A magical rainbow appeared on the beach at Cayo Costa after we stepped off our Captiva Cruises boat. I thought that was an amazing welcome but there was more…. Mother Nature rolled out a beautiful carpet of sea shells for us too!
There were so many shells to look through, I walked right past this absolutely perfect SCOTCH BONNET!
I heard a gasp about 10 yards behind me… Kirk from Oregon plucked this beautiful treasure out of the wrack line I had just combed through. Wow!
There were so many shells to scan over, it was almost overwhelming (oh, but such a good overwhelming!)…
So let me show you this awesome group of shellers on the boat. It may have been cold, but shellers don’t care- We always make the best of it!
On the Captiva Cruises boat ride over to Cayo Costa, I passed around a big bucket so everybody could pick out a “good luck” shell (a choice of FIGHTING CONCH, LIGHTNING WHELK, COCKLE or MUREX all of which Clark and I have found in the last month or so). I talked to Stone, Ian, Kirk and Deb who all picked out one shell then Ian told me he was really wanting to find a SHARKS EYE. Hmmmmm… well its hard to find one particular shell when you are beach combing, I always say you should enjoy whatever is put in front of you by Mother Nature.
Maybe that “good luck” shell worked! Ian found a gorgeous SHARKS EYE!
And not only that, he found an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK.
Nico from New York City found a perfect nice sized PAPER FIG…
Debbie and Frances came down from Sarasota for the day to join us on the cruise. Nice to meet y’all and nice finds!
We always seem to find ANGEL WINGS at Cayo Costa and it’s always fun to see the three different types that wash up. From left to right… a TRUE ANGEL WING, FALLEN ANGEL WING and a FALSE ANGEL WING.
Ron found this very cool LIGHTNING WHELK. After we took photos, he put it back in the water because there were so many living creatures in and around this shell.
This is a closeup of the opening. There’s just a a smidge of the HERMIT CRAB’S claw showing but he was alive and well inside there. But look at the rest of it! There are live SLIPPERS, BARNACLES, TUNICATES and even a GULF OYSTER DRILL living on this shell. It’s a little village!
Cheryl got lucky she found a completely dried STARFISH in the high wrack line. That was on her shell bucket list!
Jerry was not messing around with some little silly net. He brought out a gigantor net! LOL He scooped up three empty double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
They are sooooo beautiful…
Jessica (with the Island Inn Resort) brought her big camera since she wanted to find some nice photographs. She ended up putting away her camera so she could pick up more shells. Ha!
On our way back, I saw GoodWillShelling giving SAND DOLLARS to a family visiting from the Netherlands since he and SarahTheShellAnimal found so many in the area they were shelling. So nice!
Our weather in the last week has gone from low 50s (on this boat trip) to low 80s this weekend and we expect another slight cold snap again this week. This cold weather is providing great shelling! This morning I went to Gulfside City Park where I found a few WHELKS and CONCHS then went to Blind Pass Sanibel where yet another huge shell pile has formed. This week should be exshellent shelling again!
Thank you for sharing! Until I can return later this year I will await to see your pictures each day! Just a lil bit of heaven on earth!
Again I notice those heavy coats. I am so hoping it warms up alittle before I get there. 15 days and counting and “I don’t wanna bring a coat”……. “not even a pair of jeans if I can help it. ” I think the first winter I came over 15 years ago the folks at Denny’s told me they could tell I was a tourist because I was the only one with shorts on in February :) I have now learned that it is not always 75 and hot in February. Oh well I still love it there. See you soon.
Sharon, this cold weather doesn’t happen all the time in southwest Florida. You can check any month/year from my archives listed on the right hand side of this page if u scroll down. Here is an example… Look what people are wearing in all of my posts for January 2012…. http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2012/01/
It was cold and it did not get warmer, and if only the sunshine had come out, it may have been better. We had a blast even though we froze to death. LOL And since we were from Maryland, the weather was better than home. And the weather produced some awesome shelling.
Three lovely angel wing species, and a fantastically rich ecosystem in and on that big whelk! Wow!
It couldn’t have been that cold, I don’t see any ice. Seriously, just wear several thin layers and bring a hoodie to cover the neck and head from the cool breezes. As you warm up, peel the layers off. Bring dry socks and extra dry shoes for the ride home.
The shell finds are really nice. Love the photo of the hermit crab and his lightning whelk “village”!
Such good and sweet advice about the cold. Thank you!!!!
After seeing Jerry and the serious size of his net,
all I could think of was:
“I’m gonna need a bigger net!!”
Enjoyed each SMILE,
Hahahah Shellotte, we say that all the time too! Jaws… Love it. Xo
I live in North Carolina’s Outer Banks but I grew up in south Florida and am an avid Sheller. I took my husband to Sanibel over the Christmas holidays for his first trip there and we shellebrated the season with lots of shelling! I wound up mailing a large box of shells back to my home in NC because they were so heavy, I was worried about taking them on the plane with us. So I got to thinking, it would be great if you would do a blog post about how you pack your shells with you when you are on a trip and get them safely home, especially delicate ones like sand dollars or thin ones like paper figs! How did you do it when you went to the Bahamas? I’d love to hear your tips on this.
I love your blog by the way, it is great!
I showed pictures how we transport our shells in a couple of different posts… But yes ur right, I should combine them to make one post to help. Thanks! But check these out…
And this one too…
Thanks! I hadn’t seen these before! :)
I’d never heard of a Fallen Angle Wing…adding it to my list…Word!
I have been following your posts ever since last summer and shelling with you in spirit. :) Just today my friend and I booked our Spring Break trip to Ft. Myers Beach (we are in Upper Michigan) and I was excited to see that one of your Cayo Costa cruises happens during our week there! I am hoping we’ll be able to join you. Thank you for all the wonderful stories, photos and “shellabrations” that are getting me through a cold Michigan winter! (I also want to thank you for the webcam links that allow me to experience beautiful beach sunsets year-round.) Your site is wonderful!
I would love to join a Shellabaloo Event.
How about the week of March 10-14 (I’ll be on vacation then)?
I miss them all because I’m at work.
Susan from Toronto
Ever been shelling in 20 degree F weather? My family thinks I’m crazy but it doesn’t stop me.