Archive for World shelling

Jan
31

Seashell Display Table Ideas

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Pam's shell display table with kitty

I always love to see how other shellers display their collections of the beautiful seashells and beach bling they find on vacation. Since it’s been raining for two days, I thought I’d stay inside and show you one of the ways I have displayed some of the shells Clark and I have collected while on vacation. We looooove to sit and look at our shells in our glass top coffee table that doubles as a shadowbox display case… right in front of our comfy couch.

seashell display table pam rambo

Since the table has four sections, I made each section a shell collection from four different trips we’ve taken over the last few years. I bought four square display trays from Michaels then painted them my favorite color… aqua. No surprise there, right? LOL

how to add seashells to a display table

In one of the corners, I have displayed some of our shells and bling we collected on our trip to Cat Island in the out island of the Bahamas. We don’t just collect the biggest and most talked about shells. We love those little minis and the “clam shells” too.

home display of shells from cat island bahamas

In another corner, these are some of the shells and very cool bling we collected while on our vacation in Turks and Caicos. We love to be reminded of how different the shells are in the Caribbean from our local Southwest Florida shells.

seashell display with coral and urchins on turquoise

How could we ever forget our trip to Guantanamo Bay Cuba! It is priceless to us to be able to see … every single day… some our beautiful seashells we collected on such an amazing, memorable trip.

display of seashells collected in guantanamo bay cuba

Speaking of memorable trips… I had to make one of the four sections of the gorgeous shells we found less than 2 years ago on our vacation to Thailand. The whole trip was fascinating and we also found so many “first shells”. Now we can be reminded of them each and every day.

how to display shells collected on the beach of Thailand

As you can see, I displayed each section differently because our shells we collected from each trip have different meanings for us. We love to surround ourselves with memories of our vacations… and shell collecting is a very big part of most of our trips. It’s what makes us happy. I didn’t want to hide any of the shells inside the table so I put only one book (Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh) and one shell from Cat Island on top of the glass. Each shell from any place in the world is truly a gift from the sea.

gift from the sea coffee table

I know you want to know where we got this great table, right? Believe it or not…. Rooms To Go in Fort Myers. It was really reasonable and it had all the features we wanted so we didn’t hesitate to get it. I hope this helps you with some ideas on how to display some of the shells you have found from Sanibel, Captiva or wherever you found your treasures.  The rest of our house is decorated with lots of local shells and shells from other trips as well so I’ll start sharing a few more ideas with you (especially when I’m stuck inside like today!).

Oh and PS- Did you notice that sweet little kitty relaxing on the sofa? Yep! That’s our little cutie pie (but not-so-little) Rustie”. We got him as a kitten for Christmas and he has eaten us out of house and home (heehee) and kept us very entertained. He has stolen our hearts and even made Dustie fall in love with him now too. Hmmmm… Do you think he loves his new home?

seashell display table with rustie kitty

 It’s clearing up outside as I’m writing this so come out tomorrow (Saturday February 1, 2014 at 9am) and go shelling with Clark and me as we take a Captiva Cruise boat ride to Cayo Costa for some awesome beach combing. CLICK HERE for details.

shelling adventures trips by pam

Dec
04

Look What The Cat Island Dragged In

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caribbean shells cat island bahamas

Since we returned home from our vacation to Cat Island Bahamas, it’s taken us a over week to recover, clean our shells, experience our SanCap outrageous shelling, and enjoy our holiday. As you can see by the first photo, yes, it was aaaamazing!!! So now I  can continue to tell you how awesome our trip was and give you details as promised.

cat island sign made of shells

We started off by driving to Fort Lauderdale airport to catch a flight on BahamasAir to Nassau. Long story short…. The flight was delayed and we missed our connection from Nassau to Cat Island on SkyBahamas so BahamasAir put us up in Nassau for the night (nice, right?). We had a blast in Nassau!

rambo henshaw nassau bahamas

We finally made it onto SkyBahamas the next day so I took a selfie…

pam clark skybahamas nassau to cat island

 

A day late… but we made it!

yardie's gas cat island bahamas

Okay before I go any further, I’m going to show you a dinner place mat made from a beautiful map of the Cat Island. It’s from a gorgeous resort called Fernandez Bay Villages where we hung out, had drinks, lunch and got great shelling tips from the locals and the staff. I embellished their map with arrows of where we found our best shells and beach bling. Now you can see how far we traveled and explored… From tip to tip of the island and all in between! We shelled just about all of the other beaches too but I narrowed it down for you to the best of the best areas we found.

