staying at South Seas Resort (or its a very long walk from Alison Hagerup Parking lot in Captiva)… if you are there, look for a nice shelly area near Sunset Beach…
It’s always a treat to find a SAND DOLLAR wash up at your feet.
I found a sweet baby SUNRAY VENUS right near the SAND DOLLAR.
And right next to the SUNRAY VENUS was this pretty little SPECKLED TELLIN. Weehoo!
After so much sand was pumped onto the beaches of Captiva a couple of months ago, some of it is already being claimed back by King Neptune. You can see two different erosion lines…
I could see shells stuck in the side of the erosion ledge so I started pulling a few out. Can you see that AUGER packed into the side?
I also pulled this bad boy out of the “cliff”. A FLAT SCALLOP. Voila!
Sending you warm sandy beach wishes of blue skies and cybershells…
Shellzam! I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone find a double SPECKLED TELLIN shell in SouthWest Florida. We found lots of double SPECKLED TELLINS on our trip to Turks And Caicos but only a handful of single valves here in SW Florida … none with both valves still attached. So I was tickled to see that Stephanie (Fort Myers) showed me her find. Spectacsheller!
Along with her double TELLIN, she also found a single valve of a SPECKLED TELLIN, an awesome BROAD PAPER COCKLE, and a PURPLISH TAGELUS. Very nice.
I also saw Kathy and Pat again! They were on the March iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa so we got to laugh and reminisce about them being in the “Gleaners” photo. Lots of fun.
They found such a wide variety of shells but they both said that they were happiest to find lots of CERITHS.
Speaking of Cayo Costa, Dawn and Lori from Nebraska weren’t find many keeper shells on Captiva but they were still so happy they had gone to Cayo Costa to find lots of great treasures.
Lori is holding up a wonderful LACE MUREX while Dawn had questions about these SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS. Why are they so brown? On our last iLoveshelling cruise, lots of folks were picking them up because they were milk chocolate…. and it’s not the Periostracum that is covering it to make it that color but maybe some sort of food source. Hmmmmm. I don’t remember finding them this brown in the past but I love milk chocolate! I wish I had collected a few of these milk chocolate SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS too.
So believe it or not the little shell line at the top of the high tide line is where Stephanie found that spectasheller SPECKLED TELLIN and her other bivalves. That’s what it looked like when I found my CARRIER SHELLS too. Again, ya just never know!
Since I didn’t find any “spectacsheller” shells in that wrack line, I was just as happy picking up broken shells like these FIGHTING CONCHS because I’m going to use them in a shell craft project. Seriously, look at the colors… and they already have perfect holes drill in them so they are easy to work with. When it’s done (and IF I’m happy with it- heehee) , I’ll show you what I did!
PS- Blind Pass Captiva beach looks like it’s going to be roped off in the next week or so due to a renourishment project. I’m so sorry but I don’t have any more information than that but if I get any updated info, I will let you know.
It was a gorgeous sunny day on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa yesterday! This beautiful HERMIT CRAB found a nice home inside this CONCH shell for lots of us to ooooh and ahhhh over it then see it go safely back into the water. But Debbie was soooo fortunate to have found this gigantic LIGHTNING WHELK completely empty!
Yowza Debbie! So happy for you! She also found a GAUDY NATICA (aka COLORFUL MOON SHELL) EGG COLLAR and a SHAGGY PARCHMENT WORM TUBE. But that gorgeous WHELK stole the show.
Holy mackeral! Super Sheller Clark found an empty LIGHTNING WHELK too. When we got back to the boat, Clark and Debbie showed their big finds of the day…
It was a day for finding big shells because Erin found another big LIGHTNING WHELK. After letting everybody see this beautiful creature alive and well with the original mollusk still inside, she walked it back into the water to live out its healthy life to breed more WHELKS. Way to go, Erin!
Like I always say… Every day the beaches change. One day the shells are piled on the beach and some days you have to work at finding them. I have to admit, we never found a huge pile of shells but this was an awesome group of shellers because they not only found those huge shells, but they found other beautiful shells they were happy with as well…
Did you notice in the last picture that little tiny SCALLOP SHELL? Love it!
Others were finding FIGHTING CONCHS and SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Aaron from Kansas City was finding the mini shells for his mom…
He found BABY’S EARS, FALSE ANGE WINGS and an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK. I think that other shell is either and OYSTER or a big KITTENS PAW but I didn’t even look at since I was inspecting the fab ALBINO WHELK.
I know this is a broken shell, but as soon as I peeked inside Shanna’s shell bucket on the way back to the dock and saw this piece, I woooped it up! She found the lip of a DEER COWRY! DEER COWRIES are very rare in Southwest Florida since they don’t live here. They live further south in the keys so for it to travel this far north… I always think any piece found here is a fun find. Especially the lip.
Here is Shanna and her mom Patricia (both from Georgia) with her fave find.. a WORM SHELL
I was thrilled to find a SPECKLED TELLIN! This is another shell I don’t normally find on our beaches. Between Clark and I, we only have about 4 that we’ve found around here (SW Florida) so to me, it’s a pretty rare find.
This is how I found it so if you see it with the interior side up, you will know to pick it up too. Errrr… Now that I look at it this way, doesn’t it look like Spock lost his ear? Weird. haha
Speaking of ears…There were quite a few people that found BABY’S EARS for the first time ever…
So let me show you a few of these beautiful souls that Clark and I got to spend some time with to exchange stories and treasures…
I had to get my picture taken with Jeanine and Della from PA. They came geared up with their iLoveShelling tee shirts just like me. Thanks you guys!
There are 3 shellers in the next photo too. Jody and Melissa will be having a baby next month so their newest addition will already have shelling experience. Doesn’t she look great? Lucky baby!
Thank you Captiva Cruises‘ Captains Keith and Kelly for a perfectly safe and smooth boating morning.
And thanks so much to these fabulous folks for joining us for this spectasheller day!
Don’t miss this experience! Join us on our next cruise May 19 from 1pm to 4pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO