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

My Latest Stories from the beach

Freaking Out For Shell Heaven

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Life, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 15 comments

variety of Bonita beach shells

I found shell heaven this week!

beach filled wth shells

When I can be on a boat …

Florida boat to the island beach

Filled with the nicest shellers in the world …


Finding amazing shells…

hands holding shells


And Beach Bling…

beach bling


Amazing things happen…

pie of shells with shellers

Great memories happen.





We even had DOLPHINS jumping beside the boat to welcome us to a spectacshellar day.

dolphin shell cruise

This all happened on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises this week boating to Big Hickory Island, Florida. The island was loaded with awesome treasures.


And even more awesome shellers…


This is why I feel like I found shell heaven this week.


It’s not just about the shells but the experience we have along the way of finding them.


It’s about the different things we find that are beautiful to us.


And to share the experience.


To share the joy.


To share the experience with friends from the past…



And to meet new friends…






That’s not it… on every iLoveShelling Adventure …


Every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!


Can you believe all the ALPHABET CONES, SHARKS EYES, GAUDY NATICAS, SEA PEARLS, ANGEL WINGS, SUNRAY VENUS, WORM SHELLS and BEACH BLING everybody found in all of the photos? It was crazy!

seashells found gulf of mexico

Oh wait… and I found a reeaaally cool shell too!

pam rambo with freak florida cone

These trips are so much fun for me because I get to share a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned over lot of years combing our local beaches and give away shells – so I don’t normally keep any shells I find…but when I saw this “FREAK” FLORIDA CONE, Whoa…. Pounce! Look at that crazy spire.

freak florida cone

Wanna see other “freak” shells? CLICK HERE

Join me on an iLoveShelling Adventure boat cruise to the out islands- CLICK HERE


PS- We may have had freaking awesome shelling on our beaches this week but you folks up north in these snow storms have been on our minds every second of the day. Please stay warm and stay safe… by thinking about sifting through shells.



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Whelks And Conchs And Fossils, Oh My!

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Fossil, Junonia, Lightning Whelk, Whelk | 30 comments

Doug shells Sanibel

Shells, shells and more shells rolled in the week after the storms hit SW Florida this week. Folks who didn’t mind getting their toes wet at the surf’s edge for a couple of hours were rewarded with some a-maaaazing gifts from the sea. Annie, Lucy, Heidi and Doug who were visiting Sanibel from Ohio all found some cool shells… and look at that huge empty HORSE CONCH Lucy (in the red sweatshirt) found- it was Shellectric!

Annie,Lucy, Heidi, Doug Ohio visit sanibel

It was like playing Duck, Duck, Goose… picking up shells and looking to see if they were occupied- Live, Live… Empty!

whelk shells after a storm on Sanibel

The shell game…

shellers at lighthouse beach Sanibel

It was almost too overwhelming to look at the beach with all the beautiful colors peeking out of the sand when the waves receded. Which way do I go?

shells in the surf-1

LIGHTNING WHELKS… it was like a people were tripping over them. haha (Ok- I’m sort of exaggerating… errrr.. sorta)

Large Lightning whelk grey color Sanibel

But Im not exaggerating about this…. Chris and his wife Karen from Vermont found a JUNONIA at Blind Pass- Shellzam!

Chris and Karen Vt visit Sanibel

Patti from NY was overjoyed to find her own big WHELK at lighthouse beach. Boom- Shellalaka!

Patti NY lightning whelk-1

Then I saw her one hour later and… she found another one. haha Ooo Shell-la-la!


You can see Clark in the background scooping up shells I showed you earlier this week while families all around him found their own amazing treasures.

Sanibel shelling after a storm

Rudy from MN was finding WHELKS too- he was around the same spot as Clark and there were plenty to go around for everybody. Happiness.

Rudy MN lightning whelk sanibel-1

This says it all! The day was so spectacsheller, Kathy was doing the happy dance and shouting to the palm tree tops. Isn’t she the cutest thing?

Kathy happy dance finding seashells

But hold on… I never even got to show you the crazy FOSSIL SHELLS that local shellers Pam and Cheryl found near the Sanibel fishing pier…

Pam Cheryl Sanibel fossils

Seriously, isn’t this crazy?

fossil shells on Sanibel

Shelling sisters Andrean and Karen from OK had the same instincts I did throughout the week because I ran in to them at just about every stop- they hit the same beaches at the same time. We should have just car pooled together hahaha. They even found the “FOSSIL PIT”.

