Goodie Goodie SEA GLASS gumdrops! This is what the BEACH GLASS looks like tucked in every nook and cranny of sand, coral and rock of Okinawa, Japan. Beautiful, sugary chunks of eye candy.
Each and every SEA GLASS fragment is razzle dazzle frosted seaglass-el .
On our vacation from Sanibel Island, Florida to Okinawa, Japan… we were not disappointed one moment on our beach combing adventure looking for different types of seashells and BEACH BLING. Each day we discovered something new.
I don’t think I’ve been more excited about any beach find than when I found a SEA MARBLE in my favorite color in the world… aqua.
(okay, maybe that’s stretching that- I actually cried when I found my JUNONIA in 2011– but still)
Look at this Marble-ous gem!
You think I was happy when I found this cool pitted CAT’S EYE SEA MARBLE too? lol
How do SEA MARBLES form? Most of the time they start out as a real marble or round glass ball. There are different theories to answer why they washed up on the beach and the first one is the most logical… kids playing with marbles on the beach years ago. But there are way too many rolling in around the world’s beaches for it just to be child’s play. Some SEA MARBLES are from a Japanese glass bottle called Remune that used a marble as a stopper so when the bottle was discarded, the marble ended up in the ocean. Cargo ships used to use marbles as an inexpensive way to redistribute weight to provide stability so I’m sure many times they were dumped overboard. Painters used to use marbles in paint cans to mix the paint so if you think about how much “battle ship gray” paint was constantly used on all those ships, of course they’d end up losing their marbles.
So we got a little carried away collecting just the shades of blues and greens but I couldn’t believe the different colors of turquoise, aqua, teal, soft blue, lime green, forest green, jade and even the clear glass was so beautiful. These were mostly fragments of old bottles but a few look like shards of old glass tableware, art glass or even insulators that have been tumbled in the salty ocean for decades to become sugary smooth.
These next pieces are from the bottom or base of glass bottles. I even found one rare pink piece of SEA GLASS!
These are fragments of old glass bottle lips.
These curled SEA GLASS pieces are shards from the old bottle necks.
I even found shards of flat SEA GLASS that was etched.. maybe from a privacy glass window etched by an artist.
We found 2 very cool pieces that have formed round balls that kick-up in the middle of the glass like a button. I had an idea what they were but couldn’t be sure until I found a sea glass gal on Instagram@beachbitchseaglass who verified that they were big SEA GLASS hunks of JAPANESE GLASS FLOATS. Oh yaya- Thank you! That’s “Glasstounding” (heehee). Before we left for Japan, both Clark and I were hoping to find one of those Japanese GLASS FLOATS washed up on the beach. A float would awesome BEACH BLING but finding these GLASS FLOAT chunks that have been broken, tumbled then smoothed by the sea for years and years… are very special to us. Of course I think mine (the bigger brighter one on the left) is cooler and Clark thinks his (the smaller darker one… that does have a way cool formed ball) is cooler. hahaha
If each piece of BEACH GLASS could talk, I’m sure the stories would be … wait for it… Glasstonishing. (hee hee)
Any way you look at it, i Love Seaglass!
If you want to know more about SEA GLASS, I also found lots of good info in Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck.
Join me on a Shelling Trip! For more info CLICK HERE
I’m still in awe of the beautiful beaches and treasures we saw on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
We found soooo many amazing shells we felt like we had to share it with someone. Days before we left Sanibel for our shelling vacation to Okinawa, I saw a fantastic photo of shells with hashtag iLoveShelling (#iLoveShelling) while I was on Instagram (follow me on Instagram iLoveShelling) . That photo had another hashtag on it too… #Okinawa. Whoa. I sent a note to the girl who posted it and we hit it off right away. Before you know it, we were shelling together in Okinawa! Timing is everything, right?
Clarissa (from New Hampshire) is a 20 year old United States Marine stationed in Okinawa for 2 years who loves beach combing. She tries to get to the beaches as often as possible but transportation isn’t always easy from the bases so we picked her up to hit the beaches to look for shells with us.
We found shells! It was such a special day to hang out and find a few treasures to remember this amazing adventure while in Okinawa. Good luck, Clarissa, with your future service plans and your travel plans… and thank you.
Now that we are back on Sanibel Island, we have been trying to organize the loot we brought home. It’s abshellutely mind blowing how many different shell species we brought back so we’ve been trying to break them down in to some sort of organized chaos to identify each one. This might take a while so I figured I’d show y’all what we’ve done so far… but let me apologize for the photos… they’re aren’t great but it shows you how we are trying to sort.
This is the first tray of CONES. OMG We have LEOPARD CONES, LETTERED CONES, IVORY CONES, WESTERN IMPERIAL CONES, FLEA-BITE CONES, VIRGIN CONES, OAK CONES, SOLDIER CONES and LITHOGRAPH CONES.
And that’s not it…. MARBLE CONES, STRIATE CONES, TULIP CONES, NUSSETELLA CONES, TENDER CONES, TESSELATE CONES, SAND-DUSTED CONES and lots of TEXTILE CONES.
I could go on … but I’m overwhelmed by even more CONES…
Because then… there’s the CONCHS. SPIDER CONCHS, STRAWBERRY CONCHS, a BUBBLE CONCH and lots of LITTLE BEAR CONCHS.
Look at all of these amazing shells!
And even more… ABALONE, LIMPETS, TOPS and TROCHUS.
MOON SHELLS, OLIVE SHELLS and all sort of wonderful minis. Some look like lemon drops and kernels of corn- I’m in love.
And…. Holy COWRIE! Look at these COWRIES. OMG The colors.
