The shells at Blind Pass Captiva are shifting around so much, it’s going to be difficult to keep you up to date. The shells (BITTERSWEETS, FLORIDA CONES, AUGERS, a JEWELBOX, a CERITH and some CORAL) in the above photo are shells I found right before I found my QUEEN HELMET I showed you on my last post. See how many shells had washed up?
I had mentioned in my last video that Eileen had found BITTERSWEETS (one of her faves) too but she also found an awesome HORSE CONCH candy, NUTMEG, CORAL, a NUTMEG and this is just one of many bright orange CALICO SCALLOPS.
We also witnessed Rob finding an ALPHABET CONE… but if you look back at the video (CLICK HERE) at around 30 seconds into the movie you can see Rob sift some shells in his shelling backhoe then two bigger shells roll back towards his feet. I think the one closest to his foot is this ALPHABET CONE he showed us. Ha! Crazy, huh?
Okay, so those photos and video were from 2 days ago but I went back yesterday at low tide again to see what else may have washed up, the shells were just about gone.
See? Every day is different on our beaches so you have to enjoy everything you see because it might not be there tomorrow. But if all the shells are gone, you have to move on and hunt other places. I did that very thing… I moved on and found their new hiding place…. about a 1/2 mile down the beach on the other side of the jetty rocks. I took this photo to show you how far down on the beach from the jetty rocks I found them…
And this is what I found…
Joe from Chicago scored with this big awesome LIGHTNING WHELK…
And oodles and caboodles of goodies…
Teri and Debbie from Indiana were having a field day too…
Fabulous finds Teri!
And heeeeere comes Johnnie!
She found those sweet BITTERSWEETS as well along with more marvelous minis.
This is the beauty of shelling… you just never know where the shells are going to turn up so it’s always a treasure hunt. So who knows! Today, the shell pile could be back again at the jetty rocks like it was 2 days ago. Speaking of which, I took another little video just before I found my QUEENS HELMET (Have you noticed I keep slipping that in? heehee. I’m still thrilled!) so I might as well show you that because the morning was absolute peace. Have a peaceful day!
PS- That would be paint all over my hand in the vid. haha I’ve been painting furniture (obviously white) then I started on painting shells for the upcoming Captiva parade and I’m not so neat so I ALWAYS get as much paint on me as I do my project.
Nice post Pam! Beautiful shells and beautiful shots of the beach. You make Sanibel look like Paradise… which it is for us beach people and shellers. This time next week I will be on my way to Sanibel.
Wish I was there! With containers for collecting shells.
Thank You for sharing this ocean heaven.
Thank you Pam for my morning trip to Sanibel! Just what I needed to start the day. Love seeing all those shells on the video….and the pelicans :)
We just returned from Jamaica and the beach was very disappointing. I did find some shells, some that I didn’t have, so in all not too bad. But I sure miss Sanibel.
Yeah, there’s only a couple of other places in the whole world that have as many shells on the beach as Sanibel does. When I went to Jamaica, many years ago, I found no shells at all on the beach where I was staying. I mean none, not even any fragments.
oooooh! I can’t wait!!! I am practically jumping out of my skin until I get down there in a week’s time! I feel like mapping these shell locations now with ‘X marks the spot’! I’ve never driven around the island before for shelling, only for shopping, but I guess I will have to start on this trip. Pam, please keep up the ‘shifting shell’ updates, especially for this backhoe newbie!
I’m coming down next week too. First trip.
“Jumping out of my skin!” You found a way for me to express my feelings perfectly!
You can find an easy-to-read map of the main streets on the island by clicking on “Parking” at the top of this blog. It details parking restrictions/permits required. If you don’t want to worry about feeding the meters every two hours, you might want to consider buying a non-resident parking pass that’s good for about a year if bought now. It costs about $90.00, but one ticket is $50.00.
There is also a map available at the welcome kiosk at the Ft. Myers airport and a small handy guide of various attractions in the area.
Thanks for the video Pam.
