shells pile on the beach of cayo costa

This is what paradise is to me…. a warm, sunny, secluded beach filled with oodles of seashells and wildlife surrounded by clean, gorgeous water. We found paradise yesterday on the island of Cayo Costa during our iLoveShelling Cruise with Captiva Cruises. Getting to share this paradise with a boat load of  shelling friends makes the day even that much more fun! I was thrilled to see Vera from Pine Island find gobs of OLIVES, CONCHS and WHELKS wading in the beautiful water.

vera pine island finding seashells cayo costa cruise

Patti and Linda from Nova Scotia found WORMIES within minutes of each other. Patti let out a “Woop!” when she found her awesome WORM SHELL (that’s what she wanted to find) so Linda was happy for her and we did a happy dance but Linda got right to work searching for her own. A minute later Linda let our an even louder “Whaaaa!” and held up her own wormie. We got so tickled of all the commotion and had to whoop it up again. These smiles are pure happiness of being together and sharing a moment….

Patti Goodwin Nova Scotia Linda shell florida

Along with the WORM SHELLS, their other favorite they found were BABY’S EARS, ANGEL WINGS and COCKLES…

babes ears wormies angel wings cockles

Vicky form Ft Myers loves the minis so she found a pile of shells to sort through and practice the “Sit N Sift”…

vicky ross collecting shells cayo costa

Since there was a nice low tide, the tree roots were more exposed than I’ve seen them in a long while. Hanif from Canada took advantage of the exposed roots and plucked trapped shells from the crevices. Smart!

hanif canada sanibel stoop in tree roots

Lesley from Texas said this LIGHTNING WHELK rolled right up in the wash line in the same area by the tree roots…

lesley tx found a whelk at cayo costa

I met so many lovely shellers like Kim from Punta Gorda….

Kim punta gorda shelling cayo costa

…And sweet, generous shellers like Bunky and Pam who found a SAND DOLLAR, examined it to see if it was still alive, then returned it to the water after recognizing the signs it was still alive and healthy. I knew I would like Pam the moment she told me her name (heehee) … but OMG they brought us some their family owned Dolle’s salt water taffy they make in Ocean City, Maryland. Thank you, it’s shellicious!

bunky pam visit cayo costa sand dollar

Kim and Ed of Rhode Island were very clever to save a mesh onion bag for the perfect sack to hold all of their shell treasures. Cuties!

kim ed RI collecting shell in an onion bag

Candy and her daughter Sarah from Virginia found a nice prize… Oh yaya- An ALPHABET CONE! And thank you soooo much for writing to me Candy…. Of course… Now I remember. Virginia!

alphabet cone found on cayo costa

On the cruise boat, I got to meet Ken and Candace from Missouri enjoying the whole ride. Can you see why Candace is holding up her left hand? She made an OLIVE Shell String! It’s so cute! But I really wish I had taken a photo of the piece of dotted BRYOZOA she had found because I think I know what it is now. Candace, please comment on this post so I can talk to you about your unusual piece your showed me?

Candice Ken Missouri olive bracelet shelling

It was such a fun day and it was a pleasure to hang out with and shell with folks like Debbie and Ken. It seems like we all have so much in common… not just shelling.

debbie ken captiva cruises shelling cruise

Penny from England brought a happy jar of sunshine that she collected in the Channel Islands.

penny from UK brings seashells from channel islands

They look like lemon drop candies but they are FLAT PERIWINKLES (or Littorina obtusata). Sweet sunshine! But remember… these were not found on Cayo Costa or any where in Florida. Penny brought them from Herm Island in the Channel Islands.

flat periwinkles Littorina obtusata channel islands

The sea repaid her for sharing her shells from across the pond… she found a perfect ALPHABET CONE on Cayo Costa…

shells at cayo coast gulf coast cruise

It was a perfect morning to share a delightful island shelling adventure with such a fun group. Thank you so much for a great day!

seashells litter the beach on cayo costa

Oh- I almost forgot! I saw my first TRICOLORED HERON (or aka LOUISIANA HERON) fishing along the shore line while we were shelling. So pretty! It’s so much fun to see a new beautiful bird… Another reason why i Love Shelling.

tricolored Heron south florida gulf coast

Join us for the next iLoveShelling cruise to paradise… Errrr… I mean, Cayo Costa on December 6th, 2013 at 9am and we have other dates through May as well by CLICKING HERE. For more info click on this next image…

shelling group tour collect seashells

If you can’t make any of these dates for an iLoveShelling cruise like this one, Captiva Cruises has shelling trips most days of the week to Cayo Costa on a regular schedule. Go to their website at . You will have a shellava good time!