Fernandez Bay Cat Island shell Map

Ask the folks at Fernandez Bay Villages to let you read the shelling review book called “Cat Island Beachwalks” that one of their guests wrote. The detail on shelling holes is amazing!

fernandez bay resort cat island bahamas

We stayed at Island Hoppinn (the area of the MILK CONCHS) which is a very small bed and breakfast type place (without the breakfast) which has an outside common area where we spent our mornings with John and Jane planning our days’ adventure.

Island Hoppinn tiki bar cat island

On our first day, the owner Cathleen and her sweet daughter Alyssa took us to Flamingo Point on the North Shore where we found lots of green, aqua, amber, brown, a few chips of cobalt and one nice chunk of lavender SEA GLASS. Yay! Check out my last Cat Island post to see the SEA GLASS.

cat island shelling adventure pam rambo

We rented a Jeep for the rest of the week (which I highly recommend) if you are explorers like us- you just never know where you will end up. On the southwest point of Cat Island sits a cool little resort and marina called Hawk’s Nest Resort where we met another awesome sheller … JR.  She gave us a few pointers on where to find these fabulous SEA BISCUITS (oops!… I put a “q” in BISCUITS on the map- heehee) and she was a wealth of information on the different shells she has found and the island in general.

JR hawks nest resort cat island bahamas

After finding Hawk’s Nest Marina, John decided to go fishing with JR’s husband Randy and we were soooo happy he did. They brought back 200 pounds of Wahoo! Yahooo for Wahoo! John brought a few of those fresh fillets back to our place and Clark grilled them up for dinner one night. YUM!

hawks nest wahoo fish randy john cat island bahamas

Now don’t get too freaked out … but I took a video of some very hungry REEF SHARKS having their own dinner. When you live on a small island, what do you do with the fish guts? You toss them back in the water and let the CRABS, RAYS and other fish eat them. But this day, the SHARKS were having a feast. Yikes! It was thrilling and very scary all at the same time and even seeing it on video again- it’s so crazy! So again, don’t get freaked out and try to  keep your toes out of the water…YouTube Preview Image

Wild, huh? But let’s get back to OUR yummy dinners… we had the best night at Da Smoke Pot restaurant with owners Rene, Julian and their son J’von.

J'Von Rene Julian Da Smoke Pot cat Island

We found out Rene is craaaazy about shelling! She loves to talk about shelling and she even keeps some of her favorite shells behind the bar. See why we loved this place?

renee's shells cat island bahamas

Oh… And if you go, ask Julian about the Rake ‘N Scrape. He’ll teach you how to play the saw like we did. hahaha

rake and scrape cat island bahamas

We had another fantastic meal from Terry as he prepared fresh CRACKED CONCH right in front of us from his little stand on the side of the road near Orange Creek. It was deeeelicious and so much fun to just happen upon!

making conch salad on cat island bahamas

I have to tell you about another fab dinner we had too…. spiny lobster. We bought 4 tails from the local grocery and chef Clark grilled ‘em up. OMG

chef clark spiny lobster cat island

As you can see, most of the island is very undeveloped so if you want a vacation with lots of shopping… this isn’t the place for you. But if you like to shop, Emily’s is the place to buy your straw goods. It was a pleasure to meet Emily and to buy one of her beautiful straw hats to cover up while on the beach shelling all day.

straw hats by emily cat island bahamas with pam

Cat Island is such a beautiful, raw piece of paradise.

cat island bahamas bouy painting

The locals use their few resources to live a fun filled…

brightly painted wood island signs

colorful…

cat island decorate buoy tree

salty life.

buoy in the bahamas

We found many treasures to make us very happy but we are still sorting so I still hope to give you another post with shell details and IDs in the future.

clark sorting sea shells cat island bahamas

So until then, I hope I’ve given you answers to most of the questions you asked on my other 2 posts about our amazing adventure. The shelling was exshellent, the food was delicious, the scenery was heaven and the locals were gracious and kind. Cat Island is a true island paradise.

sunset cat island bahamas

caribbean beach sea glass shells buoy sand dollars

Holy Cowrie! We have had an exshellent adventure shelling the beaches of Cat Island in the out island of the Bahamas.

cowrie reticulated helmet cat island bahamas

Clark and I along with our travel buddies Jane and John packed up our shorts, bathing suits and snorkel gear and headed for this very undeveloped, laid back gorgeous Caribbean island to see what kind of beach treasures we could find.

rambos of i love shelling cat island bahamas

We found all sorts of spectacsheller shells and BEACH BLING!

