For the past 3 days, Southwest Florida has been peppered with high winds, rough and choppy seas in Gulf Of Mexico, rain showers and extreme tides. Thank goodness we didn’t get a direct hit from Tropical Depression #9 (now named Hurricane Hermine) on Wednesday, so it was safe to go scouring the island to find a huge shell pile that formed in the morning on the west end of Sanibel at Blind Pass that brought a few awesome treasures (top photo).
After picking through those treasures for a while, I couldn’t wait to see what was happening on the east end of Sanibel at Lighthouse Beach.
The gulf side was still too choppy but by the late afternoon the shells started piling up at the waters edge on the pier side of the lighthouse.
Then more rain and more high winds… then…. fast forward to this morning at Lighthouse beach near the fishing pier again…. Shellzam!
It was Shellmania! Shells started washing up on the beach but before they could even get on shore, we had a line of shellers sitting on the sand bar in the water having a spectacsheller time.
It was total shelltopia! We all became fast friends after all 5 of these HORSE CONCHS were found in less than an hour. We would hear screams of joy when someone pulled another empty one up out of the shallow water then we splashed over to see the next trophy- give a big hug then oooh and ahhh. Such a blast!
I found a HORSE CONCH too! It was very cool although it had lots of old barnacles and shell “crust” but since we have a few already at our house, I decided to gave it away in a “guess a number between 1 and 100” game with 9 other shellers. Congrats Andrea! haha So. Much. Fun.
Feeling the anticipation of what a Tropical Depression in the Gulf Of Mexico like Hermine (aka “#9”) will do to our beaches if there’s no threat of danger, makes all shellers feel giddy with excitement. If you’re an extreme sheller, this is what we wait for. It’s happiness.
While running the beaches the last 2 days, I met so many amazing people finding such awesome treasures. This is what makes the beach here so much fun- sharing the shelling love.
We also saw Captain John shelling with his family Katherine and Jack at Blind Pass. He was the new captain with Captiva Cruises who captained our last iLoveShelling Adventure. They just moved to Sanibel 2 months ago and looks like they’re already getting the hang of finding shells. Nice TULIP!
I haven’t even gotten a chance to hit all the beaches because we still have storm bands driving thunderstorms though our area. Please remember…. any time you hear thunder PLEASE be safe and get off the beach. It’s so easy these days to find a good radar weather app to be aware of storm bands coming through so you can be prepared. If you don’t have your smart phone with you, the sound of thunder is Mother Nature’s warning signal to be safe and take cover. The shells can wait… Mother Nature knows best.
More shell stories to come so stayed safe and stay tuned ;)
Until then, have a shell of a day!
PS- Hi Joey, I hope you got that little WHELK from your Gramma Sandy. ;)
There are many beaches to explore in Southwest Florida to observe a variety of wildlife and find great shells, but it’s always a fun to make a trip to Bunche Beach in Fort Myers at low tide to roam the mud flats.
Seriously, it’s like an Easter egg hunt out there at a low tide zig zagging through the muddy sand as you walk up on to flash of pink to find gorgeous SUNRAY VENUSES with both valves still held together.
So as you can see by my photos, these “mudflats” aren’t really muddy dirt made of soil but they’re actually sandy tidal areas meeting with mangrove forests and many different grass beds. When the tide recedes, we get to see lots of other natural occurrences as well … like spotting the unmistakeable colors and pattern of a half buried empty LIGHTNING WHELK shell.
And like a itty bitty empty SHARKS EYE shell.
Among hundreds of live healthy KINGS CROWNS, I found this one empty fabshellous beauty.
Such a fun trip with friends Ada, Ann and Kathy to take a quick trip just off Sanibel.
PS- Not sure if you heard- on August 16, National Geographic published an article online by the very talented journalist Gillian Kendall with the title…. “10 Reasons to Visit Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida”. It’s a beautiful piece featuring our beaches, islands, wildlife, fishing and…. errrrr…. and then there’s #2…. A Shellebrity. Oh Holy Cowrie! I’m still a little shell shocked! LOL But I’m so incredibly honored and honestly, oh I don’t know… a little embarrassed? Anyway…. it’s an awesome article and I guess it’s taken me a few weeks to post it since I feel a little… oh, I don’t know. It’s craziness!!! (blush, blush)
Oh… and PS again – If it turns out well, I’ll show you photos of my new and improved Shellaboratory I’m remodeling. I’m painting seashells on the concrete floor while we wait for the big storm in the gulf to bring us real shells! Here’s a sneak preview …
Any day on the water is an amazing day full of adventure.
Being on the water with DOLPHINS playing beside our Captiva Cruises boat on the way to the secluded island of Cayo Costa… was an exhilarating day.
Our iLoveShelling Adventure on Tuesday from Captivawas extra special for me since my life long friend Lori and her daughter Mackenzey were visiting us from Richmond, Virginia. I’ve known Lori since I was knee high so it was a gift to have them both share this experience with me.
Its such a small world, Lori and Mackenzey met other shellers on the boat that are from Richmond, Virginia too… and live about 20 minutes from each other.
It was a beautiful calm clear day with lovely adventurous families.
We had a journey finding happiness and a few gifts from the sea.
Of course everybody received another gift… $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers…
The day after our cruise, we had a sad day on Captiva and all of Southwest Florida. Yesterday Paul McCarthy, owner of Captiva Cruises passed away.
The journey of life…. “That you feel the sense of exhilaration and adventure“. These are the words Paul McCarthy lived by.
I have so much to be thankful for to have known Paul. He encouraged me to do these iLoveShelling cruises so I could meet the shelling community face to face instead of only online through my blog. He knew how much I would enjoy sharing my love of shelling in person by being on the water just like our cruise on Tuesday. Of course, he was right and we all should live life to the fullest and be present. He had a special gift of bring people together to learn about the environment and share experiences. He touched so many lives by being so giving of himself to others. We are so grateful to the all of the folks at Captiva Cruises who have worked alongside Paul for so many years and will continue his legacy.
“Island life suits me”. Yes, it did Paul. We will miss you.