Our Bahamas beach bounty! We just returned from an awesome week of shelling with friends the Abacos, Bahamas while sailing from Marsh Harbor to the islands of Lynyard Cay, Elbow Cay, Man-O-War, Great Guanna Cay and Spoil Bank Cay. We scoured every beach we came across in search of seashells, beach bling and to soak in the island views. At the end of the week, Clark and I sorted through our shells to compete in our Shell N Tell with our friends. Ha! We found SEA BEANS, SEA GLASS, BUOYS, SEA FANS, SEA BISCUITS, URCHINS, SEA POTTERY, TELLINS, CONES, MUREXES, TRITONS, TUNS and so much more.
We had a few days of rain but we made the best of it.
We have heavy hearts for the folks on Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, Chub Cay and the islands west of the Abacos who were hit very hard by Hurricane Matthew just weeks before our vacation. The Abacos escaped from Matthew’s devastating path but feel the pain for their other islands. Other than choppy water and a few residual storms, the only sign of strong winds from the hurricane were piles of QUEEN CONCHS washed up high on the beach and a few damaged docks on Guanna Cay.
We didn’t find piles of any other shells on their beaches but searching high and low we found a few beautiful shells like this ANGULAR TRITON which is not native to our own beaches of Sanibel Island or on the west coast of Florida.
If there was something interesting to find on any of the beaches, this bunch of explorers found it. Our boating friends Roger, Sandy, Jane, Captain John (Johnny Rescue), Clark and yours truly found a beach with spectacular views but not one shell. After combing every crevice of the beach, we all came back to show our favorite finds… SEA FANS. haha There’s always something!
Shell N Tell with Jane and John was hard to beat. John found this shellmongous PUFFER SEA BISCUIT and juvie KING HELMET.
Jane found a perfect HAWK-WING CONCH and a gorgeous display of caramel colored FLORIDA WORM SHELLS.
So our Shell N Tell doesn’t really tell the whole story since I took the photo of Sandy and Roger after they had already packed some of their fragile shell-loot. I wish I could have shown the fabshellous TUN SHELL Roger found!
Sandy was thrilled to find her first FLAMINGO TONGUE.
Since the water was still a little choppy and stirred up from the hurricane, it wasn’t easy to get local seafood for our meals … so we hired Capt. James who promised “I’ll find some local food for ya, Baby Girl”. heehee We still didn’t have luck with fish or spiny lobster but he dove for QUEEN CONCH and made us an oh-so tasty conch salad. Yum!
Since the QUEEN CONCH was “over-fished” many years ago, Capt. James was very careful not to take any juvenile CONCHS- only the adults which have a flared lip. This is their way of life and a food source for the Bahamians so he wants to make sure the population stays healthy by being cautious to not fish for smaller CONCHS with a lip that isn’t formed so they can reproduce. To read more about QUEEN CONCHS … http://www.communityconch.org
We also made a stop at my favorite fabric store with hand made designs from Bahamas… Sally’s Boutique in Man-O-War Cay. I met the owner Mandy (in the middle) a few years ago after buying a set of starfish place mats and found out Mandy, Cassie (on the right) and Mandy’s best friend Lisa love shelling too. It’s so much fun talk to the locals about their beaches so now we make it a regular stop (and do a little shopping!). I got napkins and wristlets this year- they’re such happy island fabrics.
I didn’t find any incredibly unusual shells but I always have a spectacsheller time combing the beaches for minis like these LIMPETS, WEST INDIAN TOP SHELLS and NERITES.
Ya just never know what you’re gonna find.
I think John’s HELMET and PUFFER SEA BISCUIT won our little Shell ‘N Tell competition… errrr….. well, other than that creepy but very funny baby doll arm I found on the beach and stuck in the conch. haha
Hands down, each one of us feels like we won a prize as we watched the beautiful sunset over the Sea Of Abaco each day.
As we are comb the beaches of the world one island at time.
For more info on shelling the Bahama Islands…