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Shells

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by wintersbk, May 24, 2005.

  1. wintersbk

    wintersbk Beach Fanatic

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    Can anyone direct me to a good place for the kids to pickup a few shells from the beach? We are staying in Seagrove.
     
  2. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    There are very few in the area, except after storms. You might find a few. Mostly just pieces. Sometimes there are small sand dollars, and lots of sand dollar pieces.

    Sometimes, with very small kids, folks will bring some to the beach and scatter them so the kids can find them.
     
  3. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    :floor: :floor: :floor:
    Maybe you could buy some shells, take to the beach, for your kids to "pretend" to find some shells. :floor: :floor: :floor:
    You would be just as well off by buying little green army men and WAIT! stop that thought.

    Rather than looking for shells, many kids spend their time with a crap net searching for crabs and sand fleas.
     
  4. wintersbk

    wintersbk Beach Fanatic

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    CRAP net, huh?!?! :eek: Never heard of such. I think we'll stick to looking for shells. :blink:
     
  5. Ocean Lover

    Ocean Lover bean

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    I love looking for shells and that's the only thing I miss in SoWal. There are very few shells on the beach. We took the kids on a dolphin cruise to Shell Island in Panama City. There were lots of shells there. If we do it again though, we'll skip the cruise and take the Shell Island Shuttle. You can stay as long as you want that way. If you go on the cruise you only have about an hour on the island.

    You will have to buy crab nets when you get to the beach. The kids will love them. Mine always try to catch the small fish but the fish are way to fast for them.
     
  6. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    I am sorry. The "crap" net is for the doggy people, but bags work better. To catch the crabs, the "crab" nets will be more useful.
     
  7. UofL

    UofL Beach Fanatic

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    We always leave on Friday night so that we have the whole day Saturday. This year we're going to head down to Mexico Beach area to look for shells and dolphins before we head over to Grayton and checkin (not before 1:00).
     
  8. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Where are the areas near Mexico Beach or other areas within a reasonable drive to find shells? Are there easily accessible public beaches for shelling?

    Thanks.
     
  9. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, Mexico Beach area is not a "reasonable" drive, unless you awaken with the Sun and get there early. From Grayton Beach, Mexico Beach will take you about 1hr 15 min driving time without any traffic. With traffic, maybe closer to 2+ hrs - each way. Of course driving to the shell store will not take as long, but it is not the same type of adventure.

    I remember walking a beach on the island of St John, and the entire beach was shells, no sand, and mostly undisturbed. Oh what joy it was. There were too many great looking shells, and I ended up not taking any -- too many choices, and not enough pockets for the long hike.
     
  10. KansasBorn/30ABound

    KansasBorn/30ABound Beach Lover

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    What about Shell Island? When we were down there two summers ago we took a charter from Panama City out to Shell Island. We picked up quite a few shells and the boat ride was kind of fun for the kids as well.
     
  11. seagrovelover

    seagrovelover little sugar

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    Hi, have you thought about going to Shell Island in St Andrews recreational area? Its in the very east end of Panama City, great for a day trip!!! tons of shells and calm water for snorkling :cool:
     
  12. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    They don't call it Shell Island for nothing. It is a great place, but as someone else posted in pink script, make it a day trip. Shell Island is more than a days walk from Seagrove.
     
  13. wintersbk

    wintersbk Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have been in contact with a place in PCB about renting a boat for the day to cruise around Shell Island. I think the kids will enjoy it. Thanks again! :clap_1:
     
  14. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    I suppose it makes sense to find out when low tide is before heading out to shell island on the shuttle, right? Or doesn't low or high tide matter on shell island (forgive any ignorance showing here...).
     
  15. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    The beach renourishment projects are mainly responsible for there being not many shells on the beaches. Every so often, especially after a big storm, the army corps of engineers hires a bunch of cajuns to come out and dredge a few hundred million cubic yards of underwater sand and spew it back up on the beach to protect the beach-side dwellings. This exposes raw sand with no shells underwater to be washed up and covers any shells that were already on the beach. So no shells, except some truly hardy super-burrowers like dosnias or tidal-zone donaxs, at least until the littoral ecosystem recovers, which takes about 2 years with no hurricanes or other beach erosion to make the feds do it all again. They're just now starting up PCB renourishment for Ivan damage at the "western end of the federal project area (just east of Carillon Beach) and proceed east for four miles" - http://thebeachloversbeach.com/special.php?ID=20.

    The absolute best place for beach shells, bar none, is Port St. Joe Peninsula State Park near Cape San Blas. If you look at the map, as you move east and south from Destin, thru PCB, thru Apalachicola and past Port St. Joe, there's this huge finger of land that sticks out and up to the left, and at the tip of the finger is the state park and beyond it is 11 miles of completely untrekked beaches in the NWR system. It is worth the trip just once if you've never been! It's amazing! I swear it looks like absolutely nobody's ever been there before you. There are three- to five-inch deep layers of shells, mostly arks and cockles, on the ocean-side beach. It is absolutely pitch black at night. Don't step on any sea-turtle nests and don't take any live shells. Note: During sea-turtle nesting season a red shield is required for any night-time flashlight use and no lights, such as campfires, can be visible from the beach so as not to affect the turtles' navigation.
     

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