Jul
09

Shelling Trip Worth The Wait

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Pam Rambo with shelling group at Captiva Cruises

Our iLoveShelling shelling cruise to Cayo Costa had a rain delay Tuesday morning but just like shellers know how to make broken shells into beautiful pieces of art or jewelry, everybody who was there made the most of our time we had together. Captiva Cruises made our delay turn into something to talk about! We all gathered on the Lady Chadwick boat to stay safe until the storm passed (which BTW, wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon) where we could chat about my favorite subject… shelling! After a couple of hours of “shell n tell” and the weather still iffy, we all decided that most of us could come back the next day. Lets go for it!

Lady Chadwick at McCarthy's Marina

So yesterday, our iLoveShelling cruise -round 2 – brought us sunshine and smiling faces! Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce from Athens, TN were bright and cheery just like our whole crowd.

Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce Athens TN shelling in SW Florida

While boating to the island, I picked a winner for the sterling silver seashell charm that Sealife By Congress gave as a gift to one lucky iLoveShelling cruiser. Carol won!

Carol won seashell necklace from Sanibel's Sealife By Congress jewelry store

For everybody else on the entire iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress gave a $25 gift certificate so each of these shellers could have a sterling silver charm as well. Here is Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren and Cameron with their Sealife By Congress gifts. An awesome jewelry store with an awesome way to start off the day. Remember, on every scheduled iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress will give gifts as well!

Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren, Cameron get $25 for Sealife By Congress

Then we pulled up to Cayo Costa to find crystal clear water, a beautiful beach with a string of seashells and puffy white non-stormy clouds. Paradise found.

boating to seashell paradise in Florida

Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…

Sea shells found on Cayo Costa Island Florida_1

Lauren found the cool piece “rock” made of shell fragments which I used to believe were just chunks of cement made by fishermen used to keep their crab traps from moving around in the water. Now that I’ve questioned all of those different shells that are normally in the mix, I realized that they are fossil fragments cemented in limestone called COQUINA LIMESTONE. And yes, the “largest” shell on the right side is…. a COQUINA.

Coquina Limestone from Cayo Costa Florida

Landon started snorkeling as soon as he got off the boat and in just a few minutes, he showed me he found an ALPHABET CONE. Yay!

Landon with alphabet cone with iLoveShelling shelling adventure cruise

By the time we got back on the boat, he and his mom had two big bags filled with shells. They had so many FIGHTING CONCHS and LETTERED OLIVES,  he decided to walk around the boat to give everybody any of the shells they had found. So sweet! In October they have another shelling trip planned which they told me was inspired by my post of our trip to Turks and Caicos. We want to hear how it goes!

Landon giving seashells on shelling cruise_4

On the beach, we were finding a few BABYS EARS, quite a few WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, ALTERNATE TELLINS, SHARKS EYES, CANCELLATE SEMELES, ANGEL WINGS and one SPECKLED TELLIN as well.

speckled, white crested alternate tellins moons_1

The larger shells seemed to be in the water so the clear aqua was very inviting to just go for it like Michele from Los Angeles did. Can you believe how clear that water is? Wow! Since her mom Debora (NY) is an artist more than a sheller, she decided to the opportunity to take in the island scenery and do some graphite drawings of her shells. So lovely!

Michele and Debora finding shells_1

Alex and Tara encouraged Isabelle (Gainsville, Florida) to use a stunning pice of pink pearlized WINGED OYSTER shell she found for the seashell pendant for her sterling silver charm from Sealife By Congress. Perfect idea!

making jewlery from found shells_1making jewlery from found shells_1

It’s impossible to explain how much fun we all had after almost 9 hours of hanging out together on the cruise and because of our rain delay. It actually turned out even better because the rain gave me more time to get to know these fabulous folks… Sarah and Sandy from Arora Ontario… Grace, Melia and Teresa from St Louis…  Pat from Michigan, Carol from Cape Coral, Belinda from Ohio and Kevin and Kerry from Pennsylvania.Finding seashells on iLoveShelling shelling trip _1

Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.

collecting sea shells on a Florida island

But… Even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, Captiva Cruises has shelling cruises to Cayo Costa twice a day- one at 9am and one at 1pm. CLICK HERE for more info

Captiva Cruises shelling boat Santiva

For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!

shelling adventures trips by pam

Jul
06

Never Desperate Beachcombers

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beach combing sanibel for sea shells

CLAMS, SCALLOPS and OYSTER shells. That’s what we’ve been seeing washed up on Sanibel beaches this week. Some experienced beachcombers might think this is a little boring since they have plenty of these bivalves and there weren’t many WHELKS and CONCHS to fill up their shell bag. But we always find interesting things and when Clark and I met Ilene, Dawn, Hudson and Ethan from St Petersburg, FL we saw they weren’t disappointed at this gorgeous evening either.