sea beans seashells cat island bahamas beach combing

We scoured just about very inch of this 48 mile long island by renting a jeep to take us through the rugged back road trails leading to every beach we could find. Although the rutty  roads were fierce, the vicious sand burrs were our worse enemy. We had to help each other “un-burr” ourselves each time we got back in the jeep. LOL

cat island jeep through sand burrs

It was worth every bump, sticker and long trek to the northern shore on the Atlantic…

beach combing cat island bahamas clark rambo

to find SEA GLASS…

seaglass beach cat island bahamas

NERITES, WEST INDIAN TOP SHELLS and ROCK SHELLS…

bleeding tooth nerites rock snail shell

and shells like this WEST INDIAN CHANK and FLAME HELMET…

collecting seashells Cat Island Bahamas chank shell helmet

We even snorkeled to see beautiful fish and live creatures like this SEASTAR…

snorkeling cat island bahamas

While finding a few “keeper” SEA BISCUITS in the calm Shanna’s Cove …

snorkeling for sea biscuits cat island bahamassnorkeling for sea biscuits cat island bahamas

We canoed in the Fernadez Bay…

clark canoe cat island bahamas

To find MILK CONCHS like this…

milk conchs cat island bahamas

Every day we marveled at our loot…

Jane shells from Cat Island Bahamas

And shellebrated for each other on “first finds”. This was the first time I’ve ever found WEST INDIAN CHANK SHELLS! Shellzam!

pam rambo shelling cat island bahamas

Once I get our shells unpacked and go through a few more photos, I will give you more details of this beautiful island, places to stay, the food we ate, the amazing people we met… and of course some identification of some of these awesome seashells we found.

caribbean shells cat island bahamas

Oh yeah, we also saw …. errrrr ….. SHARKS. But no worries, I’ll show you my crazy video of them very soon so you view it in the comfort and safety of your own home. Stay tuned for more of our shelling adventure to Cat Island Bahamas!

cat island map

Nov
24

Gone Shelling… To The Bahamas!

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cat island sea glass seashells shelling

Where in the world are Pam and Clark collecting shells now?

conch shells wash up on bahamas beach

We are on a little vacation on a little island to do a LOT of beach combing…

shells from the bahamas islands

 …where the weather is warm, the water is aqua and the beaches are picture perfect.

hawk wing conch shell bahama islands

We are on a shelltastic shelling adventure!

sunrise tellin on a sea fan

So get your shellaphones tuned up because you won’t want to miss my next few posts about our vacation location and the shellicious types of shells you can find…

juvenile king helmet shell bahamas island

…in the Islands of The Bahamas!

bahama island painted signs

 

Categories : The Bahamas
Comments (33)
Aug
08

Cuban Caribbean Shell Identification

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queen conch caribbean shell cuba

After returning home from a shell collecting trip, there are tasks of unpacking, cleaning and sorting to begin some sort of process for organization. I’ve written a few posts on our trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (read them by CLICKING HERE) but there were so many shells I could not identify like this GOLD-MOUTH TRITON.

gold mouth triton cymatium nicobaricum

 Clark and I are familiar with Southwest Florida shells, but the different species of shells from Cuba? Not so much. So to find the identity of some of these Caribbean shells we found in Guantanamo Bay … I’ve had my nose stuck in oodles of books, surfed through gobs of websites and also very thankful for the exshellent help from MurexKen (Thank you!). Here are some of the books I used for research…

seashell shell books research

If you have ever collected shells from the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the Virgin Islands or any where else in the Caribbean, these identifications along with our other shelling trip posts might help you identify your shells too.  I was so excited when we got back, I made a mistake by calling this a CUBAN FROG SHELL (CLICK HERE to see the photo I’m referring to). It’s NOT! It’s a CORRUGATED (or GAUDY) FROG SHELL.

corrugated frog shell bursa currugata cuba gtmo

After feeling a little embarrassed about the wrong ID, I got over it pretty quickly since they look so similar. Live, Shell and Learn.  That’s half the fun of going to a new destination to find shells….we get to see and learn about other shells from around the world! So now you can see why I got these guys mixed up. Here’s the CUBAN FROG SHELLS (or also called GRANULAR FROG SHELLS) …

cuban frog shell cuba gtmo bursa cubaniana

We also found KNOBBED TRITONS

knobbed triton Cymatium (Gutturnium) muricinum cuba

These REHDERI TRITONS look similar to the KNOBBED but have that darker brown color on the inner lip. Beautiful!

cymatium rehderi rehder's triton cuba

See how similar some of these shells are? This next one is the DOG HEAD TRITON.

