Captiva Island is changing before my eyes these days in more ways than one. First of all, as I drove over the Blind Pass bridge that connects Sanibel Island to Captiva Island, I was shocked to see a new beach that had just formed on the Captiva side. It was low tide, yes, but this is a big change for any tide. Take a look at the difference from last week…..
The Essential Beachcomber’s Kaybe took the above picture at low tide on December 6.
Here’s a video of what the scene looked like this morning around 10:30ish. Please excuse my choppy commentary. Now you know why I don’t talk a lot in my videos. LOL
The other big change on Captiva is because of this first ever huge holiday hoopla. As part of the Captiva Holiday Village, Tween Waters Inn hosted a Sunset Aria ….. Opera on the beach this evening!
And after sunset….. Fire Dancers and Beach Drummers!!!
I’ve finally recovered from last week’s golf cart parade and luminary and saved all those decorations from the iLoveShelling golf cart to dress up our booth for the 1st Annual Marketplace today, tomorrow and Sunday.
I met some new shelling sisters! Donna and Cheryl were the first ones to visit our booth at Chadwick’s Square at South Seas Island Resort to get some shelling gear.
Okay, this was so much fun…blog friend Val and her dear friend Dodie (taking pictures) stopped by our booth too! You won’t believe what she made me.
She loves to pick up pieces of shells like these bits of TULIPS, LIGHTNING WHELKS and AUGERS to make flowers and leaves for ornaments. I am so deeply touched she chose to hand craft this ornament for me and I will treasure it every day so thank you so much. This is too special to only put on the Christmas tree, this will be hanging in our home all year round.
My mother and I drove down for a day trip from the Tampa Bay area… went to the Captiva side of Blind Pass. I found an awesome 2 inch banded tulip (among the many olives, murexes and such), mom found a 2 inch auger – probably the biggest one I’ve ever seen… and we met Bob (husband of Gwen whom he said got herself into your blog). He told us that the city beach park was supposed to be another hot spot so we stopped there 2nd and found an insane amount of dead urchins, crabs, pen shells, soft corals, and sponges. Anyone know what’s up with the mass die-off? Our last stop was the lighthouse end and I found a tiny paper fig… some wentletraps and a lot of button shells. Looks like we missed seeing you at the pass since we were there from 830 till 945 then off to our next stop. Next time perhaps… thanks for all your posts on the shell mound and changing face of Captiva… it sure helps to have a bit of a clue prior to driving down!
It isn’t really a mass die off, we just had high winds that washed all those beach treasures up on the beach where we could pick through them. There’s usually goodies hiding in with those sponges and pen shells. Sorry I missed you!
beautiful photos, as always.
I am flying toward Sanibel with a smile spread across my face. The sun is rising before me. Will be landing in an hour—-like coming home.
Hope to meet you at your booth and get a tee shirt to wear while shelling this week.
Val’s ornament is wonderful!!! Shellers are such creative people!! Thank you for bringing such interesting people for us to see, Pam!!! I love it. Wow, those are some changes there on Captiva…I’ve seen similar at East Crooked Island near Mexico Beach…it’s really something from one time to the next to see how different a beach can be. Love the video!!! Hope you have a great Saturday!!!
Thats very interesting that the sand bar developed so quickly? Do you think that means a change in the shells?
Wow!! That’s a huge sandbar at the pass. If it continues like that it will probably close off the pass again. After all the $$ spent to open it back up, I hope that doesn’t happen. Of course, given time it could change again suddenly. Keep us posted because that’s quite a development!!
Wow, I haven’t been to Captiva this past week, I am shocked at your pictures. That is certainly a dramatic change. Good thing I checked your blog today. :) Christmas shopping has had all my attention lately and not much beach time. Love the ornament! :) There’s just nothing better than friends and speciall gifts from the heart.
I have been a shell freak since the day I picked up my own little ocean-treasure-discovery! Problem… I live in Utah! I dream about seashells and the beach. I’ve only got to visit a beach once in about twenty years and it was in Monterey, CA. I was only able to find a few little shells – which was disappointing – but I still loved it. Well, 2 years ago, I googled the best places to find shells so that I could make a life-dream about where me and my hubby are going to go one day. It was stated many times…Sanibel Florida! So – here’s the great part… it’s happening!! My husband is taking me to Sanibel in one month and I can’t wait! While exploring different sites about shelling, I came across yours, and I am hooked! Can’t wait to see it all in person. I will enjoy shelling vicariously through your blog before and forever after my dream trip next month! Thanks for the fun! You’re in my “faves” :)
What a beautiful story! I am sooo glad that your dream is coming true- and you will absolutely fall in love with Sanibel Island! I go there twice a year no matter what is going on in my life; started going about 5 years ago. I know you will have a wonderful time and you will come back again and again. I love it when life- dreams come true—-enjoy!!!!!
Oh Kelly, I am so happy for you that you will finally get back to the beach where it sounds like you belong. You will be like a kid in a candy store here in Sanibel with all of these shells! I hope to see you on the beach.
I agree, Kelli, that is a wonderful story. My husband and i stopped by for a few days on our honeymoon trip and it has been my dream destination ever since. If you love shells you will love, love, love Sanibel. Then there is the fact that it is not commercial at all and oh so beautiful and everyone is so nice. I don’t get there as often as I would like since I’ve been divorced but one day..oh one day….until then though there is this wonderful blog!!!