So calming… I may just fall asleep… right now…..
Pam, I wanted to ask you about paper maps of Sanibel/Captiva. Last year I was able to get a very good large paper street map from AAA, but I lost it and now AAA doesn’t have that one any more. I like a really detailed accurate paper map that I can mark up as necessary. Any suggestions? Do real estate agents like SS Clark have paper street maps still, or have they gone the way of the Dodo?
I’m not sure if you’re only after a fold-out map, but this is an amazing book we used last year – complete and detailed guide book and mapping of the island’s roads, shopping, beaches, etc.! Spiral-bound, compact and a new edition is likely to come out in Feb/13. Highly recommended!
I love that book! I’ve written a post about the cute couple Sarah and JB who publish this book http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2011/03/24/abcs-of-alphabet-cones/. Good choice Trish!
Thanks for that suggestion, Trish from Toronto. I have the other book, the one by Julie and Mike Neal. That one has a pretty good shell section with photos of 118 species; a few of the IDs are incorrect but most of them are good.
Susan, If you want a good fold out map, the service station right on Periwinkle as you come off the causeway (where the policeman directs traffic) sells them. I think it was $2.00 and it shows all of the streets and is very accurate. I love mine and have marked all sorts of info. on it. I bought a new one there last year so I’m sure they still have them. If not, try the other gas stations on the island.
Thanks Katherine! We won’t have a car ourselves, but I can ask our car-service guy (Mark’s Sedan Service) who brings us to Sanibel from Ft Myers Airport, to make a quick stop there. Also, we will be making a stop at the Publix supermarket on the mainland right before the bridge to Sanibel, and I will look and see if they have a good map for sale there. Thanks again for your info! I love a good old-fshioned paper map! :)
Maybe it’s my age, but I love paper maps too. There is something great about having it all layed out in front of you. Have a wonderful trip. I have 2-1/2 months to wait for mine. :)
How nice for you! I will be jealous of you when mid-February rolls around. :)
I just got back from Sanibel/Captiva which was my first trip to the area. Can I tell you, I didn’t want to come home. Back to the map. I found a very good
map at She Sells Sea Shells. There are 2 locations, 1157 Periwinkle Way
and 2422 Periwinkle Way Sanibel.
Thanks Jeanne. We won’t have a car, so I don’t know if I will get to She Sells Sea Shells, but I am sure I will get hold of a good map one way or the other. :)
Looks like too much fun! I’m glad you guys are having a great time!!
Hahahaha…love the very end of your video..”okay gotta go. Bye” that made me laugh!! What wonderful calm clear beautiful waters and ALL those shells!! I would of kept that turban and there was a big piece of coral by your hand and the baby conchs…heeheehee…I wanna go shelling!!! Soon…but not soon enough!
All of those shells are amazingly beautiful!! Congrats on your find of the decade Pam!! Awwww-Man I want to be there!!
Spectacular!!!! I wish the shelling had been as good as it is now while I was there in October. Is there any time of year that is better than the other? Congratulations of finding the Queen Helmet! That was quite a find!
I don’t know if it is true, but I have read that winter storms bring more shells in. Mind you, a storm of any size at any time is good, and the biggest storms are the tropical storms or hurricanes that can occur (fortunately not very often because they are so destructive) during the summer months.
I think the difficulty is that most of us only come to Sanibel for a week or two (not a month or two) and it’s just not possible to pick the “perfect time” weeks or months in advance. As Pam says, shelling is always a treasure hunt. Sometimes you find some big fancy treasure, and sometimes you don’t.
And like Pam also says, the rich spots shift and change all of the time. It’s a pretty big island, and no-one can check every part of the Gulf coast of Sanibel every day.
Plus of course, everyone has a different idea of which shells they love the best, so a spot that would please one person might be quite disappointing to another person.
But as Pam says, if you keep your expectations open, you can usually find something that is cool and interesting, even if it’s only some fancy beach bling. :)
Pam, I am convinced that you are not a mere mortal. Or, you are operating on a day longer than 24 hours. You manage to shell long enough to find all of your shelltacular finds, run your blog, and do things like your painting project. my jaw drops!
