Oh what a night!



Oh what a night is an understatement.

I wasn’t much up for Thursday Thunder last night, I will admit. I don’t do cold weather and neither does the Queen. When we saw it would be 82, our spirits were lifted. But March Madness is in full swing and Thursday is game night (RIP to our Indiana Hoosiers). So I was torn. Glad I tore on the side of the beach.

I suggested Lighthouse Beach or Gulfside City Park, since I knew that the Spring Breakers would probably have over-shelled the place and there’d be nothing left for us. I should have known better, as with the dredging going on, the water levels, speed and direction constantly changes the landscape – literally before your eyes.


I don’t think it was 82 when we got to Blind Pass. But it was very sunny and good shelling weather. The water felt a little warmer than usual and a decent wind was blowing, so it got a bit nippy. The Queen grabbed her bucket and 99 cent scooper and started picking through the shells while I raked and scooped in the flowing water.


I was in the water really finding nothing but Fighting Conchs, which I was passing along to a couple of little girls who were watching intently from the shore. They gave us a good chuckle. We’d scoop some shells and dump them on the shore. If there were intact Fighting Conchs, we’d toss them up in the sand, as we have way too many! It was cute to watch as the piles kept disappearing. Making those little girls happy made us smile.

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So the Queen kept digging and finding, digging and finding. I was only finding Rough Scallops (which I ain’t complaining about) as she was finding Banded Tulips and Lightning Whelks by the handful.

I heard her squealing on the shore line as she uncovered a few real nice keepers. She found a few minis – some thick lipped drills and bubbles, a near perfect Shark’s Eye and an absolutely beautiful Gaudy Nautica.  I mean, she’s killin it. As she continued to dig, she was able to unearth a fantastic Lightning Whelk and an Alphabet Cone!

Cutest sheller I’ve seen in these parts.

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So she says, “Now find me a Junonia.”

HA! Like it’s that easy! Come on Queenie. Let’s get real.

I say, “Well, if you’re gonna find one, it’s gonna be right here.”

So the light bulb went off and we began pulling back sections at the shore where she found her Alphabet Cone. We kept digging and pulling up some really nice Lightning Whelks. Big, dark colored ones.

And then, as luck would have it. it happened.

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And my response was this, verbatim – “Oh, you gotta be kiddin me.”

But yep, there it was, buried under a good 4 or 5 inches of sand. No way anyone would have found it. It was buried and was gonna stay there for a while.

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Another shot of the Gaudy Nautica, a really cool looking Rough Scallop, one of the many Lightning Whelks we found and what appears to be a spine bone.

So an uber-successful Thursday Thunder! Wow!


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11 thoughts on “Oh what a night!

  1. I’m a huge advocate of the shell shovel. Best investment any serious sheller will make. Blind Pass is so unpredictable but that’s what makes it so irresistible too. Congrats on the big jay – I’m still waiting on my 1st one.

  2. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. I can’t wait until the water warms up so I can get back to snorkeling. You should come down and shell with us! I’m sure we’d have a ball. 🙂

  3. Please make sure there are shells like you have when we come down in June. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Congrats on the Junonia! So, does your wife dig a hole at the water line? I have another friend who does this at Lighthouse beach and finds amazing shells. I’m going to try the digging technique when I’m down in May, but not sure where to do it? High up on shore or nearer the water line?

    • Thank you! As the sand meets the water (where I’m standing in the 4th pic down) – that’s where she found the Alphabet Cone and it was half buried. I was scooping in the water (3rd pic down) most of the time. We don’t dig too often, but with the dredging going on out there, you’re going to find buried treasure!

  5. This blog seals the deal–you REALLY are the KING and QUEEN of the shells!!! Great pics, wonderful blog. I completely enjoyed the pics and reading your great story. I only have 1 tiny suggestion: Could you try to add a shot now and then that we, the viewer, can click on to enlarge it and do some CYBER shelling? That would be so fun!!! Have a wonderful day!! Tam

  6. Thank you for the kind words, Tam and thank you for reading! I have fixed the pics that so the viewers can cyber shell. 🙂 WordPress has a default setting that makes the pics “unclickable”, but we’re all set now! You should be able to click all the pics now and enlarge them. Thank you again!

  7. I came across your blog (via Google) while searching for a few shelling tips here in Sanibel. We are leaving Sanibel tomorrow after a wonderful week’s stay and will be headed back to the frigid North. I enjoyed reading about your shelling adventure and of you finding a Junonia. That’s so awesome! I’m just as jealous of the big alphabet cone you guys found, though. We had one heck of a time trying to find any while we were here. We’ve been staying over in the Bowman’s Beach area but walked the beach between Bowman’s and Blind Pass each day every day all week long. We were able to find a few tiny alphabet cones after searching and searching, but they were all really beat up. We didn’t find ANY last year (this is our second time to Sanibel). Are alphabet cones getting harder to find here? It’s probably too late for us to find any more this time around, but hopefully, we’ll be back! I’m setting a bookmark and will enjoy reading about your future shelling fun!

    • Thank you for reading and glad you found us! We also have a hard time finding Alphabet Cones. We get just as giddy when we find one. They certainly are not commonly found, and Junonias of course are even less common to find. I also think it’s the time of year. Unless you’re out there at both low tides or snorkeling, it’s tough to get a huge haul of keepers. We tend to find more shells in late summer, especially after a storm. When we hear a storm is brewing, we salivate haha. Thank you again for reading and we hope your visit has been wonderful!

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