And then… the BIVALVES. They are to die for.
Whew. So those were the shells that we collected and brought home with us. Aaaa-mazing. We actually collected more than double that but brought home only the best. We gave away 10 gallons of shells that we couldn’t bring home. Yes we did. We bought two 5 gallon buckets at the grocery store while we were there so we could clean our shells every day. Once we decided which shells we were going to leave in Okinawa, the buckets came in handy.
We gave some to the very friendly folks at our wonderful hotel (we actually LOVED our hotel AJ Kouki) but we gave the bulk of them to Manahu Higa, the owner of our favorite restaurant Island Marine Cafe & Bar. His whole restaurant was decorated in local shell art and crafts that his wife and daughter made. We loved it!
See why we loved it? Every inch was decorated in shells. We knew they all went to to good home.
And I still have more to show you… did you see all of that SEA GLASS in that one photo? The SEA GLASS will be coming up soon- it is sooooo beautiful.
To see all of my posts on Okinawa CLICK HERE.
Or Join me on a shelling adventure in SW FLorida- for more info and dates… CLICK HERE
Finding turquoise, aqua and shades of green SEA GLASS scattered all over the beaches of Okinawa, Japan was enough to make my heart skip a few beats. But… to find THE most amazing shells washed up in the sand and in between rocks? My heart almost leaped out of my body!
I’m not even sure how I kept it together after I found these shells in the next photo while taking an hour stroll on the beach before breakfast. And yes… I said “on the beach” – can you believe it? All of the shells we found were on the beach or just at the water’s edge. Pinch me!
Every day we woke up to this stunning view in Nago, Okinawa looking down from our room at that beautiful beach where I found that awesome SPIDER CONCH, DIMIDIATE AUGER, PAINTED SCALLOP and BEAR PAW CLAM.
Our heads were spinning as we stared at our shell loot from our first day shelling. I know… what?
That was Day 1. Ready to get your mind blown away? This was Day 2 in Okinawa…
To explore the entire island, we rented a car to find sweet little paths leading to the spectacsheller shell filled beaches.
From there, we hiked miles of beaches and climbed mountains of rocks to get to another Shellgri-la.
Each step took us to another Shelltopia.
Every afternoon, we sifted through our treasures to ogle at our fortune.
Okinawa has been on our bucket list since we visited our friends Lee and Susan when they lived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While we were visiting them, they showed us their collection of shells they found in Okinawa… OMG… they had those SPIDER CONCHS and huge CONES they found on the beaches. Immediately Clark and I looked at each other “We HAVE to go there!”.
I’m telling you, each day filled us with excitement and joy to discover a new world of beauty.
I want to share more photos with identifications of more shells and beach bling but after traveling more than 30 hours back home to Sanibel… I’m a little off my game right now. But to tide you over if you have questions, here are maybe a few answers …
Hotel? AJ Kouki Resort
Car? Times Car Rental (FYI- Clark did an awesome job driving on the other side of the road!)
Food? Loved it! We stuck to places around the hotel with of course lots of chicken, fish, rice and noodles… not as much sushi as we thought we’d find. (Funny, they have soup and salad for breakfast)
Traveling with shells? As with all of our trips, we only bring home what will fit in our carry-on suitcases. So yes, we brought home lots of shells with no problems going through security. We didn’t however take a big wardrobe so we would have room for our loot. I did take like 5 different shelling shirts (I washed them every night in the tub) but it seems all of my pics have that pink one on- hahah. Maybe thats my new lucky color? Naaaaa- I’ll stick to my aqua- 😉
Snorkeling? We snorkeled for maybe 2 hours one day… it was so weird… although it was extremely clear and pretty, we didn’t see any shells. I picked up one empty OLIVE- thats it. We saw a few live STRAWBERRY CONCHS which are very common (we called them FIGHTING CONCHS while we were there since they were every where- haha) and then felt like we were waisting time since all of the empty shells were on the beach. Well, and plus- I snorkeled with my waterproof backpack which failed and leaked… with my iPhone with the Lifeproof waterproof case on it inside the backpack… the case failed too. I drowned my iPhone- ugh. That was the end of snorkeling for our trip but trust me- that did not slow me down. iPhone schmiphone- there was no time to worry about that- there were beaches waiting for me to explore!
Stay tuned for more photo and info!
Shellzam! These are some of the unbelievable shells and bling we’ve found on an extraordinary shelling trip to the other side of the world from our home on Sanibel Island, Florida. Yes, Sanibel is the the most amazing place on the planet for beach combing but when you’re extreme shellers like Clark and me…
We’ve got to explore the awesome beaches around the globe.
Stay tuned for all of the details of our amazing beach combing adventure…
in Okinawa, Japan!
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…
There are seashells in the British Virgin Islands!
Clark and I just got back from a quick trip to some of the beautiful islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada to do a little sailing and a lot of shelling. We found shells, SEA GLASS, CORAL, SEA WHIPS, RELICS and POTTERY fragments from old ship wrecks.
We combed the fabulous beaches…
We snorkeled the crystal clear turquoise Caribbean waters…
And found some beautiful treasures.
There were shells on every island!
Since our whirlwind trip just ended, I will start organizing our BVI loot so I can show you all the cool stuff we found and tell you where we found it. And while I unpack our shells, I take a few photos so I can show you how we get our goodies home in our luggage safe and sound without breaking fragile shells and SEA URCHINS.
The beaches and shelling were amazing but hanging out with Jane, John, Sandy and Roger was the more fun than ever. The BVIs will never be the same.
I can’t wait to show you more photos!