After a rainy Southwest Florida weekend, we had beautiful clear, sunny weather for our iLoveShelling adventure on our Captiva Cruises boat ride to shelling on Cayo Costa. Within minutes, Michelle from NY found a SCOTCH BONNET. Shellzam!
In the same area on the bay side of the island where Michelle found her BONNET, Bob from Illinois found a beautiful double SUNRAY VENUS.
I love the color and pattern of this shell!
It was so good to see Karen (Houston) and her mom Melody again on this cruise- we go way back! I feel like I have known Karen for so long since she won the first GiveAway I ever did here on my blog…. that was 2010 and I’ll never forget her. I don’t even make those notecards I painted and designed any more but it was a fun project while it lasted. Anyhoooo…. I was thrilled to see that she found a BABY EAR on the beach.
There were quite a few people who picked up BABYS EARS…
Rick, Lucas, Amy, Abby, Lindsey and Adam from Massachusetts founds bags of shells. They collected lots of the GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLE, Adam found a SAND DOLLAR and Lucas collected a sweet BABYS EAR (pictured above).
Cole and Jake from New Jersey are quite the shell hunters. Among all sorts of different shells they found, Cole’s best finds were ANGEL WINGS and a BABY EAR. Jake found a perfect SAND DOLLAR. Great finds!
Kim and Ed from Rhode Island were back on the cruise again too! This time showing off their faves from the day- a huge WORM SHELL and a sweet little SAND DOLLAR.
Connie from Wisconsin was visiting her local friend Shelley who lives in Cape Coral. I told Shelley I wanted her name! LOL
Gail (Florida) and Emily (Maryland) have been friends since high school and still get together for girls trips… this time a shelling adventure!
These are just a few shells we pulled out of one of the bags of shells they collected.
It was so nice to meet Tom from Indiana. He said his family used to think he was crazy since he loved to collect shells but now his whole family is hooked after dragging them to Sanibel.
Tom was impressed to see how big and colorful the JINGLES are on Cayo Costa as well as finding teeny tiny SEA URCHINS completely dried on the high wrack line.
Sherry from Knoxville was happy tot find 2 perfect ANGEL WINGS…
Terry and Dave from Illinois found a few goodies but the jewel in their bag was a GAUDY NATICA.
We always see oodles of live CLOUDY PERIWINKLES on the tree roots around the tip of Cayo Costa but rarely see the empty shells so I snapped a photo of this one in the sand. Because I had to bend down to get a closeup, I saw that tiny yellow LUNATE CRASSENTELLA. I haven’t seen them in a while.
Mrs. Lueders was happy shelling for the minis too…
She found plenty of the LUNATE CRASSENTELLAS so it was fun for her to find a new species she hadn’t collected before.
I was thrilled to find those tiny dried SEA URCHINS since we rarely see them that small (without having to pick through the SEA SQUIRTS that are still on Sanibel– hahaha) . Also, there were plenty of double JINGLES as well. It’s not as common to find the JINGLE with both valves but they were plentiful on Cayo and also at Gulfside City Park in the last weeks.
But my most thrilling find was a double WHITE CRESTED TELLIN! Yes, both valves still attached so I couldn’t believe my luck. I know it doesn’t look like much but I’ve been looking for one ever since I saw how pretty Nancy’s shell was in my post in 2011 called “I’m Tellin On Some Tellins“. I have found plenty of the single valves but this is my first one that was still together. Yay! Thanks to Nancy for sharing her find with me so I could have one more thing to look forward to the day I could find one.
Everybody on our shelling trip seemed to find something that made them happy and if it wasn’t a shell that they had wanted to find, each passenger received a $25 gift certificate to Sealife By Congress.
Wow! Thank you Sealife By Congress for being so good to the shelling community. Yes, you sure do make us happy. So join us on another iLoveShelling shelling adventure… CLICK HERE for upcoming dates.
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
Oh, how I love to hang out with so many cool shellers on our shelling trips with Captiva Cruises boating to the island of Cayo Costa!
Then to be welcomed by our favorite treasures… sea shells!
Or maybe I should say “Whelkcomed” by sea shells. Andy from England found an absolutely gorgeous WHELK at the waters edge just as he rounded the south tip of the island … probably only 10 minutes after we landed the boat. Shellzam! His wife Gill was more interested in finding the minis…
She was thrilled to find two WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, a FALSE ANGEL WING and filled her mini bag with other sweet miniature shells. After I took this picture, she told me she found another WHITE CRESTED TELLIN as well.