Andrean Karen OK visit FL sisters

The last time this road got washed away by a storm, the City Of Sanibel brought loads of dirt with shells mixed in from the FOSSIL pits in Florida so thats why these unbelievable shells rolled out. That OLIVE in Andrean’s hand was still shiny- Wow. And… the shell just to the right of it I believe is a Mitra lineolata which was a common shell 5 million years ago but is now extinct. Cheryl had one in her hand in the other photo too. Blows the mind, right?

fossil shells Sanibel island florida

I hope to do a whole post just on FOSSIL shells you can find around the islands (to see a previous post on FOSSILS CLICK HERE ) but I still have much to catch up on (it was a busy week…. my birthday week- heehee). We also had an awesome time on our iLoveShelling Adventure yesterday so I’ll show you what we found there on my next post.

I know lots of you up north are dealing with some terrible weather and preparing for scary storms this weekend so we are sending love and warm wishes to you. Please be safe!

Oh and PS- The BROWN PELICAN we took to CROW (on my last post CLICK HERE) is still being cared for at the clinic. He still has a splint on his fractured right leg but they say he is making a nice recovery. Yahoo!



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The Calm After The Sanibel Seashell Storm

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Sea Life | 39 comments

shells after storm on sanibel

Southwest Florida had some crazy storms plow through our area in the last few days… so I have so much to tell you! I will start by telling you that there were areas of flooding from downpours of rain, high winds, tornados and washed out roads. But we are all safe and sound…. which leaves us with talking about the shelling. Holy Cowrie. We found some shells, folks. Clark scooped for hours yesterday at the lighthouse and this is one of many very cool shells he found- a huge, empty HORSE CONCH. Shellzam!

large empty horse conch

But to me, his best find was the perfect ROSE MUREX he scooped in his shelling backhoe. We rarely find these on Sanibel or Captiva but when we do, the “tail” (SIPHONAL CANAL) is chipped and beach worn and the color is usually really faded.

rose murex found on sanibel beach-1rose murex found on sanibel beach-1

But not this one…. this one is perfect!

sanibel rose murex aperture

But let back up… There was so much rain that came so fast (we heard reports of 4 inches in 40 minutes) that Friday January 15, the Blind Pass Sanibel parking lot looked like this…

flooding at blind pass sanibel

That same day, the road to the Sanibel Lighthouse just passed the fishing pier was eroding away from the waves pounding the side of the road.

erosion sanibel lighthouse road

By Sunday January 17, that same road was pretty much washed away and the road was closed (that is a police car in the back ground). Most parking lots were closed but by 10am the parking lot on the other side of Lighthouse was re-opened.

road closure sanibel lighthouse road erosion

The beach was littered with CRAB TRAPS pushed up on shore by the strong winds.

crab traps washed on beach after storm

We saw hundreds of live shells (I really think thousands but you’d think I was exaggerating haha ;) ) and probably 25 of those were live HORSE CONCHS washed up on the sand, in the water and stuck to tree roots.

live horse conch on sanibel island

With each wave, there were more shells washing in. Again.. most of these were still alive so everybody oooohhhed and aaahhhed and respectfully left them alone.

shells in the surf

Among all of the excitement, we realized there was an injured BROWN PELICAN on the beach that needed help. Local fisherman (and golfer ;)) Jeffrey, Clark and I tried to dislodge an oversized fish from it’s bill and untangle his wings. After letting him recover for about 15 minutes we knew he needed to get to CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife) on the island. The shells could wait… we found an old towel and a box then took him to the clinic where he’s still recovering. If I get word on his progress, I’ll let you know.

injured pelican at sanibel crow
After that…. back to the beach!

shells at sanibel lighthouse after storm

Oh yeah, baby, Super Sheller Clark was rewarded with a spectacsheller empty LIGHTNING WHELK.

clark found a huge whelk

Everybody’s shell buckets were filled with happiness.

buckets of shell

It’s so cool when special shells like this double SPINY JEWELBOX washes inn too. We normally don’t see the spines so perfect when they are found on the beach- this one is a-mazing.

gprgeous double spiny jewelbox

I just had to catch you up on an amazing weekend and show you a few of these crazy photos. Clark found most of the shells that we kept- but I also met so many happy people with great find so their own so next post I will show you more fabshellous finds and hopefully I can pull together a video of the madness as well.

some shells after sanibel storm

Yep, we are living on the SCALLOPED edge of island life.

scalloped edge of sunset

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