Pages Navigation Menu

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

Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells in Thailand- Part 4 Phuket Shell Museum

Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 in Bailer Shell, Melo Melo Golden Pearl, Thailand, Thailand Sea Shells, Thailand Trip, Tun Shells | 34 comments

shell museum yard art

On our trip to Thailand, we not only found seashells on the beaches, we found shells adorning the yards on the island of Phuket. We were very fortunate to be invited to the home of  international shell enthusiast Tom Rice who now lives in Phuket. As we arrived to his house, I was thrilled to see his garden lined with “yard shells”. I love to line my plant beds with old large shells too!

seashells lined yard thailand rice

Tom is from Port Gamble, Washington where he opened Of Sea And Shore which is a shell museum exhibiting some of his collection over the past 50 years during collecting trips to more than 40 countries and through exchanges with collectors and purchases from dealers around the world. If “Of Sea And Shore” sounds familiar, he used to publish a magazine by the same name. The museum is still open but Tom moved to Rawaii Beach on Phuket about 10 years ago and seems to have found a pretty good island life.

Rice home phuket

Not only does he have shells in his museum, he has shells he hasn’t even finished identifying, organizing or cataloging. This is just one cabinet of shells! LOL He has so many shells, he is now selling his precious collection. To see his list CLICK HERE.

Tom Rice seashell organizer

After having a great time talking shells and island life, Tom had a surprise for us so we hopped on the local transport- the Song Taew.

song taew phuket

It’s really just a covered bed of a pickup truck with a couple of benches but it’s the cheapest way to get around….if you have lots of time to wait for it to just “happen” by.

tom clark pam thailand song thai

Our surprise? He gave us a tour of the Phuket Seashell Museum! Tom’s friends, the Patamakanthin brothers opened this privately owned museum about 12 years ago.

phuket seashell museum shop

Both Clark and I were surprised to see that there are over 2000 species on display. That’s a heck of a collection of shells!

Thailand seashell museum tritons

Have you ever heard of a GOLDEN PEARL?

baler shell melo pearl

Neither had we until we saw this very rare MELO MELO PEARL that is not produced by an oyster but from the Melo melo or the common name BAILER SHELL. It got the common name because the native fishermen use it to bail out the water in their boats by scooping it out with this shell. They DO look like big scoops! Check them out…

Bailer shell display phuket museum

Remember Clark found a SPOTTED TUN? Well, holy smokes! Look how big some of these different TUNS can get…

thailand shell museum tun

More shells, more eye candy…

Phuket Shell Museum piddock bivalves

phuket seashell museum clams thailand

Phuket Museum Thailand scallops

 Oh you know I love my wormies!

worm shell display

Look at these gorgeous WORM SHELLS from the Philippines…

phillippine worm shells

 We can’t thank you enough Tom, for such a wonderful day! We would never have gotten to meet if it wasn’t for our good friend MurexKen for introducing us to Tom… a BIG thank you to MK for being so thoughtful. It made out trip even more enjoyable.

rawaii phuket boat

restaurant row rawaii phuket

PS-  It has been storming in Florida all weekend with Tropical storm Debby and she will be pounding us for even another couple of days. Right before the lighting show began, Clark and I scoured the Sanibel beaches but we didn’t see loads of shells yet.  Lightning storms are not the time to be on the beach shelling so when Mother Nature stops with her thunder warnings and things calm down a bit, I’ll give you another report. Until then, I’ll show you CONES and MUREXES we found on our Thailand trip on my next post. (well, unless I have a local report that can’t wait!)

Read More

Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 3

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Operculum, Thailand, Thailand Trip, Turban Operculum Shiva Shell | 39 comments

spotted tun thailand

These are Super Sheller Clark’s prized possession seashells he found on our trip to Thailand… not one but two SPOTTED TUNS !

clark tun shells thailand

Within minutes of getting to the east side of Ao Nang in Krabi, he found these bad boys several feet away from each other high on the beach in the weed line.

spotted tun on thailand beach krabi

We had seen broken pieces of them throughout our trip but were afraid we wouldn’t find them as a whole shell on the beach since they are so fragile. Wrong! They are in great shape!

spotted tun- Tonna tesselata

 I found out the word “tun” means wine jar or wine cask. This seems fitting because Clark looked like he wanted to throw a party right there on the beach and drink wine right out of these guys to shellebrate!

clark tun thailand

 We got them home safely and I’ve already displayed them in a white washed wooden bowl with some other pieces we found on our trip.

