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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Shelling Trip To Grand Bahama Island

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Angular Triton Shell, Caribbean Shells, Grand Bahama Island, Grand Bahama Island seashells, The Bahamas, West Indian Chank Shell, West Indian Chank Shell Egg Case, West Indian Murex | 37 comments

seashells of the bahama islands

Life is short… go shelling!

pink conch shell in the bahamas

Whenever we get an opportunity to go shelling in a different part of the world, we jump at the chance.

seashells found in grand Bahama island

Fortunately, the opportunity to travel to Grand Bahama Island for a shelling trip was just a bonus. My husband Clark is very involved in a service organization called Rotary International which helps create positive lasting change for communities around the world. Grand Bahama Rotarians along with several Florida Rotary Districts met for a conference at the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport for several days to … well … do their Do-Gooder deeds. Yep, that’s what I call them… Do-Gooders. LOL

grand lucayan resort bahamas

So after the DoGooders finished doing their good work for the world, we stayed a couple of extra days to explore the island for seashells.  At most of the big resorts in the Bahamas and the rest of the world (besides Sanibel and Captiva), they clean the beaches every morning to make it look sandier and nicer. For regular tourists, I guess that’s a pretty look for them but for beach combers like you and me… we want to see those wrack lines! Yes, they need pick up the trash by humans but the beaches are actually much healthier if the beaches stay natural with shells and plant matter remaining on the beach. Needless to say, we didn’t find many shells or bling near our resort so we rented a car to find the ungroomed beaches. We didn’t have much time to research the best shelling locations so we took a stab in the dark and headed to the east end of the island.

rented car on grand bahama island

We stopped at several different beaches to find interesting shells and beach bling…

conch shell on sandy beach in the bahamas

And stopped at every cute little shell shack.

bahamas shell shack

And as luck would have it, we pulled into McLean’s Town to this dock…

firefly bone fishing dock in the bahamas

We asked a few of the locals if we could find a boat captain to take us to some of the out islands to find seashells. Oh Yay-ah! We stopped at the perfect place. We found out that Joe-T is the best bone fisherman in town and he introduced us to his son Joe-L who grew up on the water boating to the best beaches and flats areas to find shells. So let’s go shelling!

Joe-L grand bahamas shelling guide with pam and clark from Sanibel

After a gorgeous boat ride, Joe-L pulled up to a sandy beach with lots of wrack lines and rocks.

private guide boat in grand bahamas

He showed us where to look to find shells like this WEST INDIAN CHANK SHELL …. which they call a LAMP SHELL (but honestly, I thought he was calling it a LAMB shell- hahaha). Nice find Joe- L! (and thanks for giving it to us!)

Joe-L grand bahama shelling guide with chank lamp shell

I was over the moon when my first shell of the day was this FLOWERY WEST INDIAN LACE MUREX. My very first one of this species with the brown color form.

pam found a west indian lace murex in bahamas

It’s perfect and completely empty.

west indian lace murex found in the bahamas Chicoreus (Triplex) florifer

Clark was happiest to find this awesome ANGULAR TRITON. He reminded me right away how much bigger this one is compared to the best one I found in Turks And Caicos last year. heehee – Always a competition and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

bahamas angular triton

You know I loooove my beach bling so I was thrilled to find this WEST INDIAN CHANK EGG CHAIN washed up on the beach. Look how big it is! It looks like some sort of a sci-fi alien sea creature egg case.

west indian chank egg chain case

Most of the sacks were empty and filled with sand but I found a few dried tiny juvenile CHANKS inside. Cool!

west indian chank egg chain case with juvenile shell

We saw plenty of beautiful fish and other live creatures but it’s always breathtaking to see the live CUSHION SEA STARS…

cushion sea star starfish bahamascushion sea star starfish bahamas

Our boating day with Joe-L was such an unexpected, unplanned delight… it’s a shelling trip we will never forget. These are just a few of the many different varieties of shells we found.

shelling trip shells from Grand Bahama islandshelling trip shells from Grand Bahama island

After shelling all day, we were famished. Conveniently, Joe-L’s mom Eva has a restaurant at their dock so we stayed for an outrageously good lobster dinner worth every reasonable penny.

EJs bayside cafe grand bahama island

Since this was such a short trip, we didn’t have time to check out the west end of the island for shells but I can only imagine we could find some secrets spots there too. It’s such a sweet little island I hope we return really soon. Oh and when I get our shells cleaned up and organized, I’ll post another photo.

caribbean shells from bahamas

Update- May 11, 2014… Now that we’ve had time to get home and clean up our shells and BEACH BLING this is our loot!

Grand Bahama Island seashells found May 2014

Not bad for 2 days, right? Here’s another closer photo of the smaller shells and bling so you can see how many different species we found. They are sooooo beautiful!

caribbean sea shells from Grand Bahama Island

If you decide to go to Grand Bahama Island, this might be useful information…

To reach Joe-L or Joe-T for a shelling trip, here’s the email address- [email protected] phone is 242-353-3676 or 242- 375-5219.

The hotel concierge gave me the car rental info Island Jeep and Car Rental– I thought it was reasonable and the car was great. Oh and by the way, the roads are in fantastic shape compared to some of the other islands (like Cat Island and TCI) but you still have to drive on the left side. (I drove the car the whole time- its easy)

The Grand Lucayan was very nice, reasonably priced, had lots of options for restaurants, shopping, etc and only a little over an hour’s drive to McLean’s Town and even less to the west end.

And before you ask about transportation… we didn’t fly over to the island. Part of the Rotary Convention was held on a cruise boat… the Bahamas Celebration. It was pretty cheap for transportation to the island from the Port of Palm Beach but Clark and I aren’t really overnight cruise boat kind of travelers. We want to get where we are going … so we could have skipped the cruise boat if it wasn’t part of the organized group. Next time, we will find a fight or maybe even check into the Fast Cat which isn’t an overnight cruise.

Hope you enjoyed the cyber trip to the island, mon!

colorful conch shells in bahamas

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Beach Combing Vacation – Cat Island, Bahamas

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Caribbean Shells, Cat Island, Flame Helmet, Measled Cowrie, Milk Conch, Queen Conch, Reticulated Cowrie-Helmet, Sea Bisquit, West Indian Chank Shell, West Indian Top Shell, World shelling | 45 comments

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! Check out more info on our Cat Island trip CLICK HERE

cat island map

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