colorful vibrant seashells collected on tour with SWFL Shell Guide
guests find large empty conchs on tour with SWFL Shell Guide
Where will you display the prizes you collect on tour with SWFL Shell Guide?
colorful vibrant seashells collected on tour with SWFL Shell Guide
4hr & 5HR PRIVATE & shared
Are you looking for a unique and exciting way to spend a day in beautiful SWFL? Come join me for a shelling tour in the Ten Thousand Islands, via boat by a friendly, experienced and licensed/insured local captain!
The Ten Thousand Islands are a stunning chain of small islands located near Marco Island, Florida. These mangrove islands are known for their abundant marine life. They are also home to a wide variety of shells, including conch, scallop, and the prized Junonia. The tour will start with a briefing from the Captain on safety procedures and an overview of the island we'll be shelling. The Captain will then take us out onto the water in a comfortable, stable boat, equipped with all the necessary safety equipment.
On our shelling tour, we'll have the opportunity to explore one or more of the Ten Thousand Islands, searching for shells along the shores. I'll be your Shell Guide and will point out the best spots to look for shells and help you identify any shells you find.
Our shelling destination will be decided based on the season, tides, time of day, and recent shelling history to ensure your shelling experience is the best it can be! We'll either go to sand flats (usually the best choice for summertime low tides) or to Kice Island (usually best in the winter months).
Kice is an uninhabited island, part of the Ten Thousand Islands Wildlife Refuge! While the sand flats are just that, an expansive flat sandy terrain, usually only accessible during low tides, Kice's terrain is unique. Kice is more "dangerous" in that it is very rugged and thick with tree roots, stumps, mucky peat, and shells. Both areas contain many shell species where you are free to collect as many empty (unoccupied) shells as you can carry!
In addition to shelling, you may encounter wildlife while on tour, including dolphins, manatees, and a wide variety of birds.
So why wait? Join me for a shelling tour in the Ten Thousand Islands and spend a memorable day in the sunshine, exploring the natural beauty of this unique and fascinating region!
The 10k Islands Boat Tours all launch from Goodland Boat Park.
Address: 750 Palm Point Drive, Goodland, FL 34140.
Parking Fee: $10
Car spaces are extremely limited! All guests are strongly urged to ride-share, taxi/uber, or get dropped off at the park!
If you must drive, be sure to arrive as early as possible. The park opens at 6:00am.
There are restrooms at the Goodland Boat Park, but no showers or washdown stations.
WHAT TO BRING
LONG-SLEEVE WATER SHIRT
DRY BAG FOR PHONE/KEYS
PLASTIC BOX FOR FRAGILE FINDS (OPTIONAL)
CHAIR/UMBRELLA FOR REST/SHADE (OPTIONAL)
Be sure to wear close-toed water shoes or old sneakers or rubber boots! The terrain may be rough and rugged if we're headed to Kice Island. Even if we're headed to the sand flats there are still several sharp shells and objects you don't want to step on barefooted! Kice is not your typical white sandy beachfront; it's teeming with tree roots and stumps, and sometimes slimy slippery muck! Sometimes shelling requires us to cover a lot of ground on foot, both in and out of water - make sure your shoes are broken-in and fit well to avoid rubbing and blisters! Footwear is so so important!
There's no shade from the blazing sun on the island or sand flats! Be sure to bring sun protection: long-sleeve water shirt, lotion, cream, sunglasses, hats, even an umbrella to create your own shade if needed - whatever you use!
Of course, feel free to bring your own desired food and beverages.
No tools are really necessary, but you're free to bring your preferred shelling tools such as rakes, scoopers, diggers, snorkels, goggles, walking sticks, etc! (Awesome hand rakes and Sand Dippers are available for purchase right at the Goodland Boat Park Ship Store we the tour launches from!)
If you love fragile beach finds (sand dollars, urchins, crab carapaces) you'll want to keep them separate from the shells which can easily break them. Bring a plastic box to keep the fragile stuff safe!
Good idea to bring insect repellent if those pesky no-seeums love you. No-seeums can be problematic during very early morning or near-sunset evening times of day, and seem to be especially prevalent whenever there are shell piles.
Check out a few of my fav shelling gear, tools, products, and displays listed HERE! (Not necessary to bring with you, but helpful if you want your own or to know where I got mine!)
WHAT YOUR GUIDE PROVIDES
TRAIL MIX SNACKS
SOUVENIR SHELLING BAG
SEASHELL STICKERS & ID CARD
You'll be given a mesh shelling bag to collect any beachcombing finds you wish to keep! (Collect only empty shells!)
WHAT TO KNOW
BEFORE YOU BOOK
To ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment, please take note of the Guest Requirements & Recommendations:
1. Boarding and Disembarking:
Guests should be able to easily step on and off the boat, occasionally climbing ladders for access.
Comfort in the water and basic swimming skills are necessary.
Participants should confidently embark and disembark from the boat with minimal assistance.
A HIGH level of fitness and endurance is recommended
Participants should be able to hike 1-3 miles, sometimes navigating in shallow, mucky or murky water and oftentimes over challenging tree-filled terrains and soft or sloping sandy terrains.
Be ready to hike in diverse weather conditions and varying landscapes.
3. Health and Fitness:
Guests should be in good health, capable of handling extreme elements like heat, cold, sun (no shade available), rain, humidity, rough terrain, and insects.
Given the nature of the tour, individuals with health factors like age, obesity, heart disease, poor circulation, mobility challenges, and severe allergies are advised NOT to book.
The weight limit for boat tour participants is 300 pounds. Exceptions may be considered for individuals in optimal shape and fitness. If unsure, feel free to reach out for clarification.
While water and snacks are provided, guests should actively stay hydrated and maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
5. Understand How to Stay Safe In Hot Weather:
Shelling on shore in extreme heat poses risks to the body's cooling mechanisms. Factors like individual health conditions can amplify these risks. Click Here for some essential tips.
These guidelines are designed to prioritize your well-being and the overall quality of the tour.
Shared Tour Policy:
In order for our Shared Tours to take place, we require a maximum capacity of 6 guests to be reached. Should the number of guests in a shared tour not reach capacity, the tour may be subject to cancellation or rescheduling.
Private Tour Policy:
A Private Tour reserves the entire boat with a single flat-rate booking and can accommodate up to 6 guests. This booking secures both the boat and captain, ensuring a confirmed tour without reliance on additional guests to fill remaining seats.