thailand seashells coral display

 I didnt want any other shells competing with Clark’s new babies so I chose to display them with some other sea life we found on the Thailand beaches. I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to bring CORAL back into the United States from other countries. I just learned that from Susan H who posted that on my last post– OOPS!  Too late- sorry, CITES! Well, At least I feel good about not taking too much- only a few pieces from each beach…It was so hard to choose which pieces of CORAL we were going to bring home but this is what we ended up with…

thailand coral phuket krabi

 These are the biggest OPERCULUMS (SHIVA SHELLS) I’ve ever seen! I would have loved to see the TURBAN shell that these came from. Geesh! The biggest one is 3 inches wide…

turban operculums 3 inches

The first time I picked up one of these, I yelled to Clark… “I found the biggest stinkin JINGLE you’ve ever seen!”. Haha Then I realized what it was… a CAPIZ SHELL. I used to have trays and dishes made out of these shells. I’m sure you have seen these in some kind of home decor but it’s really cool to find them on the beach.

Placuna placenta capiz shells

 I threw in a few of the AUGERS (or TURRETS) we found to give my little display a different texture and balance (heehee) so Clark’s SPOTTED TUNS would have a beautiful resting place to be shown off.

thailand tun seashells coral display

Although this day of finding these two gorgeous shells on a beach Thailand will be a memorable day for both of us, I’d like to recognize this Memorial Day for remembering the men and women who died while serving to protect our country. As we traveled foreign lands just last week, I experienced peace in the world because of the bravery of our fallen heroes and those currently serving in our military. A toast from our TUNS to all who serve.

Spotted Tun with coral thailand

PS-  I took back that Nikon J1. All of my photos are still with my trusty Panasonic.

Read More

Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 2

Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Thailand, Thailand Trip | 88 comments

Vijitt resort Phuket Thailand

 Thailand is called The Land Of A Thousand Smiles but they could have boasted that it was The Land Of One Thousand And TWO Smiles while we were there.

Rawaii Beach Phuket Thailand

It had everything we love… beautiful beaches, palm trees, warm weather, unbelievably nice people and of course… seashells.

sea cookie krabi thailand

 With a trusty map in hand, we searched high and low on every beach to find a few goodies. Between the two of us, we found the key and unlocked the Thai treasure chest containing lots of seashell loot. Go ahead…click on the next photo to enlarge to see all the shells scattered on the beach. Cyber Shelling!

beach seashells Thailand

Trying to identify all of these shells is a bit more time consuming and tedious than I expected. But! The fun thing that we realized when we were finding most of our shells… was that we basically knew what family each shell was a part of. “Hey Clark! I just found this beautiful SUNDIAL!”. And he’d shout back… “Look at all these COWRIES!”. So now I get to show YOU!

Hey y’all! Look how beautiful these SUNDIALS are!

Indo Pacific Sundial seashells

Look at all of these different COWRIES!

indo pacific cowrie shells


Marginella seashells thailand

 So many varieties of TOP SHELLS…

indo pacific top shells thailand

 We loved finding these little LIMPETS and FALSE LIMPETS.

Thailand limpets Indo Pacific

 I love this little tiny LIMPET but in my research found that it looked more like the FALSE LIMPETS (that’s as far as I got with the research on these guys)…

tiny striped limpet thailand

 I know I’ve already showed you some of these SEA COOKIE SAND DOLLARS but they are so darn cute I think you might have to look at them on every Thailand post. I can’t get enough of them!

sea cookie sand dollars thailand

See? Already I have to show you how itty bitty this one is…

tiny sea cookie sand dollar

 The AUGERS we found are huuugah! Most of them are around 3-4 inches long.

thailand auger shells

 These are some of the CONCH shells we found… well I assume they are all in the CONCH family but I could be wrong. There are just so many different species! I’ll try to identify them later. Cuties, right?

andaman sea conch shells

 Clark is dieing for me to show you his 2 major finds but I still haven’t gotten good photographs of them yet so that will be my next post. I promise, Clark! Next post!  ;)  … จนกว่าจะแล้ว (Until then)

top shell thailand

cowries thai

thailand auger shell

marginella thailand

thailand beach

Read More

Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 1

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Thailand, Thailand Trip | 40 comments

Phuket beach thai

Pinch me! We spent our shelling vacation in Thailand! Yes… Thailand! I think if you started digging a hole on the beach of Sanibel and continued through the earth, you’d end up on a beach in Thailand…the other side of the planet.