FYI- I changed this photo on August 9, 2013 since the original shell photograph was not a DOG HEAD TRITON. Lee from GTMO graciously took this photo of DOG HEAD TRITONS so I could show what they look like (since I mentioned them already). The funny thing is, we have soooo many fab shells from GTMO that I could have posted about and I chose one shell… that I misidentified …. and then didn’t have the real thing to show you? geez Whaddupwidat? LOL Thanks Lee for the photo!

dog head triton Cymatium (Ranularia) cynocephalum

I showed you the incredibly hairy ATLANTIC HAIRY TRITON that Lee found (if you missed it CLICK HERE) but we were thrilled to even find some “hairless” HAIRY TRITONS. Here’s the bald version…

Atlantic Hairy Triton Cymatium (Monoplex) pileare cuba gtmo

Can you believe all the different TRITONS? This one is the SHELLY DWARF TRITON.

shelly dwarf triton Colubraria testacea

One more TRITON for the day… the ANGULAR TRITON. The orange one with the white tips is spectashellar!

Cymatium (Cymatium) femorale angular triton cuba

We found more CONES too! It’s astounding to me how many different CONE species there are throughout the world … especially throughout the Caribbean. Since there are so many varieties of CONES, I’m almost positive this one is the CARDINAL CONE

Purpuriconus Conus cardinalis cardinal cone cuba

The MOUSE CONE is a little smaller, squatter and looks a bit more faded than the CARDINAL but we had so much fun finding them because they were everywhere.

mouse cone Gladioconus mus cuba gtmo

We found CROWN CONES in 7 different colors from banana to dark chocolate which seemed pretty common too.

crown cone conus regius

Some of the MUREXES are so different from ours here in Sanibel as well. We found Antilles Murexes in a few spots but most had broken tails. They are still beautiful!

Antilles Murex Siratus articulatus

The WEST INDIAN MUREX shells we found remind me so much of our LACE MUREX, right?

Chicoreus Triplex brevifrons west indian murex short frond

I don’t know what they feed the APPLE MUREX shells down there but they are giganshellous! Really, this is an APPLE MUREX next to a quarter. Did a cargo ship of Miracle Grow spill over down there? Ha!

apple murex cuba

This is next shell was listed as a DOG WINKLE in one of my books but it looks nothing like a DOG WINKLE in any of the others…  maybe it’s a CHESTNUT LATIRUS? This was such a plain shell next to the other TRITONS, MUREXES and others but we saw hundreds of them so I hope that yall can help with me with it. The best I found was LEUCOZONIA LEUCOZONALIS (no common name?) but when “NASSA” came up in search results, those shells look so knobby compared to these. Yes, they are beach worn just like all of our other shells but I doubt they all got this smooth at the same time.

So… what do YOU think? UPDATE: Consensus says they are CHESTNUT LATIRUS- LEUCOZONIA LEUCOZONALIS

leucozonia leucozonalis nassa chestnut latirus

There are still dozens of shells I haven’t identified and maybe one day I’ll get back to identifying all of them but for now, I’ll enjoy looking at them displayed in my living room but I’m ready to get back to my favorite beaches… Sanibel and Southwest Florida beaches! I hope you enjoyed the shells and posts from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba thanks again to Lee and Susan for such a great shell adventure!

seashell display from cuba

 PS- We have new dates for our iLoveShelling Cruises to shell together on the secluded island of Cayo Costa! Come join us! CLICK HERE for more info.

seashell shelling adventures events pam

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caribbean seashell species Guantanamo bay cuba

Wow, right? We were floored by how many different species of shells we found on our shelling trip to Guantanamo Bay Cuba. These are only half of the shells we found that are identified, cleaned and photographed but we still have quite a few more to go… like the HELMETS, MUREXES and other types of TRITONS. Thank goodness for the much needed help of Lee, MurexKen and wearing the pages thin of the many shell books I’ve acquired over the years. So to start with the shells that are pictured above,  I’ll let you know what they are just in case you have any of these you collected on a vacation to Caribbean waters and want to I.D. them or want to put them on your seashells bucket list. I’m sure the identifications are good because of the help I got but since most of these were firsts for us I would like to correct anything that is dead wrong.

Charonia variegata gunatanamo bay cuba

 The TRITONS TRUMPET was obviously the cream of the seashell crop for us.  You may have heard the exuberance in my voice from the video on my last postLOL

triton trumpet shell cuba GTMO

Finding HAWK-WING CONCHS was another thrill! We were astounded by how many different growth stages we found in this species. The top three on the left are adults with that nice “wing” but take a look how small the 4 are in the top right corner. They are a different form of the regular HAWK-WING… they are DWARF HAWK-WINGS. And then look at the bottom row… from left to right, you can see the growth of the thick outer lip.

hawk-wing strombus raninus dwarf shell gtmo cuba

I’ve always wanted to find a perfect RETICULATED COWRIE-HELMET! Well, now we have them in every size and wish I could show you close ups of each one and their colors but I have to show you so many other shells. 24 hours in each day is not enough! So many cool shells!

