Any day I’m on a boat, I’m happy. I’m even happier when that boat pulls up to a tropical island with strings of seashells lining a beach surrounded by aqua water.
That’s why it was a very happy day on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa yesterday. Before we boarded our Captiva Cruises boat, I met Nan and John from Wisconson since I was immediately drawn to John’s home made shelling scoop. I love to see what different folks invent to make shelling a little easier (or more competitive! :)) so I praised his handiwork on the plastic slotted spoon on the end of a long wooden handle. Clever!
I should have know they would be awesome shellers. John made the find of the day (IMHO)- he found a MACULATED BABY’S EAR! He and Nan also found a PURPLISH TAGELUS, FALSE ANGEL WINGS, TRUE ANGEL WINGS, a KEYHOLE LIMPET, MORTON’S EGG COCKLE, and OPERCULUM (his first) and a juvie SOUTHERN QUAHOG.
It was fun to meet locals Amy and Jeff from Fort Myers and seeing how many different shells she was collecting. Oh and… notice her Seashell Identification guide attached to one of her shell bags? Love it!
Amy pulled out a few of her favorite finds and of course my eyes went straight to the humongo BABYS EAR. Then I saw how sweet the mix was…. a BUBBLE, WHELK, COMB BITTERSWEET, MELAMPUS on the top row, then 2 PURPLISH TAGELUS, a COQUINA, another PURPLISH TAGELUS and then after the BABY EAR, a FALSE ANGEL WING.
I saw lots of shellers finding PURPLISH TAGELUS shells.
Jane from Boston found a few treasures right where our boat anchored.
Two BABY’S EARS!
Marsha and Robert (Georgia) found most of their treasures on the Gulf side of the island.
Looks like they found the OLIVE garden!
Marsha and Robert were sitting beside Rachel and Sherry on the boat and realized they lived only 30 minutes from each other in Georgia. Those Georgians can find some shells!
These were just a few of Rachel and Sherry’s finds. Out of the four SHARK’S EYES, we noticed that one of the SHARK’S EYES had blue in the center of the eye…. A PAUL NEWMANS EYE!
It’s always fun to see families like Henry, Charles, Eric and Courtney’s family from Illinois learning about shells…
And seeing friends like Gary, Roxanne Marge and Gordon (all from Chicago) sharing the adventures of a new beach together.
I met Linda earlier this year on another iLoveShelling cruise but she was calling herself The Queen Of Parts since she only found a slightly broken BABYS EARS and broken ANGEL WINGS.
But then she found a few WORMIES, a gorgeous double ALTERNATE TELLIN, a BROAD PAPER COCKLE, FALSE ANGEL WINGS and an EGG COCKLE. Queen of Parts and Treasures!
It was so much fun to find shells and share the sun filled day with beautiful happy people.
My Shell Tree wish came true. Happy.
And a MANATEE too!
My Goodness such lovely treasures, countdown has begun to join in the shellicous fun. Congratulations to those who had a blast shelling with Pam.
Love the maculated baby’s ear, the really big regular baby’s ear, and the broad paper cockle!
(BTW, The World Record Size for the regular baby’s ear is 51 mm, which is about 2 inches.)
What a beautiful day it was!!
So fun to relive the trip I took with you in December! Love the photos and success stories. I am shelling on the Atlantic coast at St. Augustine and Little Talbot. So different, but interesting colors. Most shells are rust and gold colored. Why? Easy to find my first baby’s ear within the darker shells! The welks are all right handed – even the ones that look like lighting welks! Such curiosities and fun!! No beaches can beat Sanibel and Ft. Myers, but I’m still trying my luck due to your encouragement and education, Pam! I also enjoy visiting with the other shellers and learning from them as you do. It doesn’t have to always be competition! Thanks for all those lessons, Pam!!
That water color is stunning… So happy to see that the shelling trips are becoming more regular, so in case I can come back next year there’s hope I can get in on one!!
The Maculated Baby’s Ear is an uncommon and very nice shell find!
Just returned from a trip to Sanibel, Tarpon Bay Beach area. Quick report: Beaches were beautiful, very wide at low tide, quite narrow at low tide, depending on the exact location with shells all week on the high wrack line and more shells scattered everywhere by the receding water. Families were having a blast making all sorts of castles and creatures in the sand. There was an amazing sand-sculpture of a dragon a few hundred yards east of the TBB entrance at the beginning of the week! Majority of shells appear to be common bivalves but a closer look revealed nice minis such as olives, horse conchs, pear welks, fighting conchs, nutmegs, double coquinas and more. Be patient and you will find them.
There were lots of interesting egg casings and I was able to take a look at some of the tiny shells molluscs inside. Fascinating! I’d love to know what animal is inside of the tiny egg sacs that are attach themselves to the Tulip egg cases. They are usually in groups of two to four. Each sac is capsule-shaped and appears to have three eggs in each that look like tiny red dots. (Pam, I found a picture of them on a Valentine’s day post of yours.) Some sacs have tiny beige dots. I found a picture on the internet which suggests that they might be a spiral shell such as a button shell., but the button shell doesn’t appear to have any red coloring on it.
Sorry, I meant to write wide at low tide and narrow at HIGH tide.
…….(continued) I can’t be sure it is a button shell. There is a meeting of FUM this Sat. at BMSM this maybe one of the members could solve this mystery. Thanks Pam for such a fun, informative blog!
Sorry for the editing mistakes above. The right side of the typing box disappeared on me while I was editing so I crossed my fingers and hit Send. Strange!
See there’s still a lot of baby’s ears around-love the maculated one. Cleaver use of the slotted spoon. Looks like everyone had a great time along with great finds. Happy shelling. Pat