It was a gorgeous sunny day on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa yesterday! This beautiful HERMIT CRAB found a nice home inside this CONCH shell for lots of us to ooooh and ahhhh over it then see it go safely back into the water. But Debbie was soooo fortunate to have found this gigantic LIGHTNING WHELK completely empty!
Yowza Debbie! So happy for you! She also found a GAUDY NATICA (aka COLORFUL MOON SHELL) EGG COLLAR and a SHAGGY PARCHMENT WORM TUBE. But that gorgeous WHELK stole the show.
Holy mackeral! Super Sheller Clark found an empty LIGHTNING WHELK too. When we got back to the boat, Clark and Debbie showed their big finds of the day…
It was a day for finding big shells because Erin found another big LIGHTNING WHELK. After letting everybody see this beautiful creature alive and well with the original mollusk still inside, she walked it back into the water to live out its healthy life to breed more WHELKS. Way to go, Erin!
Like I always say… Every day the beaches change. One day the shells are piled on the beach and some days you have to work at finding them. I have to admit, we never found a huge pile of shells but this was an awesome group of shellers because they not only found those huge shells, but they found other beautiful shells they were happy with as well…
Did you notice in the last picture that little tiny SCALLOP SHELL? Love it!
Others were finding FIGHTING CONCHS and SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Aaron from Kansas City was finding the mini shells for his mom…
He found BABY’S EARS, FALSE ANGE WINGS and an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK. I think that other shell is either and OYSTER or a big KITTENS PAW but I didn’t even look at since I was inspecting the fab ALBINO WHELK.
I know this is a broken shell, but as soon as I peeked inside Shanna’s shell bucket on the way back to the dock and saw this piece, I woooped it up! She found the lip of a DEER COWRY! DEER COWRIES are very rare in Southwest Florida since they don’t live here. They live further south in the keys so for it to travel this far north… I always think any piece found here is a fun find. Especially the lip.
Here is Shanna and her mom Patricia (both from Georgia) with her fave find.. a WORM SHELL :)
I was thrilled to find a SPECKLED TELLIN! This is another shell I don’t normally find on our beaches. Between Clark and I, we only have about 4 that we’ve found around here (SW Florida) so to me, it’s a pretty rare find.
This is how I found it so if you see it with the interior side up, you will know to pick it up too. Errrr… Now that I look at it this way, doesn’t it look like Spock lost his ear? Weird. haha
Speaking of ears…There were quite a few people that found BABY’S EARS for the first time ever…
So let me show you a few of these beautiful souls that Clark and I got to spend some time with to exchange stories and treasures…
I had to get my picture taken with Jeanine and Della from PA. They came geared up with their iLoveShelling tee shirts just like me. Thanks you guys!
There are 3 shellers in the next photo too. Jody and Melissa will be having a baby next month so their newest addition will already have shelling experience. Doesn’t she look great? Lucky baby!
Thank you Captiva Cruises‘ Captains Keith and Kelly for a perfectly safe and smooth boating morning.
And thanks so much to these fabulous folks for joining us for this spectasheller day!
Don’t miss this experience! Join us on our next cruise May 19 from 1pm to 4pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
WOW, What beautiful shell! I’m going to have to come down there and do the trip with you guys. The boat ride alone sounds like fun! Love the shirts!!
Actually Deer Cowries are found further north, they are just typically ‘further offshore’ and pretty rare on the beaches. I have one from Panama city and even found a piece on a beach in central Texas.
Those speckled tellins are scarce! I found one years ago. The giant lightning whelks were very nice. Loved the baby calico scallop and babys ears. One of these days I’ll have to go on a cruise. It looks like a lot of fun.
Hey Pam…can you tell us where they found those huge whelks?
The trip looks like so much fun. That teenie tiny scallop is my fav!!
Looks like you all had a great day with beautiful weather. I can’t wait to go on one of your trips in June. These pictures are building my anticipation. My husband is hoping to find a big shell, he said he didn;t care what kind , it just had to be big…These picture will certainly get his shelling radar geared up. We also havae our best shell found each day competition. I am counting down the days until vacation, but realized today I am not counting down the days until the school year ends, I’m even retiring this year. That tells you where my mind is
Wow….what a great day of shelling!!! I wanna go! It reminds me of the Shellabaloo when we went! You had a big group of people that went!! Everyone looks like they had such a great time!!!
Wahoo for shelling!!
