Friday, January 6, 2012

"Oh the Sanibel Stoop & the Sanibel Shuffle - Can he pack all his loot in his old Army duffle?" - from a poem by M. H. Greenberg

The Sanibel Stoop
(Credit: TMac Ohio from

There's even a name for the bent over posture of the people who you see walking on the beach looking for treasures:  The Sanibel Stoop.

You might have noticed the new button I added on the sidebar promoting Shellabration 2012 happening on Sanibel Island February 26 - March 4.  The height of the Sanibel social shelling season is the Sanibel Shell Show & Fair which will be held March 1st - 3rd this year.  The Shellabration is week long celebration of all things invertebrate & mollusky. There will be special events from one end of the island to the other.  But one special event is seeking to immortalize the iconic stance of bending over on the beach to inspect the shells more closely and pick them up - THE SANIBEL STOOP.

On February 17  at 10 am on Bowman's Beach will be the gathering place for 208 plus shellabrators looking to set a Guinness Book of World Records for the most people doing the Sanibel Stoop in one place at one time.   There is  lots of good info in the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club's December 2011 newsletter rightly named The Junonia. 

 So if you are an amateur shellabrator or a more serious collector with a few shells under your belt (or in your bucket) it's going to be lots of fun.  I finally went to my first Sanibel Shell Show last year. Can you believe I had never been?  Sanibel is a 2 hour drive from my front door.  I pop down to the island a few times a month. (I wish I had a way of tax-deducting my tolls, parking, & gas.)  It's a magical place for beach combers and I am really looking forward to shellabrating with other shell lovers.

(Credit:  Florida Dept. of Tourism)
Shell lovers demonstrating the "Sit & Sift" method of shelling at Blind Pass on Sanibel-Captiva. I recommend a cushion, knee pads, & a hand rake to expedite the process & keep the pain to a bare minimum.

(Credit:  Fotobug on
On Englewood Beach where Sharks teeth are the beach treasure du Jour, it is called the sharks tooth squat.
I collect shell books and this is one of my favorites.  "The Sanibel Shell Guide" by Margaret H. Greenberg (Copyright 1982).  The cover is vintage Sanibel.  The poem is priceless.