Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbye Earl Goodbye

Someone asked me  about Hurricane Earl today.  I didn't even know there was a storm out there. I work 50 hours a week. I watch very little tv. Unless they do a weather warning on HGTV I am clueless until my mother heads out to load up on batteries & bottled water.

 It's not that I don't care - I guess as a native-born Floridian you become used to the storms. Hurricanes are just what happens in the summer.  You just hope they don't happen to you.  That's why back in July when Tropical Depression # 5 was on top of Sanibel Island I had no idea. I had checked the tide charts not the weather.

  I got up at 4am loaded my visiting sister from Tennessee & niece Pookie into the truck and headed south for a day of shelling. Our first stop was  Little Hickory Beach which is southeast of Sanibel Island.  The sky was a tiny bit over cast.  There was a gorgeous rainbow over the beach and we got lots of pictures.  The shelling was ok but not the best so a vote was taken and it was unanimous to head to the mother ship - Sanibel.  
Pookie getting her shell on **Tip** The parking across the street is free with no time restrictions.

Sister from Tennessee at the end of the rainbow

As we are making the 20 minute drive up the coast to Sanibel causeway I get a call from the hubby. Did I know there was a Tropical Depression over us? "No" I replied. "The sky is beautiful except for - hey, what's all that black sky over Sanibel-way? Oh Honey, don't worry. It will blow over" (my glass is always half full) As we rounded the causeway it became apparent by the howling wind and pelting rain a storm was a definite possibility.  But a real sheller don't give her shell bucket up for no stinkin storm...onward ladies.
Gulfside City Park on Sanibel - I came to shell not surf

Pen shells - a dead give away of a storm

Our first stop was Gulfside City Park, usually a calm little beach but today the Gulf of Mexico was churning. The rain was squally and  the waves were so rough the high surf line was up to the walkway.  There were pen shells everywhere, a sure sign of stormy seas.  So we headed to Turner Beach at Blind Pass. Blind Pass is where Sanibel and Captiva come together and are separated by a pass that flows in and out twice a day. The tides leave a huge shell pile on the Captiva side of the jetty.  It's almost always a good spot for shelling.  We weren't disappointed.

 My  nutty little band of shellers went out in the storm and had a ball.  The waves were wacking down the shell wall and washing all the shells off so you could just pick out the goodies. As we shelled in the rain we  laughed at how crazy we probably looked to all the people taking shelter in their cars.  Yes, we were soaked and it actually got a little cold.  Our hands were all pruney from being wet for so long. 

Sister went home with some beautiful shells.
               Making memories.
Lots of fighting conchs, olives, & nice coral

All cleaned up


  1. Hee hee - nothing can stop me shelling either, makes you forget whats going on around you. Gorgeous shell haul you ended up with!

  2. I need a trip to the beach and a shelling! No storms can stop us that is for sure!!!

  3. Well I have so much to say!
    My backyard is in Tennessee :) really.
    I took my mother to Sanibel once thinking we would "shell"...there wasn't one anywhere! I found our dock on Google Earth recently :)
    And last night I told my husband I wish we could have a sounds kind of fun LOL! Is that cup half full or what?
    (we've had some fun tornado parties in the basement...)

  4. You know I can relate to this! I remember back in '85 when I was out from CA to visit my parents. Dad was in the hospital, so mom and I spent the day lunching and shopping. We stopped and picked up shrimp at Wade's Seafood, only to get back to IRB to find everyone evacuating the island. Hurricane Eleana (remember her) decided to turn a bit and sit off shore for days.

    Finally got back home 4 days later to find we had NO beach anymore. Talk about a bad shelling day!

    This was a GREAT story and shows the true spirit of dedicated shellers. I'm wondering if Earl is washing anything up over here on my coast? We might have some decent shelling for a change. Y'all got a great haul!

  5. Now that is dedication. I guess that's how the nicest ones are found.

  6. Wow, what a haul! Sounds like you all are die hard shellers! Glad everyone was safe!

  7. And I had to work that day! I can't wait to retire too. Nice "haul". I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Earl doesnt get my peeps in Virginia Beach.

  8. Awesome. Looks like it was a great time...and some amazing shells!!!

  9. I would have been right there with you, storm or no storm!!!
    I loved watching the video.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.