Your point about how different tides can be bonanzas or busts is a good lesson. I liken it to sitting at a blackjack table in Vegas. Sometimes it’s too easy to sit at a comfy table even if you are losing, when you really should leave and go to another table, or casino, for better results. :)
That Queens helmet is an awesome find! I would have passed it up thinking it was just a garden variety cone. Do you have a special place to display your extraordinary treasures?
U r so sweet to think of my time I spend on my blog. I’m obsessed lol. Funny u ahould say that…. There r days when I feel like I have to slow down then I get a sweet comment like urs and it gives me new energy to know its all worth it. always feel bad when questions go unanswered but I can’t possibly answer all. Thank you for keeping me going!!!!
Thank you for your video’s! I miss the sound of the ocean so much! It’s so nice to be able to see and hear it!!!!
Pam (and other Sanibel residents) can I ask, is it possible to hitchhike on Sanibel? I figure you always have to ask about it, because maybe it is against the law…
There is no public transport on Sanibel at all, right? How do seniors get around who can’t drive any more?
I know there are taxis you can call, but those fares really add up, as the distances on Sanibel are not short, the island being 12 miles long. Also if you are staying mid-island, then its 6 miles one way to Blind Pass and 6 miles the other way to Lighthouse Beach, too far to ride roundtrip on a free beach cruiser bike that doesn’t run very smoothly.
Anyone have any bright ideas for getting around cheaply?
Susan, you might want to call your hotel about transportation. They might have a deal with cabs or local transports. That said. I don’t think cabs r way too expensive but then I haven’t called one in a long time. Sorry I can’t help! I ride my blue co stanly.
You “ride your blue co stanly”? Who is this Stanley, and why is he blue? ha ha :) I guess you mean you ride your “blue” constantly. Is your car your blue?
hahah that’s what happens when i reply from my iPhone. I meant ride my bike constantly. LOL But then I realize now I havent done that in a while… unfortunately I dont much any more since I am doing more multitasking these days. When you ride your bike, there’s no multitasking- thats one of the beauties of it. You are forced to take your time and smell the roses (or… shell the maculosas (spotted slipper shell)) LOL.
Maculosas to you too Pam! I will try to ride one the the hotel bikes every day I am on Sanibel and maybe I can build up some stamina.
Pam, we left the pass and went to #4 and the surf was FULL of wonderful little tulips, whelks, murex, augars, immature conchs, you name it….wow…2 great days of Surfing it!…..thats more like it!..
We are here at Jensens for only two days and are shell hungry. We plan on heading out early in the morning to check out the pass. We’ve never been here before and were wondering which would be best to start at….Turner Beach or the pass on the Sanibel side? Also, what is #4 spoken of in a previous post?
If you the top of this page and click on the tab that says “parking”, you will reach a page with two maps of Sanibel. Click on the top one. Then you will be able to see where # 4, in other words West Gulf Drive #4 is.
But all of the West Gulf Drive beach access points (actually all of the dark pink flags on the map, whatever their name) each one has an extremely limited parking area which is only for the use of residents of Sanibel, who can show an “A” permit.
The spots marked with a blue-tinged P are general public parking areas where you pay $2 an hour.
The orange flags show places where you can park as a visitor if you have a visitor’s permit. There is a “B” permit, a “C” permit and a “B and C” permit.
Pam explained in February of last year: “You can buy [parking permits] at the Sanibel Recreation Center. The cost for Non-Resident parking permit is $90 for “B”, $90 for “C”, or for a whopping $180 you can park at “B” and “C” lots. You can see where “B” and “C” parking lots are at http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/parking/.
Hello, my name is Deborah and I am from Brazil. Your blog is simply wonderful! I will visit Fort Myers Beach next year, which beaches you advise me to go to find these beautiful shells? Thanks,Debora Maschell