Archive for World shelling

Oct
20

Gone Shelling – Abaco Islands, Bahamas

Posted by: | Comments (28)

Bahamas pink sea shells and starfish

We love exploring new shelling destinations… but sailing the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas on a 44 foot Sunsail catamaran searching for sea shells is spectacsheller!

Sunsail marina in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas

Clark and I just returned from this fabshellous Bahamian vacation with blue skies and good friends. We have traveled with our friends Jane and John to other islands like Turks and Caicos as well as Cat Island but this was the first time we had the privilege of sailing with them on the Talisman V from Marsh Harbour with John as our captain along with friends Dick, Mary and Karen. We were quite the crew of beach bling sniffin’ shellers.

Pam Clark Rambo with Talisman V crew Abacos Bahamas

We sailed to a different island every day, set our anchor then hopped in our dinghy to comb every inch of the beaches looking for tiny hidden treasures…

beach combing Abaco Bahamas

We snorkeled in crystal clear aqua waters to find unbelievably gorgeous gems like this SEA BISCUIT and KING HELMET Clark found one day.

Clark Rambo with shells Abaco Bahamas

The Talisman V was not only our transportation, it was our beautiful home for the week with breathtaking views that changed every second of the day.

 

Seashells on a sailboat in the Bahamas

We even had unmatched waterfront private dining by the best chef in town… Super Sheller Clark grilled lobster for us 2 nights! Really, how did I get so lucky?

Lobster dinner on Sunsail catamaran, Abaco Bahamas

I am thrilled with the shell loot we brought back but with no good internet connection, I couldn’t post anything to share with you in the last 5 days- grrrrr.  But now that we are home I will organize, identify and take a few more photographs of the different Caribbean shells we found and try to map our route just in case you are ever in the same area. It’s weird though… now that I’m looking back at my photos, it’s hard to remember exactly which island we found which shells. Eeeeek- I’ll have to get some help on each destination from the rest of the crew! Until then….

Stay tuned for more lovelies like this QUEEN CONCH…

Pink conch on a sandy beach in Abaco Bahamas

Jul
25

Mind Blowing Beach Bling in Guantanamo Bay

Posted by: | Comments (20)

collecting sea glass in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Do you get excited when you find SEA GLASS? Me too! It’s another beautiful gem most beachcombers love to collect while looking for shells and other BEACH BLING on any walk on any beach. Oddly enough, lots of our friends don’t really get why we travel the world in search of beach treasure… until I tell them we found a honey hole for SEA GLASS. Then their ears perk up! LOL Well, since it’s impossible to bring back enough SEAGLASS in our suitcase for everybody who wants some from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba… here is a CYBERSHELLING (CYBER-SEAGLASSING) photo from last week’s adventure on Glass Beach in Gtmo (CLICK HERE for the history of this SEAGLASS). Just click on the next photo to enlarge it so you can find your own SEA GLASS. Fun! Then I’ll show you some of the other cool BLING we found.

Glass Beach guantanamo Gtmo seaglass

In my last post (CLICK HERE), I showed you some of the beautiful shells and areas we combed but couldn’t really explain how much fun Clark, me, Lee and Susan had picking through the high tide dry wrack lines in search of Bling. See that incredible SEA FAN Susan found? Un-beee-liev-able!

Rambo and Merrill shelling beach in Guantanamo Bay Cuba GTMO

I just loooove me some Bling! I’m trying to identify all of the different SEA URCHINS we found but it is not so easy. I’ll try to get close up photos of each one but oh lawd, I need more time. So … I’m almost positive we have…. WEST INDIAN SEA EGGS, VARIEGATED URCHINS, LONG-SPINED URCHINS, CLUB-SPINED URCHINS, ROCK-BORING URCHINS and SEA BISCUITS. We could  have picked up hundreds of the CLUB-SPINED SEA URCHINS that had probably gotten tossed up by a storm weeks before. They were in the highest wrack line and completely dried and preserved. Cool!

