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We are addicted to shelling… So we love to explore different shelling areas of Florida. We found a great new (to us) shelling hole… Clearwater Beach!
Weehoo- Road Trip! We drove 2 1/2 hours north of Sanibel to spend our Thanksgiving right smack on the beach at the Clearwater Beach Hilton having our dinner there with round one Turkey and fixins and seconds of beach bling and bivalves (shrimp, scallops and oysters- heehee).
We hired shelling/fishing guide Captain Paul Hajash of Reel Florida Adventures Fishing Charters. Okay, honestly, it wasn’t easy to find a shelling guide as I googled and called MANY charters but everybody thought I was crazy that I wanted to “hire a boat to find shells”. hahaha I finally talked to Capt. Paul Hajash (pronounce “Hash”) who is mainly a fishing guide but he completely understood what Clark and I wanted to do since his wife is a sheller and we could walk from our hotel to the dock. Aha.. Perfect! His only concern was it was gonna be cold… 44 degrees on the water. Ouch. The winds were pounding from the NW for 3 or 4 days and we shellers know that NW winds and cold weather bring in shells. The winds were calming down and the tide was low…. So heck yaya we still want to go!
After layering up in warm clothes for this unseasonably cold weather, Captain Paul took us to some beautiful sand flats on the way to Caladesi State Park and as soon as I got out…. WORM SHELLS! And FIGHTING CONCHS, CORAL, SUNRAY VENUS and oodles of TURBAN SHELLS.
a BABY’S EAR…
I was in shell heaven as I found LONG SPINED STAR SHELLS and hundreds of SHIVA SHELLS. I don’t find these CHESTNUT TURBAN OPERCULUMS very often so I was over the moon shell (heehee- I’m still pretty giddy!).
While I was in my own little glorshellous shell world, Clark came back from his ShellAdventure on the flats…
Shellzam! Holy Cowrie, that’s the biggest WORM SHELL I’ve ever seen! Not to mention 2 fabshellous ALPHABET CONES, a big LIGHTNING WHELK, and a KINGS CROWN (with incredible spines).
That’s why we call him Super Sheller Clark! (I couldn’t help but steal that WHELK for a picture)
We only had time to make sure there were no critters in any of our shells, so we still need to rinse and clean them up to really show you the variety of amazing treasures we found… but here’s a sneak preview of what I’ll show you on my next post.
After a day of spectacsheller shelling and fantastic food, we were too stinkin cold and tired to be outside to watch sunset… but low and behold, the view from our room couldn’t have been a better ending to an amazing day.
PS- I will give you more info about our trip, show more shelling on other beaches of Clearwater Beach and details on all the shells on my next post… so stay tuned! Feeling thankful…
After my seeing so many fab shells wash up at Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park over the weekend, I couldn’t wait to see what was at Blind Pass since that has always been my go-to beach after north winds. But…. I didn’t find much there. Okay fine, Mother Nature- You’ve changed your habits again so I’ll go back to GSCP. Yep, still shells (but loads of those SEA SQUIRTS too unfortunately). Thats my new fave beach any way!
Sue from Ohio didn’t mind sifting through all of the SEA SQUIRTS and other TUNICATES because she found so many beautiful shells and treasures to make her very happy. The first photo shows just some of her best loot…. SHARKS EYES!
Amy always seems to be on Sanibel when the shells come in… or maybe she bring the good luck with her. It was good to see you again Amy and thanks for bringing good luck!
See what I mean? Beautishells! After I took this photo of her SHARK EYE, ALPHABET CONE, KINGS CROWN, PEAR WHELKS, MUREXES and TULIPS… she found another ALPHIE (or was it 2 more alphies?) and so many more gorgeous treasures.
Cybill, You were so much fun to shell with! Your laugh is contagious and congratshellations on you brilliant FLORIDA CONE.
Mellyn (Chicago) told me all she wanted to find is a SHARKS EYE. Ten minutes later… Yay! A beautiful SHARKS EYE MOON SHELL.
As soon as I got on to GSCP, I ran into Terri and Aleece (Alabama). They started my shelling excitement by spreading the joy of their finds and picking through their finds to show me what they had just found in a matter a minutes.
Just to name a few of the shells, Aleece found a golden PEAR WHELK, a TURKEY WING with a pattern to die for, so many different variations and pattern of CONCHS and a perfectly sweet NUTMEG.
But I have to warn you now that its been a few days since this pile of BEACH BLING has been on washed up on the shores (not just GSCP but all along Sanibel)… it’s not smelling so good. The birds take this as the smell of a feast! They are chowing on this salad bar of sun baked SEA WEEDS, MOLLUSKS, TUNICATES and ECHINODERMS. The true shellers are ignoring these odors to plow through all of the smelly bling to find amazing hidden treasures.
Dont forget! This is the last day to register for your chance to win an amazing 5 NIGHTS at Island Inn Sanibel. What? You didn’t hear this yet? Well don’t wait a other minute because you only have until the end of today November 5, 2014 to enter by CLICKING HERE.
Gulfside City Park beach has still been my fave beach this week to find shells. And I found my other type of fave treasures… fun shelling peeps like Snugharbor Kim!
She was sifting through the water at low tide uncovering beautiful shells like this…
She was on a girls shelling adventure for the week with our friends Moira and Traci. All three of these girls met each other because of their passion for shelling and they decided to take a trip together- wow! How fun! It was so much fun for me to see them together because I’ve met each of them on different occasions shelling on Sanibel. Yep, if Traci looks familiar its because she was part of our very first Shellabaloo- so much fun! I’ve known Moira for years after meeting on a sand bar at Blind Pass when I first started blogging and I met Kim years ago shelling at Lighthouse Beach where I learned about phooning and geocaching- hahaha. OMG I love that shelling brought these fun gals together for a fun week in Sanibel! “Hinkle!”
I also saw Chris, Belle, Olivia and Lynn from Maryland with big smiles after finding sunshine and seashells.
Even though Clark and I don’t want to pick up many shells these days, we can’t stay away from the beach. I’m obsessed by it. It calls me and I can’t stay away. It’s just that I really don’t need any more shells … although I always find another shell that has a different color variation that I’ve never seen before or there is something that I can’t identify so I bring it home to research it. But seriously, I don’t NEED any more shells. I haven’t even organized (or cleaned) a few bins I have sitting and waiting in the Shellaboratory. There are some awesome shells in this mess I need to sort!
We try to only take what we can learn from or what we use to decorate with so when we bring them home we try to sort but as you see in the last photo, it doesn’t always happen. Life happens. But before you ask…. no, we don’t sell any of our shells. We collect lots of different shells so that we can learn from them… then share this fascinating world that washes up on our Lee County beaches so that you can identify your treasures and know the differences and color variations when you come to visit. If we don’t need them any more for the learning process, we give them away to our causes like in my post Feeling Good About Seashells.
I’ve been saving all sizes of glass jars to sort and organize all the different shells, bling and even special jars for things like “Shells with holes“. So when it’s too hot in the middle of the afternoon like this last week, I’ve been sorting and organizing in my “Shellaboratory“.