Archive for World shelling
Finding perfectly dried beautiful SEA BISCUITS, URCHINS and fragile shells like RAMS HORNS on the beach is always an exciting experience during our vacations.
We found all of these gems last week on Anegada Island in the British Virgin Islands while combing the white sandy beaches surrounded by light turquoise waters.
Its amazing to me that such lovely and fragile pieces of natural art can be found laying in the sand completely intact and unbroken by the sea. RAM’S HORNS (Spirula spirula– the internal shell of a SQUID- ) are so brittle I’m always afraid they will break in my suitcase when traveling home so I have to plan my packing. (And yes! That’s a HAMBURGER BEAN I found- so excited!)
That’s why choosing a few specimens to bring home gets difficult knowing we have to pack them to survive airport luggage handling and my own klutzy mishaps with carry-ons. I’ve learned through the years, we must get creative in our packaging… use everything we already have. I bought a few Tervis tumbler souvenirs with sippy lids (I told you I was a klutz) so I packed some of our SEA URCHINS in the cup then added RAMS HORNS wrapped in bath tissue to fill the top. The key is to pack a container so that nothing rattles or moves inside the container and nothing can crush it.
Just to make it even more snug, I pushed the cup into Clark’s dive bootie as another layer of cushion. I pushed it all the way down into the foot part of the bootie- it doesn’t take much more room in your luggage that way.
Not one broke!
We always take at least one plastic lidded container with us to our beach destination filled with snacks or something so we will have space in the luggage for treasures on our return trip. This was perfect container to safely travel with SEA BISCUITS and a shellmungus SEA URCHIN Clark found. If you don’t take a container with you, then while on vacation buy chicken or fruit salad for lunch one day and save the plastic container and lid for packing your shells. Choose tubs/cups/containers that won’t crush when you have the lid on them.
Since this wasn’t a small, tight space like the Tervis cups, I wrapped each URCHIN, SEA BISCUIT and bright pink PEN SHELL (Clark filled the inside of the PEN SHELL with tissue as well to keep it from crushing) and other fragiles in the container….
But instead of being excessive with the tissue, I wrapped the larger URCHINS with my sun shirts to give them more padding and to fill the empty spaces so nothing would move inside when I put the lid on it. Make sure you don’t pack it too tightly so it bulges when the top is secure. Wrap a tee shirt around the closed container and made sure that it was in the middle of my luggage with padding around the corners.
I ended up putting a SPECKLED TELLIN pair and a SUNRISE TELLIN pair (Clark’s finds) in with these fragile pieces too… Oh and my SCOTCH BONNET…
They all made it without breaking!
Since I got them home in one piece and they are still a little sandy… now to rinse and clean them. Most of these URCHINS and SEA BISCUITS were already pure white after being bleached out by the sun and sand so all we did is rinse them off while on vacation but didn’t do a great job. It’s a good thing I just wrote instructions for cleaning URCHINS from Sanibel before we left for vacation – for SEA URCHIN cleaning tutorial CLICK HERE.
I still have a few more containers with the tough solid shells and BEACH GLASS we found on our sailing trip in the BVIs so I’ll show my packing job on those for my next post. Until then…
PS- For more tips on packing fragile beach combing treasures for transporting home from your trip…
After a week sailing, snorkeling and beach combing in the Bahamas, I’m feeling in the pink. So are our seashells! As I unpacked each of these lovely gems admiring their beauty and remembering how much fun it was to find them, I realized how many Caribbean seashells from the Bahamas are pink. Even the OLIVES are pink! We found lots of NETTED OLIVES but 2 of them were gorgeous glossy passionate pink.
They rolled up in the surf on Great Guana Cay.
It’s taking me a bit longer than I expected to get to photos of our shells in order and identified properly so I can share a few more of these pink beauties up close and personal. I think those little pink shells at 5 o’clock in the first picture are SMOOTH ATLANTIC TEGULAS but there are some others mixed in that are different so I need to research them. Then I will show close-ups! Also, I believe those pink TRIVIAS are COFFEE BEACH TRIVIAS but holy cowrie- they are sooo brilliant and bright pink! So until I can get those treasures photographed, I have included a few photos of the other cool things we found …and…. I made a little video of some of the fun stuff we did while on our search for shells. Enjoy!
Clark gave me TULIPS! Just walking along the beach going to dinner at Nipper’s, he found two spectacsheller TRUE TULIPS.
He also found 3 amazing CARRIER SHELLS (I was happy to find one more to add to our loot). Remember I told you we were looking for packable, light weight shelling scoops a couple of weeks ago? Well Clark got creative and picked up a lacrosse stick at Sports Authority to try it out for a shelling scoop. He unscrewed the plastic basket from the aluminum stick to fit it into our new wheeled duffle bag (Costco special) and used it everyday while beach combing and snorkeling. It worked! He loved it!!! LOL
John found a DOG-HEAD TRITON while he was snorkling!
After a couple of hours snorkeling (as you can tell by his pruney fingers- heehee), he came back to the boat to say he had the find of the week. Shellzam! Yes, he did! It doesn’t look like a great shell in this next photo but trust me, once it’s cleaned up, it will be a beautiful specimen. He said he saw an Octopus as well so maybe the OCTOPUS had just eaten this guy for lunch because it only has a small part broken off the “tail”. I love those DOG-HEADS.
I found a dried up CUSHION SEA STAR in the high wrack line on one of the beaches too. I was able to put it in plastic tupperware for the ride home… and it made it!
Such a fun time to spend with a group of friends on Sunsail’s The Talisman V that love shelling as much as we do!
To be continued…. but check out my last post if you missed the first half of this trip CLICK HERE .
And don’t forget we have some other shelling adventures you can join too…. CLICK HERE.
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!
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.
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…
We snorkeled in crystal clear aqua waters to find unbelievably gorgeous gems like this SEA BISCUIT and KING HELMET Clark found one day.
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.
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?
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…