Unveiling Kice Island’s Treasures: A Post-Northerly Winds Shelling Adventure
As the first rays of sunlight pierced through the Ten Thousand Islands, our boat, the Gaudy Nautica, skillfully navigated the turquoise waters, carrying us toward the pristine shores of Kice Island. The day held an air of anticipation, as we embarked on our first “season” shelling excursion following days of strong northerly winds – a condition known to churn up hidden treasures from the depths of the sea.
Our expert guides, Captain Richard and Shell Guide Amanda Collett welcomed us aboard with their infectious enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge about the marine life that thrived in these waters. Amanda, a renowned shell artist, celebrated author, and Florida Master Naturalist, promised to unveil the secrets of the seashells we would encounter.
As we approached Kice Island, a sense of excitement buzzed through the air. The island, renowned for its secluded beaches and diverse marine life, was our gateway to an abundance of shelling treasures. With eager eyes, we scanned the shoreline, eager to spot the first glimpse of a glistening shell.
Our first discovery was a collection of alphabet cones, their delicate porcelain-like texture, and intricate markings resembling the letters of the alphabet. Amanda explained that these shells are inhabited by marine snails that use their venomous darts to capture prey.
Next, we stumbled upon an array of gaudy nauticas, their vibrant orange and purple hues captivating our attention. Amanda revealed that these shells belong to a species of predatory snail that mimics the appearance of a hermit crab to lure unsuspecting prey.
As we continued our exploration, we encountered shark eye shells, their circular shape, and distinctive black eye-like markings making them unmistakable. Amanda shared that these shells are home to hermit crabs that use them for protection.
Florida cones, known for their elegant shape and intricate patterns, also graced our path. Amanda explained that these shells belong to a venomous species of snail, and their beauty should be admired from a distance.
Rose murex shells, with their thorny protrusions and vibrant colors, added a touch of drama to our collection. Amanda revealed that these shells are home to predatory snails that use their spiny appendages to capture prey.
And then, the moment we had all been waiting for – we stumbled upon several large lightning whelks, their massive size and spiral pattern leaving us in awe. Amanda explained that these shells are home to hermit crabs that can grow up to a foot in length.
Throughout our shelling adventure, Amanda’s expertise was invaluable. She guided us through the identification of various shells, sharing fascinating facts about their biology, habitat, and ecological significance. Her passion for shells was contagious, and we left the island with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the marine world.
Kice Island, our shelling expedition’s destination, is a true gem of the Ten Thousand Islands. This secluded island, accessible only by boat, offers a glimpse into a pristine ecosystem teeming with marine life. Its white-sand beaches, sheltered coves, and shallow waters provide an ideal habitat for a diverse array of seashells.
As we bid farewell to Kice Island and boarded the Gaudy Nautica, our hearts were filled with the thrill of discovery and the satisfaction of connecting with nature. Our shelling adventure had been a resounding success, and we eagerly awaited our next opportunity to explore the hidden treasures of the Ten Thousand Islands.
If you’re looking to embark on your own shelling adventure, we highly recommend Treasure Seekers Shell Tours. Their knowledgeable guides, comfortable boats, and access to secluded shelling spots will make your experience unforgettable. For a unique shelling souvenir, be sure to visit Amanda’s Shell Shop, where you can find a stunning array of shell-inspired creations.