Besides seeing everybody get excited about finding really fun shells on the iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo Costa, the treasures that I take home with me are the memories of the people I get to meet. If you’ve ever read any of the comments on my posts here on my blog, you will probably recognize the name Pat Bradley. She was on this trip with us with her husband Arthur. Thank you Shelling Sistah Pat for joining us- it was such a treat to meet you in person…and thank you so much for so many wonderful comments!
AND…. Two other gals you might recognize from the comment section. Shelling Sistahs Diane From Tucson and Charlotte From Tucson joined us. Doesn’t “Shellotte” ring a bell? LOL They are both showing off their Olive Shell String Bracelets they made from my video…but actually Shellotte decided to use a SLIPPER SHELL instead since it had the perfect holes in it. I love these girls! Thank you for coming and being such a part of iLoveShelling.
Carrie from Wisconsin told me that she really wanted to find a SAND DOLLAR so I told her the area they have been found before. An hour later she had a smile from ear to ear when she came up to me to show me that she found one perfect SAND DOLLAR. After she told me that her grandparents used to love to collect SAND DOLLARS and show them to her when she was young, I understood completely why it made her so happy to find just one. Glad you found the perfect SAND DOLLAR Carrie!
Another lucky sheller, found this one…
I think most shellers have some connection to the beach and collecting shells through our memories. For each of us there is a different shell that has deep meaning or fills a special place in our hearts. Suzi from England showed me that she found a broken ANGEL WING but really wished that she had found a whole one. I started walking back to the boat with her and Brendan (from Ireland) as we both looked down and… you guessed it… a perfect ANGEL WING was laying right in our path. Seriously, there was nobody in front of us that could have placed it there. We both looked at each other in amazement then broke out laughing.
I know Krisitin (Kansas) was just as amazed when she scooped up this ALPHABET CONE that rolled up in the surf. Nice!
It was a BABY’S EAR kind of day too. I spotted a few BABYS EARS along one of the shell lines so I showed some folks what to look for…
They started to find them on their own. Mary (Wisconsin) found this nice sized one.
Donna (Oklahoma) found a nice one…
Sue from Fort Myers found one too and was very prepared to keep it safe.
She brought a nice little container with a lid to keep her breakables safe. She said she found them 10 for a dollar at the local dollar store. Aha! Pretty cheap investment to keep your shells from breaking and organized.
Margaret from Indiana found a variety of shells but the double SUNRAY VENUS clams were her favorite along with a FIGHTING CONCH with a gorgeous coloration.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Nancy (CA) again. We spent 4 awesome days shelling and hanging out together at Shellabaloo 3 last August so I was excited to see her back again while she was visiting her friend Terry from Fort Myers. Thank you for joining us Nancy and Terry- it was so much fun!
Super Sheller Clark joined us too! It’s always so much fun to have Clark with us since he gives a whole different view point of shelling in the water. He gave tips for using the shelling net and “backhoe” and kept us entertained with his stories.
The morning fog quickly burned off after the sun appeared but it made for a beautiful boat ride on the way to the island.
We were lucky to have passed by dozens of DOLPHINS ….
As always, our shelling adventure turned into a beautiful day with beautiful friends.
With lots of shells to comb through…
and lots of sweet sea shells to treasure forever.
Since most people that were looking for BABYS EARS on this trip found them, I thought you might like to look for one too. I always tell everybody to be patient and look through some of the seaweed lines for treasure too. It may not be the prettiest area on the beach but to me its one of the most interesting areas. You just never know what you might find. So get your CYBERSHELLING eyes on and click on the next photo to find a little treasure among the “weeds”. Enjoy!
Join us on another upcoming Shelling Adventure … CLICK HERE for dates and information.
PS- We just added June 6, 2014 (yay!) to our iLS cruises and I’ll try to add more soon.
Our Captiva Cruises boat pulled up to the shore of Cayo Costa at low tide around 1:30 yesterday …
Within minutes, Rachel (KS) found 4 LETTERED OLIVES, 2 FALSE ANGEL WINGS, and AUGER and the colors of the rainbow in JINGLE SHELLS.
Leanne (PA) strolled along the shore to find a true ANGEL WING and a few other goodies…
Ahhhhh. It was so good to get back to Cayo Costa!
I had the pleasure of meeting so many beautiful shellers while on the boat and walking the beach like sisters Beth and Barb (KY) who found SAND DOLLARS, WHELKS and OLIVES. Barb told me they have been hanging out with iLoveShelling.com since the very beginning… almost 4 years ago! She said she still has it bookmarked on her computer under my first blog name “My Shelling Blog”. Ha! I felt like I knew them already!
