We are addicted to shelling… So we love to explore different shelling areas of Florida. We found a great new (to us) shelling hole… Clearwater Beach!
Weehoo- Road Trip! We drove 2 1/2 hours north of Sanibel to spend our Thanksgiving right smack on the beach at the Clearwater Beach Hilton having our dinner there with round one Turkey and fixins and seconds of beach bling and bivalves (shrimp, scallops and oysters- heehee).
We hired shelling/fishing guide Captain Paul Hajash of Reel Florida Adventures Fishing Charters. Okay, honestly, it wasn’t easy to find a shelling guide as I googled and called MANY charters but everybody thought I was crazy that I wanted to “hire a boat to find shells”. hahaha I finally talked to Capt. Paul Hajash (pronounce “Hash”) who is mainly a fishing guide but he completely understood what Clark and I wanted to do since his wife is a sheller and we could walk from our hotel to the dock. Aha.. Perfect! His only concern was it was gonna be cold… 44 degrees on the water. Ouch. The winds were pounding from the NW for 3 or 4 days and we shellers know that NW winds and cold weather bring in shells. The winds were calming down and the tide was low…. So heck yaya we still want to go!
After layering up in warm clothes for this unseasonably cold weather, Captain Paul took us to some beautiful sand flats on the way to Caladesi State Park and as soon as I got out…. WORM SHELLS! And FIGHTING CONCHS, CORAL, SUNRAY VENUS and oodles of TURBAN SHELLS.
a BABY’S EAR…
I was in shell heaven as I found LONG SPINED STAR SHELLS and hundreds of SHIVA SHELLS. I don’t find these CHESTNUT TURBAN OPERCULUMS very often so I was over the moon shell (heehee- I’m still pretty giddy!).
While I was in my own little glorshellous shell world, Clark came back from his ShellAdventure on the flats…
Shellzam! Holy Cowrie, that’s the biggest WORM SHELL I’ve ever seen! Not to mention 2 fabshellous ALPHABET CONES, a big LIGHTNING WHELK, and a KINGS CROWN (with incredible spines).
That’s why we call him Super Sheller Clark! (I couldn’t help but steal that WHELK for a picture) :)
We only had time to make sure there were no critters in any of our shells, so we still need to rinse and clean them up to really show you the variety of amazing treasures we found… but here’s a sneak preview of what I’ll show you on my next post.
After a day of spectacsheller shelling and fantastic food, we were too stinkin cold and tired to be outside to watch sunset… but low and behold, the view from our room couldn’t have been a better ending to an amazing day.
PS- I will give you more info about our trip, show more shelling on other beaches of Clearwater Beach and details on all the shells on my next post… so stay tuned! Feeling thankful…
Wow! What was the temperature there? You look like you should be with me here in Massachusetts!!! Glad you had such a great Thanksgiving! :)
Pam said it was 44º out on the water. That’s a bit on the cold side for Florida!
Yes, that is cold!
Oh my word!!!! How much fun!!!! So thrilled for you!!! As I read, i eeeeeeek right with Ya!! Can’t wait to hear more!
East Granby. CT
What a pretty image of the half-buried sand dollar shot through the ripples. :)
Looks like it was great day. Happy Thanksgiving Pam – I’m so thankful to have you as a friend. xo
WOW, what a worm shell you found!!!!!!!!
That water looked spectacular ~ Great Thanksgiving !!!t WORM SHELLS. !!!! YAHOO !!! You and Clark did shellastic !!! And I am always THANKFUL you are a friend !!!
Happy Thanksgiving kids! We missed you here on Sanibel where Gulfside Beach is the gift that keeps on giving!!!!! Clearwater Bch is great and I’ve stayed at that Hilton which has great staff and food. Well done!
Is Gulfside still producing? Stayed in today, everything hurts. Blind Pass was real good one late afternoon, a new friend gave me my first bittersweet.
GIVING THANKS for your per”shell”verance in finding the perfect shell guide!!
Caladesi Is. is consistently rated as one of the top 5 or 10 beaches in the USA (it was No. 1 at least one year recently). You can also take a public ferry over there from the visitor center near the entrance to Honeymoon Is. State Park, though you wont get access to the flats, just the Gulf Beach- but you still wont see too many people vs Sanibel, for example.
