Monday, October 26, 2015

Heavy Weather Shelling

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We spent 4 days in some of the outer islands of the Haápai group, around Tofanga Island. Tofanga is the best shelling we’ve seen anywhere so far.

It’s been really windy and rough a lot of the times we’ve gone into the islands to look for shells. Chris is starting to write a book on Heavy Weather Shelling. Some of the highlights in the book are:

  1. How to call for help when your outboard dies, but you don’t want anyone to know where your secret spot is.
  2. How to deal with Portuguese Man-of-War flying off the beach and into the air in high winds – or when to call it quits.
  3. Are deadly cone shells worth the attraction?
  4. Convincing hermit crabs to vacate their adopted home.
  5. How many shells are too many shells?
  6. Surf landings made simple.
  7. Protecting your skin from the inevitable heavy weather sandblasting.
  8. Protecting your face from the sun – what sun?
  9. Where to find shells that hide in the rain.
  10. Cowrie stalking for the timid.

haapaiIMG_2758 These are my new favorite shells. They are Partridge Tun shells we found on Tofanga Island. Its not that often that you find a set of shells this big.

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Check the size of this cowrie on the right. That Tongan 50 panga bill is the same size as a US bill.

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Chris’ collection is getting fairly good sized.

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Shell collecting underwater is pretty good some times, a marble cone in Chris’ glove.

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Sometimes the shells are too big to bring back to the boat, so then we practice Tag and Release Shelling. This giant Giant Clam even out sizes my head and dwarfs my ego. That’s a big clam!

Paul

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