Winning conch

Mark (Iowa) with winning conch

….And in the Sanibel corner with his winning FIGHTING CONCH… is Mark from Iowa!  This CONCH is a knock out! I just love this picture with the “bystanders” looking amazed at the “winner” holding up his prize shell. LOL But let me back up a bit….. I was watching a few shellers out on the new Sanibel sand bar at Blind Pass wondering how deep the water was to get out to the bar. Most days there is a rip current running through this water “gully” so this could be very dangerous. The current today was not strong because it was so calm and still so it was the perfect day to check it out. I saw a guy getting ready to cross over the deeper water to get to the sand bar so I took a video….

Then I saw him put on his snorkel when he reached the sand bar…..

Snorkeling for shells

Snorkeling for shells

He headed just beyond the sand bar then only five minutes later, I saw him find something big.

Winning conch crop

It was Mark! We witnessed this whole amazing find so I had to wait until he came back over to the main land to see this HORSE CONCH  for myself.

blind pass large horse conch

Mark (Iowa)

It was a perfectly empty huge HORSE CONCH…. and of course, as luck would have it, this was his very first time shelling. Huh? He swims over to a sand bar and five minutes later, he pulls out the treasure every sheller dreams about. Crazy.

Horse conch on Sanibel

Mark’s horse conch on the beach

I saw other shellers cross over to the bar too…..

Sheller crossing

Sheller crossing

Preston came back with this gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK. It looks like an albino!

Preston with whelk

Preston (Kentucky)

Then Tommy made it back over on his dad’s shoulders…..

Sheller on shoulders

Shelling shoulders

He brought back a LIGHTING WHELK too.

Tommy with whelk

Tommy with whelk

It was an exceptionally beautiful calm day at Blind pass with exceptional shelling. Shellers, birds, sailors, plane pilots, sunners and stand up paddle boarders were out to enjoy the day.

Stand up paddle boarder