International Sea Shell Day is almost here! In case you don’t know this special day takes place on the 21st June to mark the start of the summer. But it can be celebrated anytime throughout the summer.
It was created by a small town in Florida, called Sanibel Island. Located off the coast of Fort Myers Beach, this community has an extraordinary amount of diverse sea shells washing up on the seashore, every day. When the first sea shell scavenger hunts were introduced the whole community would have fun around the town and on the beach. International Sea Shell Day has slowly spread throughout the World as people love to go shelling. Here is your guide on how to get involved.
3 Great Places to Celebrate International Sea Shell Day
Sanibel Island, Florida
The birthplace of Sea Shell Day is obviously a great place to hunt for shells. Sanibel Island has soft sandy beaches covered in a variety of sea shells, large and small. Due to the current of the ocean shells wash up in practically perfect condition, ideal for a sea shell hunter.
The island is 3.5-hour drive from Miami, which also has incredible beaches making it well worth foraging for shells. The equally beautiful and tranquil seaside resort town of Sarasota is also a good place, and it’s 2.5 hours from Sanibel Island.
Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
If you dream of visiting South Africa, visit Jeffrey’s Bay for an active day of sea shell hunting. The beaches here are famous for their waves, so has become a surfer’s paradise. Take a surfing class, hunt for shells and relax on the beach before heading to the local museum. Increase your knowledge of the ocean at the Sea Shell Museum. It would be a great place to celebrate International Sea Shell Day on 21st June.
Combine your holiday to the sandy beaches on the cultural island of Corfu, with a trip to the Sea Shell Museum. The museum is owned by a local man, Mr Napoleon Sagias. Throughout his life he collected thousands of sea shells and fish fossils. When his collection became too big to keep at home, he opened the museum to share his passion with the rest of the world. The museum also houses many of his findings while on diving adventures in the Pacific and Indian Ocean.
Best Sea Shelling Hunting Times
While there is an element of being in the right place at the right time with seashell hunting, there are some times that may be more successful than others. In general, the best time to be on the beach with your bucket at the ready is during a low tide. If possible, coordinate your trip with a low tide during a full moon or new moon phase, this is when the tides are at their strongest.
First thing in the morning is also a great time, as you need to beat the competition. The later you arrive, the more likely it is that the good shells will have already been collected.
Also, check the operating hours and safety guidelines of the beach before arriving. Some beaches have opening times and other don’t allow you to remove items off the beach. Sea Shelling can be a lot of fun, but there is no need to break any rules.
- Increase your time spent sea shelling by staying in a hotel close to the beachfront. Easier access means more time on the beach, without a long commute.
- Watch the weather forecasts. Strong winds and off shore storms can create an influx of sea shells onto the beach.
- Take you time! Enjoy the smell of the sea air and the feeling of the sand between your toes. Look and enjoy the sea views and listen to the waves as the crash against the shore.
- Clean your shells with mineral oil. This will remove the white calcification and reintroduce the shells natural colour. A small paint brush can be used to apply the oil to the outside of the shell and a cotton bud is perfect for the inside. After applying the mineral oil, clean it with a soft towel, to prevent the oil transferring to anything else.
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Wherever you are this International Sea Shell Day be sure to share your shell photos with @Search4Sun on Twitter, #SeaShellDay.