We also brought home SEA HEARTS, HAMBURGER BEANS (SEA BEANS), a few pieces of CORAL, 2 small SEA FANS, a few VERTEBRAE, PURPLE CRAB shells (haven’t looked them up yet), OPERCULUMS, old turquoise CUBAN TILES and… you see that piece of striped POTTERY on the bottom right? Lee told me that piece probably dates back to the Spanish- American war era circa 1898. Amazing, right?

Gtmo Beach Bling urchins, sea beans, pottery chards, crabs, operculums

Lee found these pieces of POTTERY from the same era. Wow- Its almost a complete plate! He said he will donate some of the pieces to the base for history and environmental research.  (Errrr…. my piece came home with me- it’s way too cool! heehee)

Spanish pottery fragments in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Talk about cool… I found two complete old Cuban Hatuey beer GLASS BOTTLES made in the 1950s. These were so popular, Bacardi is now making this beer again.

Hatuey Beer bottles Cuba circa 1948 found in Gtmo

More awesome BLING on the beach! Lee found this WWII US Navy uniform button while he was picking through the rock and pebbles looking for SEAGLASS like in the CYBERSHELLING pic. Whoot Whoot!

Vintage US Navy button found on beach

Let me show you just a few more shell photos before I sign out for the day…. Clark found these spectasheller THORNY OYSTERS that haven’t even been really cleaned up yet. They are gorgeous. We find these in SW Florida but most times they are only fragments.

Thorny Oysters Spondylus americanus found Guantanamo Gtmo Cuba

Here’s the interior of one…

Thorny Oysters Spondylus americanus interior Guantanamo Gtmo Cuba

Lee found the mac daddy of the THORNY OYSTERS- it’s huge and with some good spines…. Both sides!

Lee with double thorny oyster

It was completely packed with hard mud and limestone so it will take a little work to get this baby cleaned up but it will be well worth it. It’s a beauty!

double thorny oyster gtmo cuba

I always think these are so funny…. the BLEEDING TOOTH. Shall I say more?

Bleeding Tooth shells Nerita peloronta Gtmo Cuba

These are some of my favorite minis we found this trip… BEADED MITERS.

Beaded Miter shell Mitra nodulosa Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

Clark was excited (and me too) to find this HEXAGONAL MUREX since we’ve never found one before.

Muricopsis oxytata Hexagonal Murex Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

It’s always a thrill to find a new shell!

Muricopsis oxytata Hexagonal Murex Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

Again, we have to thank Lee and Susan for sponsoring us, being our shelling guides and letting us share this extraordinary place with everybody to learn what types of shells we can all find in the other Caribbean Islands. We are forever grateful.

Lee and Susan Merrill Guantanamo Bay sunset

I will get more shells cleaned up and photographed soon but the FLAME HELMETS are so shellsational, I had to add show you these before I go out and hit my home beach. It was fabulous finding shells in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but it’s always so wonderful to be back home on Sanibel Island… especially with a cool evening low tide. Have a nice weekend!

Flame helmet Cassis Flammea  Guantanamo Cuba Gtmo

Jul
23

Treasures Found in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Posted by: | Comments (36)

Caribbean shells collected in Gtmo Gitmo Guantanamo Cuba

Shellzam! It’s astounding to me that in one long weekend visiting Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Clark and I collected oodles of stunning sea shells, containers of colorful SEAGLASS, gobs of gorgeous SEA URCHINS and buckets of bountiful BEACH BLING. These are the shells Clark and I found in just one day…

second day shelling beaches guantanamo bay cuba

Guantanamo Bay (aka GTMO or Gitmo) is a 45 square mile U.S. Naval Base on the island of Cuba surrounded by picturesque Caribbean waters, rock, sand and CORAL… perfect for our favorite sport of shelling.

finding seashells and sea glass in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

How did we get to go there you ask? Because of this handsome, super fun couple.. our friends Lee and Susan.

Susan and Lee Merrill overlooking Guantanamo Bay Cuba

Since Lee and Susan work at the base and have lived there for almost 4 years, they were our sponsors for our trip when Clark and I were able to visit last year (CLICK HERE) and again to visit this past weekend. Good grief, how did we get so lucky?!

Guantanamo Bay Cuba Rambos

We feel so very fortunate to have been able to be there but much less shell so many beaches in such a short time.