Patti and Tim (FL) were delightful! While Patti was shelling her heart out, Tim was photographing and videoing their whole day. What a good team!
Nancy and “Babe” looked like they were in heaven together all day. She was glowing! Then I found out why. Cameron had surprised her with the cruise for her birthday and she was thrilled. Happy Birthday Nancy! You guys are so stinkin adorable! (heehee his name is Cameron but I just kept hearing Nancy say “Good find, Babe!” …. “Oh! Come here, Babe!” so cute)
John (MA) started out his trip to SW Florida as a birder but found that looking for different species of shells was just as much fun as looking for different species of birds. Here’s John picking up his first BABY’S EAR…
Boating was so much fun to0 as we got to see a BALD EAGLE in a nest, OSPREYS catching their fish lunch from the water, DOLPHINS playing…
And seeing that the WHITE PELICANS are back on the islands…
When we arrived back on Captiva, we had a little Shell ‘N Tell so we could share some of our shells and finds. Sharon was a joy to meet !
She picked up WHITE CRESTED TELLIN on Cayo Costa. I only see these on Cayo Costa. I dont think Ive ever seen one on Sanibel.
I’m so happy I got to meet Jan (KY) since I think she must be an artist as well. Jan showed me one of her favorite finds which was covered in BARNACLES and other animal growth marks. I love that kind of stuff too!
Jerry found some really nice WHELKS on our trip but he told me also found a really large 10 inch empty WHELK at Blind Pass on Wednesday. He couldnt believe it because he thought he had stepped on a big rock in the water at low tide… then reached down and pulled up that huge LIGHTNING WHELK. WAHOO!
I was amazed at all the true ANGEL WINGS, FALSE ANGEL WINGS and even FALLEN ANGEL WINGS we found this time. Awesome!
The MANATEES even came over to send us off with well wishes…
It was a beautiful shelling cruise in paradise with a beautiful bunch of people.
Join us on the next iLoveShelling cruise! CLICK HERE FOR DATES.
Before you go….
We have TWO Winners to announce for the Shelltastic SW FLorida Vacation Giveaway! :)
Drum Roll Please! …..
Our first winner for the Sealife By Congress stunning sterling silver Starfish Reef Pendant is………
The Grand Prize Winner for 4days/3 nights stay in Fort Myers Beach is…..
Denise Stahl (AS, FL)!
Congratulations to you both! Sealife By Congress will be contacting you Kathie and Pointe Estero will contact you as well, Denise. So hold tight until you get your info! Thank you all for participating!
If there is a better souvenir than finding an awesome LIGHTNING WHELK like this to remember a wonderful vacation… I dont know about it.
Therese told me she only saw a tiny bit of the top of this shell and thought it looked interesting enough to start digging around it. Then she realized it was this perfectly empty WHELK! Congratshellations Therese! She and her husband Dan (visiting from Minnesota) had an exshellent afternoon at Blind Pass Captiva under the bridge at low tide filling up their shell bags with WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES and one nice piece of a JUNONIA.
She even found one of the biggest CHESTNUT TURBANS I’ve seen in a while too…
Wendy (a local Sanibelian) found a few goodies to take home to make into jewelry…
She also found a SHIVA SHELL (which I didnt even get a picture of – darn!- so CLICK HERE if you want to see one) and this incredible DOUBLE JEWELBOX. It has pieces of CORAL growing on it!
Clark found a few nice shells too but the one I got most excited about was the WHITE CRESTED TELLIN in the top left corner. We have found them more on Cayo Costa but to find one at Blind Pass is pretty rare. The shell in between the two OLIVES is a huge and thick weird shaped JINGLE I thought was interesting too. I love that weird stuff!
You really couldn’t see how big the NUTMEG was in the last photo so I thought I’d show you how big it is in Clark’s hand. It’s shellacious! It measures in at a whopping 48mm… which isn’t like a world record size (Susan H?) but it’s the biggest one we’ve seen in a long time!
I found a regular sized NUTMEG that I thought I’d keep along with a BITTERSWEET, a CALICO CLAM with a cool pattern, and my new faves- the CALICO SCALLOP.
We ended the evening watching another gorgeous sunset over a big pile of Sit ‘N Sift shells on the other side of the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva.
The sky turns a lucious orange right at the horizon when the sun sets over the Gulf Of Mexico.
Then it melts into the water to end another sensational day on the island.
Oh Wait! I did take a short little video right when we first got to Blind Pass at 6pm yesterday. It’s just a little something to show you exactly where we were. This was right before Therese showed me her WHELK! Have a wonderful weekend!