Hey, you may not have found any big piles of shells, but Pam, you sure came back with a really big pile of great photos!
What a great trip. Such great shells and a beautiful day to enjoy it all.
We had such a great time! When I saw the Speckled Tellin, I thought I should let you know that along with all the fans and bonnets, we find a good many speckled tellins and Stepped Venus over on Santa Rosa Beach also! Again, thank you so much for the site and setting up the cruise and all the things you do for shellers out there!!
Pat and Shanna
Thank you Pam and Clark for an excSHELLent adventure! What a beautiful way to get to share our seashell obsession with such lovely people. It was fun to meet everyone and share stories. I also found a huge old whelk with a critter in it, took a pic and put it back. Also a sea urchin on the beach – I used my net to carefully put that back in the water as well. Fun to see the beauty of nature. My galpals and I had a great time. Now back at home in Illinois. :( Your blogs will warm our hearts until next time. Take care and keep smiling!
Loved the cruise, Pam!
This is our last night on the island but Sanibel is the kind of place I’m definitely coming back to. We photographed some of our shells and put them online. I feel like we came out with a pretty good variety although most won’t be coming home with us.
Thanks for sharing photos of your shelling voyage. Makes me feel like I am with you guys – even if it’s only in my mind. :-)
You are killing me! I haven’t figured out the next time I am going to make it down. I’m going to need a month to go to all the places you have been telling us about! And way cool deer cowrie piece! Happy shelling!
Wow. Can’t wait to join the next cruise. Yes, we will be with you on the 19 May cruise. Hope to find some of those “honkers” too. That’s what we call the bigggggg shells.
YAY! Look forward to seeing you!
totally unrelated, but we are trying to find any shell shows on the east coast – not having any luck typing in a number of ways. anyone have any suggestions or know of any? thanks!
Chris–I happened to come across information that there is a Philadelphia Shell Show on October 19-20, 2013. Here’s the URL for the Shell Club:
Looks like a great day!!
I did not know Hermit Crabs could get that big. Holy Cow…..
20 more days and we will be in Sanibel again. YIPPEEEE We are having a BLIZZARD in North Dakota right now… Yuck.
Looks like another winning cruise you hosted there!! I’m so jealous of those gorgeous whelks. And seriously Pam, you always look radiant!
How exciting! Will there be a tour during the week of June 24-29? We will be in paradise for the week and would love to go on an excursion!
Well darn… the iLoveShelling shelling adventure is June 19th. Captiva Cruises still goes to Cayo Costa almost every day but I only gather up the iLoveShelling folks once a month.
Oh how sad for us! Was hoping to meet you and thank you in person for my mug! Maybe we will run in to each other while shelling on Bowmans Beach. I’m counting the days! May check out the other cruise! Have a “shelltastic” day!
Just finished uploading a chronicle of our shelling on Sanibel. I’m planning on doing one next week on the incredible birding experience I had too!
In July I will be in the Sanibel area with my husband and another couple.We will be on a chartered boat and moving around. I am a sheller, but friends are birders. Any information on birding around Sanibel that you can pass on would be appreciated. BTW I live in Metairie, La. I visited Buckets of Mud and had no idea there was shelling so close to me.
The birding on Sanibel was great. I’ll be getting my birding spots on the island together soon and I’ll let you know.
One thing I wanted to do but didn’t get a chance was to take the Sunset cruise out of Tarpon Bay. I heard they visit mangrove island rookeries where all the birds begin returning to at the end of the day. It sounded like a great time.
Be sure to go thru Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve. They have pleanty of guide books if you want to go thru it yourself. But, I recommend the guided tour. After years of driving thru ourselves we went on the tour this past February. I can’t believe how much more we learned. Make a reservation so you don’t miss the tour time you want to be on and I recommend as early in the morning as possible so the birds are out and more active. You will see birds everywhere but you don’t want to miss going here if birds are your thing.
We also did the sunset cruise and Touch Tank at Tarpon Bay. It was very cool to see the rookeries at the end of the day. However, maybe not as many different varieties. When we went it was mostly a lot of gray and white pelicans. Have a great time.
Pam it was so nice to meet you and Clark and all the other shell lovers on the cruise! It felt like we were among friends right from the start. You and Clark are so warm and generous sharing all your tips and stories. My sister Della and I love our shirts – we’ll be sure to wear them and spread the iloveshelling cheer up here in Pennsylvania!