Wow. that is truly amazing the change in the beach in just a few days. Sure hope Blind Pass doesn’t close again.
Would love to be shelling on that stretch of sand sticking out in the pass.
Aw, Pam, you’re bringing tears to my eyes, both happy and nostalgic. As a native Miamian, I started going to Captiva Island in June 1971 and stayed at Tween Waters back when it was just a tiny beach resort. I’ve walked the beaches on Captiva more than I have on Sanibel, so I understand the changing shoreline. I am so grateful to you for keeping the islands alive for me as I cannot come over as often as I wish I could. I’ve followed the goings-on there for years and if I were able to live anywhere in the world, it would be on Sanibel or Captiva. One day (maybe in spring 2011) I’ll get over there and will find you on the beach. Please don’t give up your blog; it keeps my dreams alive.
Marcia- I could never give up this blog as long as I have such wonderful encouragement like you just gave and all of these thoughtful comments from others as well. Thank you!!!
Here I am back in New Mexico after another fabulous visit to Sanibel and Capitiva and imagine my surprise when I see my picture with you…I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to meet you and Clark and have such a great visit. You two are very special! What a lovely holiday event it was!
Thank you for your comment, Dovie, I get so much pleasure in first finding those beautiful beach treasures and then spending many happy hours using them in my artsy/crafty projects.
Dodie & I just love our tee shirts. You can bet I’ll be wearing mine on the beach at the end of January when I return to Sanibel with my Mom & Sisters.. Hope to see you then, Pam! In the meantime I shall enjoy “visits” via your beautiful blog.
thanks for the info and the lovely pics. Can’t wait to visit in Jan.
WOW! I was so glad to find your website! I live in Pittsburgh, PA but my husband and I will be down at end of Feb. and early March staying at Casa Ybel. Any recommendations where Northern folk could go for good shelling? I got info on the daytrip to Cayo Costa park. I just LOVE shelling! I am a radiologist by trade, and I love looking for little details amidst the “big picture”. I hope you can help us!
Hey Denise… from my few trips to Sanibel, I’ve learned that every beach on the islands will have something good for everyone. The pass between Sanibel and Captiva has been a great jackpot for me the 3 times I’ve visited. The shell mound (mostly filled with bivalve shells) was humongous and offered a good amount of treasure hunting. This last trip (last Friday), I got a spectacular 2.5 inch banded tulip that didn’t have a resident in it – YAY, the visit before that I found a bunch of murex shells, and the time before that I got a lot of juvenile conch shells. The lighthouse area beach was full of wentletraps, buttons and welks… plus I managed to find a small horse conch and a small moonsnail shell. Also on Friday, we stopped at City Beach Park (at the end of Algiers Lane) and found a whole bunch of sea urchins, pen shells, whole cockles, and one of my favorite finds of the day, a paper fig. I’m partial to finding the gastropod sells and so I hardly notice the millons of scallops, cat’s paws, slippers and jingle shells but there’s a ton of them too.
I couldn’t have said it any better than Leah (you rock!…er….you shell!).
Well, I needed a Sanibel/Captiva fix today…..and you always deliver, Pam! lol! It’s like I’m standing right there on the beach with you! Your photos always bring back so many fond memories of hubby and my vacations on Sanbel – and we’ll be creating new ones come March! Can hardly wait! :)
What a wonderful day! thanks for taking us along. That third picture is just glorious. Love the blue and white contrasting against each other.
Love going (vicariously) to the beaches with you…impressive sand bar video today! In January, my sister’s coming and doing a stay at Sanibel so I’ll be comin’ on down from Venice for another (better) look-see (thanks to you and your blog) than I’ve had in the past as a mere tourist…
becky (at beachsnaps)
We’ve always had better luck at shells when the pass was closed but I too hope it stays open. Can’t wait to see your next post, hopefully many shellers found some beautiful keepsakes :) Thanks for the most current updates.
Thanks to Leah and Pam for their insights for good places for snowbirds to go shelling. We will use your information. Your pictures on the website are such a treat…a visual escape from the hard winter up here. Most people are counting the days till Christmas, but we are counting the days till our SANIBEL TIME!!! I will check in periodically to check the status of the evolving sandbar at the Pass. I visited Sanibel once a long time ago as a student, and my girlfirend and I swam across the channel between the islands. Now I think back and say…young and foolish we were!!! Denise
Had to go back to the website today for a glance at that beautiful beach! We will be coming down at the end of February, so your photos and comments from all the group are getting me excited. We are getting slammed up here…a new weather issue practically every other day, ice and snow. It is 26 degrees here today and will be in the teens the rest of the week. I am craving that Sanibel sun and lots of good shells. See you soon! Denise in Pittsburgh
Just wanted to say how great our trip was to Sanibel! We loved the beach at Casa Ybel and also went to Blind Pass one AM but didn’t get any good shells there. Has a funny experience…I was in the water with my net, and I saw two FINS! I thought it was a sand shark and I panicked! Ended up to be the rays which were mating! For a Northerner, this was terrifying. I took my husband down to the beach to see the rays. There must have been 40 or more! Avery unique experience for us! See y0u next year!