Beaches of Guantanamo Cuba. Windmill, Cable, Kittery, Ferry Landing, Chapman

We collected sooooo many amazing treasures!

sea urchins collected in Guantanamo Cuba

It was a whirlwind shelling adventure as we combed the beaches through rock and CORAL…

Collecting shells on Guantanamo Bay Cuba Beach GTMO

To find sweet mini shells…

miniature caribbean shells on Gitmo Guantanamo beach

We climbed up and down stairs on the cliffs…

Stairs to glass beach gtmo cuba

… to find SEA GLASS and more shells.

Seaglass, small shells and pottery collected at Glass Beach Guantanamo

We snorkeled the bay …

snorkeling guantanamo bay cuba

… to see fish and find more awesome shells.

shells found on guantanamo beach

We went boating…

boating with Lee Merrill in Guantanamo Bay Cuba

… to find SEA HEARTS, BEACH BLING and absolutely more shells.

 

Day 1 Shelling GTMO Guantanamo Bay Cuba beach combingWe climbed up and down boulders and cliffs…

rock climbing by the sea of Guantanamo Bay Cuba

… to find gems and you guessed it- more shells.

collecting seashells in rock beach of Guantanamo Bay Cuba

We boated to more beaches…

Boating Guantanamo Bay Cuba Rambos and Merrills

… to find more treasure and Voila! even more shells.

sea glass and shells on GTMO coral

We combed through scrub brush…

collecting shells in scrub brush at Guantanamo

…to find old Cuban bottles and yup, more shells.

collecting cuban hatuey beer bottle and sea shells

Even when we had to take refuge in the shade for a few minutes…

Finding shade in rocks of GITMO Guantanamo Bay Cuba

We found a cool breeze, a place to refuel and of course, more shells.

scotch bonnet in rocks of GTMO Guantanamo Bay beach

But that’s not all! Okay, so you’re not gonna believe this…. While we were there… Clark, me, Susan and Lee were written up in their local newspaper the Guantanamo Bay Gazette!

Clark Pam Rambo and Susan Lee Merrill on Guantanamo Beach

We were interviewed by Public Affairs Officer, Kelly Wirfel about how the shelling stacks up on Guantanamo Bay (no pun intended- heehee) against some of the other places in the world we’ve traveled while collecting shells. It was soooo muuuuch fuuuun to talk to her!! Omigosh, thank you, Kelly for writing such an amazing article in such little time.

Clark, PAO Kelly Wirfel and Pam Rambo at Windmill Beach Guantanamo Bay, CubaYou can read the article too! Just CLICK HERE or click on the article. Cool!

GTMO Gazette newspaper logoGTMO newspaper Pam and Clark Rambo shells

After each adventurous day in Gtmo, we cleaned, sorted and researched and we are still cleaning, sorting, researching at home. I could look, pick and photograph these shells for days and not get tired of it but it sure was super fun at the end of each day when we all got together at their picnic table to clean and sort…. I love a good Shell N Tell!

Pam Lee and Clark sorting shells

We can’t thank you enough Lee and Susan for an unbelievable adventure on this special island “The Pearl of the Antilles”!

Lee and Susan at the Jerk House in Guantanamo Cuba

And I am very thankful to Susan for taking photos and sharing her excellent photos with us throughout the weekend so I could share them with you too (photos 5, 12, 18, 25, 28). She’s as much of a shutterbug as I am- i love it!

Boating with Susan Merrill in Gtmo

I will be sharing more close-ups of the absolutely stunning shells we found as well as some of the very cool Bling (geez… the SEAGLASS! You won’t believe it) so our story will be continued soon. But just so you know, all of the shells and the ones I will identify on my next post are shells you can find in some of the other Caribbean islands. So don’t worry! Gtmo is not the only place you can find these amazing treasures. Here is a map of where Gtmo is on the island of Cuba and also in relation to some of the other islands. See how close Turks and Caicos is to Gtmo? We found so many of the same shells on our trips to North Caicos, Middle Caicos and also Cat Island and Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas so now you see why.

To be continued so don’t miss Part Two of Our Adventure in Gtmo!

GTMO map