Hi Steve R, Yes! Clearwater Beach was named #1 beach 2013. We didn’t want to take the ferry to Caladesi because of just what you said- we couldn’t get to the more remote areas but Im sure it would great to get to any part of the island (which is now connected to Clearwater Beach so its not its own island any more). Thanks Steve! :)
Yes I came here to post that our visit to Honeymoon Island had oodles of those mermaid coins (did I remember that name correctly?) – so many that we couldn’t possibly pick them all up if we were there a WEEK!
It must be a great area for them :D
everything still rolling don’t sfop keep the shelling hobby on top
Sound super fun! I can’t wait to see what great stuff you guys found! Are long-spined star shells native near Sanibel or Naples too? I’ve never heard of those.
Keep calm and shell on (even in the cold!)
Pam, those shiva shells are amazing! Thank you for sharing your exciting adventure with us, and I’m glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
What a great day for you and Clark. I am wondering if you have already thought of a special use for the BIG worm shell. With your creativity I’m sure it will be interesting L-O-R-E-E
it looks beautiful out there.
One of my favorite books is “Once I lived In Paradise” about living on Caladesi Island. The author reminded me of you. Marilyn
Oh gosh! I’d love to read that- I’m sure we will go back there so it’d be fun to have some history of it next time. Thanks MEM! Pam
Pam, we are on Sanibel and no good shells yet. Slim pickings. How is lighthouse?
Drove by Blind PAss and looks like it has been taken over with umbrellas and sun bathers.
Will see you on the 10th but hate to wait till then for good shells!
Ack! I don’t know how the Sanibel beaches are. We just returned from our Thanksgiving weekend getaway. sorry- anybody else know?
You should put that picture of the half buried sand dollar on a calendar.
What a lovely way for you and Clark to spend Thanksgiving, it looks wonderful Pam. Another beautiful beach added to our “to shell” list.
Pam, have you shelled at the pier in Pass-a-Grille? They have tons of gorgeous tulip shells – many have little beasties inside but some are vacant! Somehow they have a lot of whole shells that wash up along the narrow beach by the rocks. Check out the south side of the pier. It’s also really nice to see dolphins, and once we even had a small herd of manatees pass by the pier – that was a first for me seeing them in the wild like that!
Well, apart from visiting the Tampa Electric Power Plant where they gather for warmth!! That was a stunning visit too!!
I love Florida!!!!
Do you know when you will be going on a shelling cruise in April? We are trying to squeeze in a trip to Sanibel and would like to try to join a cruise with you on it! Please let me know so I could secure our hotel.
Irene! I just posted new dates for shelling cruises… I have 2 cruises in April…. Cayo Costa on April 7 and Big Hickory on April 1. I hope I get to see you! for more dates… http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/iloveshelling-events/
I’m so glad I found this post! I am planning a return trip to the area for some (much needed) soul restoring shelling time. I will be flying into Tampa I think, so I think I will spend a day in Clearwater so I can explore their beaches! I have been to Sanibel several times and I love it but think I will be staying on Matlacha this trip. I can’t wait to be back in paradise, beach combing by the Sanibel lighthouse! How have I never found this webpage before?
My family was at pier 60 a month ago and found a number of wedge-shaped (wide and smooth like \“`/, they are about 1/4 inch thick at the bottom and pointed 1/16 inch at the top) “shells” on the beach. I’ve been unable to identify them despite looking at lots of shell guides, so I’m guessing they aren’t shells. They are predominantly white, but some have grey reticulated pattern to them. All have a shell or bone-like consistency.
Do you know what they might be?
Im not quite sure what they would be from your description but look at my
Beach Bling ID page (everything on the beach thats not a shell) at http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/sea-life-beach-bling-identification/
and my seashell ID page at http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/seashell-identification/ Good luck!
If its not there, post it on one of my iLoveShelling social media pages at…
iLoveShelling Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/iLoveShelling
iLoveShelling Twitter- https://twitter.com/iLoveShelling
iLoveShelling Google Plus- https://plus.google.com/b/108901516256371855471/+Iloveshelling/posts/p/pub
I’m so jealous…in 32 yrs of going to Clearwater Beach, I have NEVER had this kind of luck. I’ve even taken to diving in the surf trying to get at shells that haven’t been picked over.
looking for information about shelling on the Gulf coast of Florida now that Sanibel Island seems to be a thing of the past