Thailand travel map

We spent most of our beach time on the south end of Phuket, Thailand in an area called Rawaii.

coral island dock thailand

 We, of course, couldn’t wait to scour the beaches to see what kind of shells were there!

sea shell on rock thailand

 I love these little tiny SAND DOLLARS…

thailand sand dollar

We found such a variety of unusual shells (unusual for us, anyway)…

phuket thailand seashells coral

 We took one of those beautiful longtail boats out to Bon Island and Coral Island.

inside longtail boat

longtail boat bon island

 Now I know why they call it Coral Island. Wow! So much beautiful coral.

coral island thailand

 ..with a few gorgeous shells mixed in.

dolphin shells thai

 Well…ahem… more than just a few gorgeous shells. I found lots of them!

coral island thailand shells

 But once again, Super Sheller Clark found CONES!

clarks coral island thailand

 He found them by snorkeling right along the shoreline…

snorkeling coral island thailand

Oh no. I’m crashing with jet lag again (30 hours of traveling with 2 hours sleep…did I mention an 11 hour time difference?). I’ve got to take this in short spurts for a few days to get caught up with sleep, mail, phone calls, work, laundry and cuddling with the kitties ;).

But one more thing for today….I have to thank Captain Brian for filling in and writing such great posts while we were gone. It was so much fun to have him as a guest blogger, right??? He also had a little guessing game on the Where is Pam? post asking if you could guess where we found these shells. Here’s the photo that was posted…

vaca shells 1

We have a clear winner! Holly Barth Giehler!

She said “Is it Thailand? The rock “islands” in the distance look like those that were in some of the pictures a friend of mine had from her recent vacation there.”

Then she wrote back and said “It was actually Krabi, Thailand that I was thinking. That’s where a friend of mine was earlier this year and it’s also where part of the movie, “The Hangover 2″ was filmed (the beautiful scenes at the resort where the wedding took place).”

OMG Holly, you had it pinned! The photo of the cones was taken about 10 minutes away from that hotel (the Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton) where they filmed that movie! Congrats! I’ll send you a few shells that we brought home! But wait, getting back to the “Hangover 2” movie, of course we had to go have a drink to check it out.

hangover head quarters

 Next up…. more Thailand shelling in Phuket and then on to Krabi! And I’m going to try to identify some of these cool shells too so you can see them up close and personal. CLICK HERE to see more of Thailand!

long boat thailand



Read More

Nautilus Shell Found

Posted by on Oct 30, 2010 in Bali shells, Cone, Cowrie, Nautilus, Olive, Scallop, Thailand, World shelling, Worm Shell | 13 comments

Bali Nautilus shell

Thailand Nautilus shell

Jane found this NAUTILUS shell while walking on the beach…… in Thailand! I’ve talked about my friend Jane in other posts (Jane’s Seashell Frames) so you know she loves to collect seashells….. but now I’m jealous. Why? A. She went to Thailand and Bali with her husband for her birthday. B. They found this nautilus on the beach. C. They found all of these other amazing shells in Bali!

Bali cone shells

Bali cone shells

I am not an expert on Bali shells so I don’t know what type of CONES these are. So if you have info, please don’t hesitate to share. And so many different types of OLIVES…

Bali Olive shell

Bali Olive shell

Bali olives

Bali olives

Bali olive seashells

Bali olive seashells

Bali Olive seashell

Bali Olive seashell

Jane brought over this whole big basket of shells so I got sort through them and figure out which ones to photograph. It was so much fun to ooh and ahhh over each one of them.

Bali cowries

Bali cowries

Bali worm shells

Bali worm shells. They have wormies too!

Bali Scallop shells

Bali Scallop shells

Bali scallop seashells side view

Bali scallop seashells side view

I had to show the side view of this SCALLOP. Isn’t that so cool? I had take this one alone too. So beautiful!

Bali scallop shell

Bali scallop shell

Bali mixed clams

Bali mixed clams

Bali mixed shells

Bali mixed shells

You can see from this picture that the nautilus isn’t huge but it’s about 2 and a half inches.

Bali mixed seashells

Bali mixed seashells

Bali red pipe organ coral

Bali red pipe organ coral

Bali best shells

Bali shells .... a little of everything

Jane sent me this next photo from her iPhone when they found it on the beach. Isn’t it crazy I could get this picture while they were on the other side of the planet?! I, of course, thought they were pulling my leg.

janes nautilus

Janes nautilus shell

Maybe one day we’ll get to Bali and do some shelling. Until then we all can enjoy and dream of walking the beaches to happen upon a nautilus shell like this. Thank you Jane for sharing your Thailand and Bali beach treasures!

PS- Another Nautilus was found this month on the beach in Far North Queensland Australia by blogger friend Elizabeth at i Heart Sunny Days. She took a picture too.

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest