Our shelling trip to Cayo Costa was certainly a beautiful, calm day for ANGELS to appear.
Sunnye (from Shellabaloo 5!) found a whole handful of beautiful ANGEL WING seashells.
We were finding most of our ANGEL WINGS with both halves still attached and packed with mud. Shellzam!
All it took was less than a minute after I showed Bob from Ohio how to spot ANGEL WINGS in the water… then he had the “ANGEL eye”.
As he was finding a few more for himself, he helped some of the other shellers to find some on their own. What an angel!
So much fun to meet Carrie (my Instagram buddy!) and Joe from Seattle who joined us on our iLoveshelling cruise too…
They found awesome purple SEA URCHINS and a huge BABYS EAR.
Cindy (from Ma) found a really cool IMPERIAL VENUS. To me, its a really rare find in SW Florida since I don’t see them often at all.
Crystal and Wayne from St Louis found SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS too.
As soon as we stepped back on the boat, Crystal and Wayne gave their SAND DOLLARS to Nanda and Rodereque who were visiting from The Netherlands (Holland!) and their 2 kids Fass and Loet. Angels!
It was such a beautiful day to meet and shell with such good folks like Dotty and Ron from Indiana.
Carrie from WI noticed this live STARFISH looked a little different…
This SEA STAR had his belly full of BIVALVES… that’s why he looked so swollen. Whoa!
Gail Carr was happy we had warm beautiful weather this trip- she joined us February 2013 during 44 degrees- what a difference! This time she spotted this live LIGHTNING WHELK during high 70 degree weather…. ahhhh
Admiring this beautiful live WHELK alongside Gail was another very special guest on our cruise… my friend Melissa Congress from Sealife By Congress. Of course she loves shelling too.
Talk about an angel… Melissa and her husband Scot are the generous folks that give everybody on our iLoveShelling cruises $25 gift certificates to their store- it’s spectacsheller!
Thank you Melissa for your generosity to our shelling community.
Ahem… and speaking of jewelry…. did you notice my new seashell bracelet in the first photo with my ANGEL WINGS? My birthday was this week- woo hoo- and what a present! My gorgeous sterling silver bracelet is from – yes, you guessed it…. Sealife By Congress. Happy dance!
It was a really great day to shellebrate with ANGELS and DOLPHINS dancing around our boat…
To top it all off… when our boat got back to the dock, Crystal said she had something to show me. Holy HORSE CONCH! Crystal found this HUUUUGE and incredishell HORSE CONCH at Bowman’s Beach just before our cruise. That’s an amazing find to say the least…. its a monster! Congratshellations, Crystal!
Come out on an iLoveShelling shelling trip with us… CLICK HERE for details
Pam—If we happen to stay at a private condo that doesn’t offer a shell cleaning station, are there still options or places that we can clean our shells? I’m finding that prices are quite high for some places, but I’m all about getting a place cheaper–with full amenities–this way it allows us to be able to go on a cruise!!
Hi Kristen! When Clark and I travel around the world on r shelling trips, there are NEVER “shell cleaning stations”. I’m sure Sanibel ( or sw Florida) is the only place on earth that offer such a great amenity. Haha So, when we travel…. We normally bring some type of plastic containers with us to separate and rinse shells then pack r shells in after they r dry. Also, most places have plastic trash cans so we take the liner bag out , wash the plastic can well and soak our shells in those trash cans ( most rooms have one in the bathroom and one near the bed). If we don’t have a porch or balcony, we keep them in the bathroom or even the shower if there’s not much room. We ALWAYS find room somewhere- heehee. You should never dump the sand and/or shells down anybody’s drain- thats just mean. When you e taken ur shells out to dry, let the sand settle and let the clear water spill out then take the sand and/ or shells back outside. Good luck!
Thank you so much for your advice!! I saw it was an amenity for booking at the Island Inn, but availability is not working out for us. Last time I was at a beach was when I lived in Vista, CA, and I know that it can become kind of stinky cleaning those shells! Do you also take a scoop thing that I’ve seen people carry in the pictures? Is there a good place to get those that won’t cost an arm and a leg?? We decided to drive from Colorado versus fly because we want to make sure our shells won’t break. :) Any advice from a expert sheller is very helpful!
I shipped mine home via UPS and there wasn’t one broken shell!
The shell scoops you can definitely buy once you get here, but someone else will have to tell you where, coz I can’t remember.
in your words…SHELLSAM!!!!! Looks like everyone had a great time with great finds. That Baby’s Ear is ginormous…biggest one I’ve seen. And your shell bracelet is a wonderful gift for a great person. Hope your birthday was great.
What a wonderful morning! The weather was incredible and, as always, I learned so much! Thanks, Pam, for another great set of memories to keep me warm through the rest of winter.
Always good to see you Gail!
Such a pretty day — sparkling sea and sky.
Wow on the imperial venus and the very large baby’s ear. :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYY MRS.RAMBOOOO! Many years to you! I loved all the angel wings. Two years ago, when I was in North Carolina I found about a hundred False Angel Wings (single and double) in a week. :D
Thank you so much Yaroslava!!!!! :)
And WOW — that horse conch!!!
I’m fortunate enough to have good friends in Florida, recently a friend sent me a huge box filled with all kinds of goodies including Imperial Venus, Olives, Augers and so many others but the frosting on the cake was a nice size piece of a JUNONIA !!
Happy Birthday Pam! Did she find that Conch on the beach or in the water? Curious! (But mostly jealous!)
I know, right Sandy? She said it was in shallow water with just a small part sticking up… And she tripped over it. Haha that’s the best kinda trip!
Hi Pam, thank you for taking your day to be with us crazy shellers. I learned so much from you (shark’s eye casings) and had an absolutely wonderful trip to the outer banks of Cayo. The large horse conch is my absolute best find ever on Sanibel and can you believe my husband Wayne found one the next morning in the same spot? Wow!!! We just love this magical place called Sanibel. Please continue doing the marvelous work you do with educating all of us about the environment and shelling. Thank you again and happy birthday!!! Crystal and Wayne fromSt. Louis.
happy birthday pam hope your birthday cake is shellicious.good post the horse conch was beautiful what a find.shelling still good on little hickory I found eight sand dollars four welks some olives and an apple murex all found with patience and enjoyment just like you’ve always preached relax and have fun then thing will happen. sincerely r.g.stein
One of my lifelong friends died very suddenly on December 31, 2013 from a lung disease…I was inconsolable…..then I kept finding angel wings all over the beach and saw these beautiful orange sunsets and an Eskimo Joe’s t’shirt at a restaurant (we both graduated from Oklahoma State) and I felt like he was with me and telling me everything is OK
Hi C. I hope to find the same kind of signs from my late husband who died November 6, 2014. He loved the ocean, and this trip is a way for my daughter and I to go relax after dealing with this loss recently. I don’t know what his sign will be, but can’t wait! We are going down there mid May.
Hi there pam! First off Happy Birthday! It looks like everyone had a blast finding angel wings on your shelling excursion! I absolutely love your blog and seeing what you others find while your out shelling! I have learned so much from just watching your videos and can’t wait to get back to sanibel for a quick mini weekend in the next few weeks. I do have two questions for you….Do you find it easier to see the shells with or without your sunglasses on? and do you find a certain kind of flip flop or shoe is better to wear in the water while your shelling? thanks so much for being inspiring to all of us your fellow shellers! have a wonderful day!
Have you seen Keen brand sandals? I think those would work great.
Thank you sandy! I will look into them!
Stephanie, I use scubba booties that come up around my ankles. They protect my feet from stepping on broken shells and they keep the sand out. They work great for going in and out of the water and you don’t have to worry about loosing a shoe with the currents.
Not sure about Pam’s preference for sunglasses or not, but I see better without them when spotting shells. The sun does get bright though, so I wear a sun visor or a baseball style hat to shade my eyes. It’s all personal preference.
I wear Speedo Women’s Surfwalker Pro shoes. They are light and comfortable, they dry fast, they protect your feet, and they do not allow sand or broken shells to get into the shoe. They do not cover your ankles, but I have not found that to be a problem.
I second Katherine’s post…exactly what I was going to say…sis Martha and I love our scuba booties/socks…new this trip and so worth the trip into Ft Myers to find. Also same on sunglasses, use visors.
Hi Stephanie, sorry for the belated reply ( it’s been a big week :)!) but I really suggest you protect your eyes with good sunglasses when u r at the beach. Just like we all need sunscreen to protect our skin, we need sunglasses to protect our eyes from the power of the sun’s rays … Especially in Florida. Check out this post… http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2012/01/22/our-futures-so-bright-weve-got-to-wear-shades/
Since I wrote that post in 2012, I’ve realized that to have GOOD protective sunglasses is so important. I wear Costa sunglasses now since they are made for eye protection on the water. It makes a huuuge difference to me…. And I actually bought Costas with cheater readers in them. Protect your eyes! If you are having a hard time seeing the shells, you can take them off for a little while but always have them with you and put them back on – to give ur eyes a break.
If you have polarized sunglasses, you shouldn’t have a problem seeing shells… And polarized sunglasses help you see deeper in the water. They give another dimension. Hope this helps
Thank you so much Pam! I will make sure to have both. I am unable to wear polarized, but I do have a great pair of oakleys I wear at work(I work outside at Universal Studios so I am always in the sun and have to protect my eyes). I do have sensitive eyes so I completely understand protecting them! I had just wondered if it was easier to spot the shells with or without them. Thanks again! Happy Shelling!
thank you so much everyone for the wonderful tips! I truely appreciate it!
Wow! That trip sounded like a lot of fun with a lot of great finds to boot! And that photo of the Horse Conch at the end? Holy buckets!!! That thing is HUGE!!!! So that makes me wonder, maybe you could make a blog entry with pics of the largest shells you’ve found, Pam. Maybe you could show the largest shells of the different types (Whelks, Horse Conchs, Fighting Conchs, Olives, etc..) I would find that really interesting.
As usual, great job on documenting the trip, Pam!
Wow, I am insanely jealous of Crystal’s horse conch! Amazing! What a great shelling trip. Love all the little angel’s wings.
I was on this shelling trip with pam and gail and got to meet other super nice shellers. It was so much fun!! I’d like to add to that Pam is just the sweetest person, her love of shelling is even more infectious when you see her working with all the shellers, teaching everyone and sharing stories! ! I highly recommend these trips!!
And when I was leaving the parking lot from the boat trip, I saw crystal holding that conch and almost crashed my car into a tree!! It was so big I thought it was a prop for some some mind of movie called ‘conchzilla’. WOW.
Hahaha it was so good seeing you Donna! I’m so sorry I didn’t get to hang with you on the beach more- yall must have taken a nice Long walk- it was the perfect day for it. So gorgeous! Thank you so much for your kind words xoxo
The water looks spectacular! Love your new bracelet. Happy Birthday Pam!
I have what I believe is a piece of coral that I’m hoping you can identify. How can I send a picture to you?
Sure! You can post it several different ways….
Instagram- http://instagram.com/iloveshelling (just post the pic on ur wall and tag me @iLoveShelling)
I posted the pictures and tagged you in Instagram.
Happy belated birthday, Pam! My birthday is soon and I would love to get a beautiful bracelet like yours too! Will you have a shelling cruise June 22 through June 27 this year? Your dates do not include this yet but I will be staying at the Island Inn for 7 nights at this time and would love to do one with you. Two years ago was my first visit to Sanibel and I can’t wait to come back! My husband and I didn’t know about how stinky the shells are before bleaching and had a bucket and bag in the Jeep overnight when we stopped in GA on our way back to VA and it was awful the next morning when we opened the doors! Even the sea glass! Shells and other gifts from the Atlantic aren’t like that. Hope to do a shelling cruise with you in June!
Hi Debbie, I’m so sorry but I haven’t made plans yet for June. Hopefully soon! And hopefully on the days you will be here :)
As for your stinky shells… Unfortunately you must have had a live critter in one of your shells …and it died in there. Most empty shells gave no odor- so they only stink if there is dead “meat” inside it or maybe another shell (like a slipper shell) attached to the outside that still was alive.
Thanks. I cleaned them again and did not find any live creatures… I was also told that they have micro organisms living on them that causes them to smell. Even the sea glass that I cleaned with dish detergent and put into a glass still smelled bad the next day. I soaked it in water with a little bleach and that took care of it. I hope to get to go on a shelling trip with you! I enjoy your pictures especially when I am having rain and cold weather!
Oh great! Good to hear! :)
I have to agree with Debbie. When I would go shelling in La Jolla, CA, I would find tons of half shells and shells with out any live or dead attached organisms on or in them. They still smelled, and the water with bleach was the only thing that helped get rid of the smell.
We are planning our activities for our trip in May, and can’t wait!!
If I didn’t miss my two kiddos & our pup so much, I’d stow away somewhere and just spend my days shelling the shores of Sanibel. Alas! We must return to the West Coast shores of Seattle (which, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love! I’m definitely a PNW girl… But after our visits to SanCap, I’m quickly becoming, bi-coastal. ;)
We had such a great time on the cruise. Shellers really are a special breed. Everyone was so friendly, so eager to share their finds, or inquire about ours… and the gorgeous day for us to explore Cayo Costa…? Couldn’t have imagined anything better! Finding that massive Baby’s Ear was certainly a highlight.
Was a genuine pleasure to meet you, Pam. We hope to see you again, on our next visit. :)
Oh, and I have to add that I also loved Pam’s birthday bracelet so much, that we went to visit Melissa & Scot at Congress Jewelers, the next day, and I bought the same one + a beautiful necklace with a Wentletrap. I posted a picture on their facebook page. I know I sound like a gushing fan girl right now (haha) but I really enjoyed this trip. ❤️
Shello Pam, Saw in your post that recently it was your birthday. Hope you had a fantastic day. Your bracelet is beautiful. Sealife by Congress is very generous with their gift certificate when you take one of your shelling adventures. My sister Hollly and I had so much fun picking out a memento of our trip with you last September when we came down. They need to make a margarita bucket charm!! That would sell!! : )
Haha Kathy I’m sure they would sell at least 2 margarita bucket charms, anyway. Too cute!!!
Thanks for the bday wishes everybody! It was a good one!
Yesterday we fought our way through the snow, rain and slush in NY and finally arrived here in sunny Sanibel!. Now I just need to get up the energy to get to the beach. Happy belated birthday Pam. We’ll see you Feb 9th if not befpre that on the beath at Gulfside. Pat