Dawn Ilene Hudson and Ethan love beachcombing

Ethan picked up an ARK SHELL with a hole in it and began telling me why certain shells drill holes in different areas of other shells. Oh wow- I just did a post on the different holes in shells last month so I wanted to know more. He told me that the further away the hole is from the hinge (what I call the “nose”), the predator mollusk is more stressed. If the predator drills near the hinge, he can get to all of the meat easily…but the shell is thicker there so it may take longer to drill. If the predator mollusk drilling the hole into the other mollusk is pretty desperate, he picks a spot that’s thinner and easier to drill but may not get much meat since the other mollusk might fight back or can slip away easier. A sign of a desperado. Thanks so much for such cool information, Ethan! BTW, Ethan teaches classes about Paleoceanography .

If I didn’t put you asleep on that explanation and you think this stuff is interesting too, here’s a photo of what I’m talking about. See the DOSINIA on the left with the perfect hole in the nose area and then look at the hole in the desperate CALICO CLAM with the hole in the middle of the shell. Why so desperate Mr. Murex? Okay, I’m not positive it’s a MUREX that made the hole but in my humble opinion, it sure looks like an OYSTER DRILL hole (part of the MUREX family). Take a look at my other post What Makes The Different Holes In Seashells?

holes in mollusk sea shells

Okay, lets get back to the beautiful shells… While we were all talking near Lighthouse Beach, Ilene showed me her pretty DOSINIA then I saw Hudson reach down and pick “candy” (juvie HORSE CONCH) right out of the shells at our toes. Clark then made a scoop in the water and pulled out a TRUE TULIP then gave it to them. Hmmmm, the shells looked like they were starting to come in but it was getting too dark to see.

shoulda focused on seashells

Dawn just posted on iLoveShelling Facebook page this morning that they found all of these shells at Lighthouse Beach. Yes! The WHELKS and CONCHS are finally coming in… not that we were feeling desperate or anything. LOL

photo by Dawn Goddard

Thanks for posting, Dawn! Looks like we are going to be heading to Lighthouse Beach today to find some mermaid treasure but I’m really looking forward to our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa tomorrow with Captiva Cruises.

sea shell mermaid in the sand

Join us and receive a $25  gift certificate for jewelry from Sealife By Congress. Call 239-472-5300 to reserve your spot for 9am.

shelling adventures trips by pam

Jul
04

Shellebrate Independence

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July 4th junonia

Categories : 4th Of July, Holiday
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Fulgurator olive in a pile of Kittens paws

Among thousands of KITTEN’S PAW shells that washed in by the jetty rocks on Captiva Island’s Blind Pass yesterday, a very cool FULGURATOR OLIVE rolled up from the surf as well. Can you even see it in the photo above? It’s almost camo-ed, right? It was a happy day Linda from South Carolina (right) who was the lucky gal who found it! Shellzam! Here she is with her awesome shell along with her family Keith and Hannah.

Keith, Hannah and Linda show sea shells found on Captiva

These are just a few of the other shells they found there too…

Shells found on Captiva Island July 2014

There were so many CERITHS too but Hannah was loving all of the “PAWS” since she a Tiger. A Clemson Fighting Tiger!

Hannahs Captiva Shells

Hannah wasn’t the only one loving the PAWS, Sarah is a Clemson Tiger too. Sarah and her mom Shannon (Greenville, SC) were new to shelling so being surrounded by so many PAWS on vacation in Florida felt like a warm welcome mat rolled out especially for them.

Sarah and Shannon collect kittens paw shells on Captiva

KITTENS weren’t the only PAWS washing up on the beach, Linda and I found a few fragments of LIONS PAWS too… and some other sweet shells.

My sweet shells I found on Captiva Island

Just a few days ago, only sand and waves were crashing on the shore but then came a line of SEAWEED… then a mound of shells. You just never know what to expect until you get there.

Blind Pass Captiva shells

Wanna CYBERSHELL? Click on the next photo. Meow!

Kittens paw shells on Captiva

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Jun
30

Every Day Sanibel Shells

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Common Sanibel shells

With very warm days bringing heavy afternoon storms coming from the east, the downpours with lightning have put a damper on our favorite time to shell – summer evening shelling. Before dinner last night, Clark and I snuck out to Gulfside City Park for a few minutes to see if the swirling winds had brought many treasures.Sanibel boardwalk path to the beach I always try to be thankful for whatever gift is put before me on the beach so I took a closer look at the most common shells on Sanibel. These shells are always on the beach but we overlook them most of the time since we get in the habit of only looking for our favorites. We are so very fortunate to always have so many different species of common shells so I started picking up the ones that were abundant. As I stopped to pick up some of the common shells, I was pleasantly surprised at how many varieties were right at my toes in the shallow water. There was something very therapeutic about picking them out. I thought I’d share the peace and calmness of the process so I started filming. That sweet little candy (yellow HORSE CONCH), OLIVE and CONCH were Clark’s additions to my “therapy” so I added them to my video as well. Enjoy!YouTube Preview Image

 

 

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seashell necklace with silver charm

I love my new necklace I made out of a DOSINIA sea shell and a sterling silver SAND DOLLAR charm from Sealife by Congress jewelry store. I found this DOSINIA which already had a natural hole drilled in it (from a SHARK’S EYE- remember that post I did last month? CLICK HERE) so it was screaming for me to make it into a pendant.

natural hole in seashell

I was so excited to receive one of these ever so sweet charms for our i Love Shelling shelling adventure on Tuesday’s Maiden Voyage on Sight Sea-R Cruises, I knew I wanted to wear it for that special occasion cruise. And you can have one too!

Sanibel sterling silver charms Sealife by Congress

Yep, I have very big news for you. On every scheduled iLoveShelling cruise on the Sight Sea-R Cruises and iLoveShelling cruises on Captiva Cruises, Our friends at Sealife by Congress will be giving one sealife pendant to one lucky sheller! But hold on to your shelling hat- thats not all. Each passenger on an iLoveShelling cruise will also receive a gift certificate for $25 to the Sealife By Congress store! Oh yes, you will! Is that amazing or what? Sealife by Congress loves shelling too!

Sealife By Congress iLoveshelling

So you can be as happy as everybody on our iLoveShelling Maiden Voyage Sight Sea-R cruise

free silver jewelry on shelling cruise

When I showed off how I embellished my shell with my charm, Mary with Sealife by Congress told everybody if they found a shell they wanted to put their charm on, they could bring it to the store and they would put it on for them. I went in the store yesterday to thank them again for being so generous with the gifts and guess who I ran into… Pam and Pat from Texas (the “cutie cousins” I showed on my last post)! They were getting their charms put on necklaces.

Sealife by Congress customers

Pam was very lucky to have picked out the JUNONIA charm- ooooo…I love this one. On our shelling cruise, she found a pretty COCKLE shell with a perfect hole to take in the store to have her JUNONIA charm added to her necklace. Such a wonderful memory! If you are on Sanibel, Captiva or in SW Florida stop and see them in Periwinkle Place on Sanibel- they are very “sheller- friendly”!

junonia pendant charm in a seashell

So along with finding seashell treasures on iLoveShelling cruises, you will find jewelry treasures as well.

Sealife by Congress giving charms on iLoveShelling cruise

I never got to show you all of the other photos from our Shelltastic Sight Sea-R Cruise. It was such a special afternoon with perfect weather, fabulous birding,  amazing sealife sightings, a gorgeous sunset, and we all got to hang out with the nicest shellers in the world on a brand new 50 foot Cooper Pontoon boat (with a bar)…

Sight Sea-R Cruise boat to shelling excursion

And do some exshellent shelling.

shelling stoop on i Love Shelling excursion

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Lisa from Chicago stooping for shells

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fighting conch big hickory island

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rose petal pink tellins and other sea shells

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Matthew from Georgia finds an alphabet cone in Florida

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Barbara and Ted from Cape Coral on i Love Shelling cruise

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Kay and Lauren find Alphabet cone in SW Florida

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frank and Sally on i Love Shelling cruise

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Eva and Melissa from Missouri on shelling cruise SW Florida

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Debbie and Julie on shelling cruise

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linda from arkansas with pam rambo on shelling cruiselinda from arkansas with pam rambo on shelling cruise

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Bonnie and Wendy departing shelling cruise

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shelling adventure with iLoveShelling and gorgeous sunset

So don’t forget to reserve your spot for any iLoveShelling Cruise on Sight Sea-R Cruises and also on iLoveShelling cruises with Captiva Cruises to have a shelltastic shelling cruise with me plus receive $25 off any Sealife by Congress jewelry. CLICK HERE to join us for an unforgettable day on an iLoveShelling shelling cruise. For dates click on the next image …

shelling adventures trips by pam