Cypraecassis testiculus Reticulate Cowrie-helmet gtmo cuba

Like the MEASLED COWRIE in different colors and growth stages…

measled cowrie Macrocypraea zebra gtmo cuba

We found ATLANTIC GRAY COWRIES but since all of the ones we found were a little beach worn none of them were “gray”… they were yellow.

Luria cinerea Atlantic Gray cowrie

We did find ATLANTIC YELLOW COWRIES… and they aren’t yellow! They are spotted brown. Ha!

atlantic yellow cowrie Erosaria acicularis

Clark can spot those CONES. He found both of these CARROT CONES…

Conus daucus carrot cone gtmo cuba

AND he found these rare GLORY OF THE ATLANTIC CONES…

Conus granulatus Glory of the Atlantic cone gtmo cuba

We both found quite a few MCGINTY’S LATIRUS shells. They look like our candy!

Latirus mcgintyi  McGintys latirus carinifera gtmo cuba

There were hundreds of WEST INDIAN TOP SHELLS (I always call them TURBANS) stuck in the rocks but we only chose to bring these six home. We always keep in mind that we have to travel with our shell finds. Yes, we could ship more of them home but we never want to take more than our fair share and we never want to take shells that will be boxed up to sit in a closet and never seen again. On vacation, we always go through our shells at night and pick out the best specimens then take back or give away the shells we replaced. Trust me, it took a few trips to learn this lesson!

Cittarium pica west indian top shell gtmo cuba

These CARIBBEAN VASE shells are just as big as the WEST INDIAN TOPS and really thick and heavy. Even the best ones look a little beat up but for some reason I loooove these shells…

Vasum muricatum caribbean vase

Oh yaya! And if you know me, you know I love my CARRIER SHELLS! I found FOUR of them! Again, not so pretty but look at the one on the far right… “he’s” carrying around at little “button” shell that he glued to himself. All four collected pieces of shell, CORAL and ROCK . I guess I like them because I can relate to them so much. We both collect shells!

atlantic american carrier shell Xenophora (Xenophora) conchyliophora cuba

The WEST INDIAN CROWN CONCHS were pretty common down there too but it was fun to find the different colors, sizes from smooth to spiny.

west Indian Crown conch Melongena gtmo cuba

These sweet little COMMON DOVE SHELLS are less than an inch but soooo beautiful. We found tons of mini shells too!

Columbella mercatoria common dove shell

…Like these CHECKERED NERITES. How cute! Now I do wish I had collected all of these shells that I saw because these would look awesome on the inside edge of a shell frame, right?

Nerita tessellata checkered nerite

 Most of the DELTOID ROCK SHELLS were very worn (as most rock shells look to me) but these were the nicest we found…

deltoid rock shell gtmo cuba thais deltoidea

FLAMINGO TONGUES! I like the shell but I think I like the name even better.

Cyphoma gibbosum flamingo tongue gtmo cuba

And we found these cutie little MORONS… Oops! I meant to say MORUMS! WOOD-LOUSE MORUMS. We laughed every time we picked one up because the first time we found one, I called it a “Moron” by mistake. LOL It stuck so now of course we always call them Morons…. not that there’s anything wrong with a moron (for you Seinfeld fans!)

Morum oniscus wood-louse shell gtmo cuba

To make you all feel right at home, these last shells are FIGHTING CONCHS. Don’t they look similar to our FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCHS  we find in southwest Florida? But then look a little closer… the spines are a little different and even the colors are somewhat different too. These are WEST INDIAN FIGHTING CONCHS!

west indian fighting conch Strombus pugilis gtmo cuba

Later in the week when I can get more done, I will show you the rest of the collection and a few more pictures of Cuba. But remember, these are not just shell from Cuba! Most of these shells can be collected on other islands in the Caribbean. We saw some of the same shells in TURKS AND CAICOS (CLICK HERE) but after getting a taste of some of these other shells, Clark and I are bound and determined to find more places we can find these shells that everybody can travel to. The hunt is 0n! So if you know other islands we can find these, please let us know!

CARIBBEAN seashells

Again, THANK YOU Susan and Lee for such an amazing friendship to make this possible for us to share this exshellent adventure!

pam clark susan lee gtmo cuba

 For Part 1 – Our Weekend Collecting Seashells In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba- CLICK HERE

For Part 2- It Doesn’t Git-Mo Better Shelling Than This (Video) – CLICK HERE