After seeing so many empty shells at Blind Pass at the beginning of the weekend, we wanted to see what Tarpon Bay Rd Beach access looked like with the extreme low tide. This beach looked so different and we saw so many live shells like in the first photo with the live FIGHTING CONCHS every where. We also saw this LIGHTNING WHELK making a meal out of this ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE. He had his body (the black part) completely inside the COCKLE shell eating the meat for dinner. Wild.
This COCKLE SHELL was on the losing side of this fight as well since an APPLE MUREX was making COCKLE soup out of this guy…
I also saw several SEA CUCUMBERS stranded on the low tide sand bars…which I dug a little trench for this guy since he seemed still so healthy.
I was so thrilled by seeing all of the living creatures (oodles of live OLIVES as well), I pretty much came home without any shells. I say “pretty much”… because I had Super Sheller Clark with me. I may have come home empty handed but Clark found an excellent HORSE CONCH while I was tracing the trail of something I thought was a live BABY’S EAR. I wanted to get it on video so I starting shooting (I edited it so you dont have to watch the boring part where I find nothing…then nothing…then nothing) and while I was shooting I heard Clark call my name….
We havent even had time to clean it up but it is a beauty. I’m also tickled to have one this size because normally you find them when they are really tiny or see them big adults not the teenager size. Hmmmm… wonder why? Then he found another one!
It was a beautiful weekend with the evenings spent on the beach for low tide and meeting such wonderful families like Rob and Melanie from Melbourne, FL with their two daughters Allison and Lexie. What’s not to love!
Nice horse conchs ( I like the yellow one) Clark found. Too bad most of the shells were alive. I bet most people don’t realize that shells eat each other. Hope the good shelling continues.
It’s a shell eat shell world out there…
Pam, is was great finally meeting you! We are having an awesome week on Sanibel. We have not found any excellent finds yet, but are headed to Cayo Costa tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your shells with our girls! Happy shelling!! Melanie
Beautiful image of the whelk eating the cockle!
That Clark…what a shell magnet he is! Those Horse Conchs are really beautiful. Congrats, Clark. Looked like an awesome low tide…thanks for sharing your adventures. Sure appreciate living vicariously through y’all!
Great looking Horse conchs…like that size as they have less barnacles and great color.
Clark the investigator with a very nice find!
We are here till Saturday….how do you know where the great shelling is from day to day especially with all the rain?
Lori, remember its a treasure hunt. You never know what you will find until you get to the beach. That being said, if you read my posts, you’ll see where I’ve been and what has been found. Shelling is about getting out there and enjoying the hunt.
Thanks Pam! We treasure every day and every shell we find here! Love, love to read your posts and see your treasure hunt adventures!
I think that’s my favorite on sandbar on the island. Super Sheller Clark’s reputation remains intact.
Excellent find! Thanks for posting the video’s. I can’t get enough of Sanibel/Captiva.
What great photos of live shells! I was at Lighthouse Beach Tues. morning but didn’t have any luck. Found one tiny Horse Conch (a pony!) with a barnacle attached to it. I usually shell at a morning low tide – is the low tide in the evening better for finding shells?
I love those horse conchs!! Especially the yellow colored one – it is so pretty!! My dream shells. Hopefully this year I can come away with something besides a mini.
Beautiful horse conchs – love that gorgeous yellow one.
I love those days when the live critters are everywhere going about their usual business of eating one another… like being Marln Perkins in the Wild Kingdom. (am I dating myself?)
If you are dating yourself, then I am right there with you. lol
Love seeing all the live shells too – thanks for sharing!
Wow – the horse conchs look beautiful. As usual, Super Sheller Clark comes through again!
I am currently going through Sanibel withdrawal – had such a great time last week! Living vicarously through you blogs and pictures again!
Great horsies, We are counting the days til Sanibel, two awesome weeks coming quick. I do not think we have ever commented on the site even though we have checked it every day for two years. Hoping to run into you guys again this year so we can share our finds. We met last July and shelled together for a while… Kevin,Kelly, Bailey and Alyssa…
I love to find olive shells leaving their “messages” in the sand in the early morning. I am working on a short story for the Kindergarten Kids about the olive “messages”. What I love about the beach in Sanibel is that I can still be a kid even though I’m pushing 70. Every day is a treasure hunt!
Pam, don’t ever lose your sense of wonder, it keeps you young!
Hi! I love your blog, I check it everyday. I just recently got into shelling & I do not know how I went my whole life without it. I have learned so much in the past year from your blog and my own research. I have always been a beach person and a dolphin lover. I always loved to find a seashell but didn’t hunt for them as the beaches I visited did not have that many. I visited the SW coast of Florida for the first time last year and have been in love ever since. I have never had a hobby that I didn’t quickly lose interest in. My husband gets jealous of cyber shelling =) because we live in Ohio, this blog is as close as I can get most times. To fulfill my urges, I recently discovered sea glass and have been frequently visiting Lake Erie since. I have what I believe to be a great collection of shells and sea glass that I will share on facebook soon, though nothing compared to what I see on here. I also was very shocked to find that Nantasket Beach (Boston area) has an abundance of shells. I have what I believe is a sharks eye that is 3 times the size of the ones you consider huge on here =). I also have 2 identical mangled shells that my nephew found me there that I can not identify. They are conch like , but rounded instead of spikey. Again I will share soon. Anyway, I am beside my self with excitement at the fact that we are coming to Sanibel for my very first time June 3-8 for our 2nd anniversary!!! I would love the opportunity to meet you. And I have a few questions that I hope to have answered by anybody =) First, there is 30%-60% chance of rain all week. I remember when we honeymooned in Miami we were told to never believe the forecast and its rarely correct. We had the same forecast then & only rained once for about 5 minutes. Is this also true for Sanibel? Or will it likely rain the whole time we are there? Are there any beaches in which I can shell and explore while my husband can fish close by? Are dolphins everywhere or do they have a favorite location? I understand there will be a couple negative low tides while I am there ( according to your chart). Is that up to date and for entire island or just certain areas? I also believe winds are expected to be SE or E, therefore the best shelling would be on Sanibel end, correct? Any help would be greatly appreciated and I cannot wait to shellebrate!!! I know I will never want to leave!!! Thanks so much!
So many questions, Gina, I really dont know where to start. First of all , dont worry about the rain…theres nothing you can do about it and it mosty happens in the late afternoon if at all. June starts the rainy season but you can always work around it. all beaches here are for shelling and fishing. Just browse around here on my blog and I’m sure every question you have will be answered. Just remember its a treasure hunt and enjoy everything thing on the beach
We will throw you a couple answers, we are from NJ and have been visiting Sanibel for about 15 years now. The rain will not keep the shells away and you can enjoy shelling anytime,it will keep your mind off not getting the tan.. Dolphins can be observed along the entire coast and if your lucky they will visit real close last year they swam within a couple feet of us… Pretty much anywhere you can fish you can find shells, people fish just about everywhere.. The low tides are the best, just check the charts when you get there all the little magazines have them.. I hope this helps a little, Sanibel is truly paradise and when you leave you will be planning for next year.. p.s. Ohio is nice also I have been going deer hunting there for many years and have met some great people.. Hope you have a great time….
Kevin and Kelly
Thank you guys so much!!! I cannot wait!
=) 42 hours!!!!! =)