Place – Sanibel Island/The Shells

Have you heard of the Sanibel Stoop?

The Washington Times describes the Sanibel Stoop as “the bent-at-the-waist posture used to collect seashells on Sanibel Island.” Of course. While other postures and positions of the human form are primarily designed to reap a benefit directly related to health, wholeness or physique building, the Sanibel Stoop takes aims purely at the aesthetic, esoteric and artsy side of our being. ~Sundial Resort

This is my attempt at creating a daisy out of an iridescent array of pen shells. I didn’t bring any of this variety home. The edges are sharp and the shells are fragile, breaking easily into smaller pieces.

I did bring quite a few seashells home though. These are my finds, cleaned in the shell hut, a small open air shed with a sink, built by the West Wind Inn for the purpose of cleaning your shells. (This also keeps their plumbing, in the rooms, from becoming clogged with sand and beach debris.)

I thought ahead and brought some heavy duty zippered plastic bags I had saved from a recent purchase.

By nestling several together, we were able to bring home shells for all the children, grand-children, grand-nieces and nephews, and many for ourselves. I had read great advice in a blog post by another traveler to save plastic containers when you buy food on the island, and these also worked great to pack our shells for the flight home. Almost every shell made it back without breaking packed between layers of clothes in our carry-on bags.

Place – Sanibel Island/The Sea

Sanibel Island has warm water and strong surf. This helps bring up shells, and also sweeps them back into the sea. We were amazed a few times to find the beach, filled just hours before with thousands, if not millions of shells, swept pristine clean.

The waves are strong. I was knocked backwards once by one that caught me by surprise. Even strong swimmers need to be aware of the strength of the surf. I didn’t see any lifeguards while we visited in October. It’s definitely a swim at your own risk area.

We were able to see sunrise in the mornings from the beach in front of West Wind Inn, and in the evening, beautiful sunsets, featured in the photos above.

Captiva Island is next door to Sanibel. My  husband rented an hour on a sailboat at the Yolo shop located at the far end of the island. Yolo stands for ‘You Only Live Once.’ While my husband was having fun living life to the fullest, I had my only bad hour on the vacation. I watched from the beach in street clothes rather than a bathing suit, and by the time he sailed back to shore, I was about the hottest I have ever been. I will be wiser if we do the same thing in the future and wear a bathing suit and sit in the water to watch.

The Bubble Room, on Captiva Island, is an amazing restaurant filled with all kinds of interesting memorabilia. Despite the pandemic, and wearing masks upon entry, we were able to have a wonderful lunch of prime rib sandwiches.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday.