This year we came to Cedar Key a few weeks later than last year and stayed for three days. We arrived shortly before midnight Thursday evening and were able to get into our condo because the helpful folks at the Island Place, http://www.islandplace-ck.com/home/ left it unlocked, even though we did not have a confirmed reservation for that night. The next two mornings we rented a boat from Cedar Key Marina, http://www.cedarkeymarina.net/index.php and went out collecting seashells on the sand/grass flats exposed at low tide around Seahorse Key.
We found many of the seashells that we found last year. There were plenty of whelks (lightning and pear) and tulips (true and banded). We also found a large number of Lettered olives, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… , many Shark eyes, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=39 , some nice White baby ears, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=42 and many Eastern augers, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… . Some bivalves we found included the Florida lucine, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… , the Atlantic giant cockle, shellmuseum.org/shells//shelldetails.cfm… , the Sunray Venus clam, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… , the Bay scallop, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm… and a small tellin, which I still need to ID. In one of the sheltered coves around the oysters we found some large (> four inches) Crown conchs, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=83 , a good number of large Florida Rock snails, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=76 and a few Tampa drills, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=78 . It sure was fun to see all the sea life out on the flats.
Friday evening we had a most pleasant dinner at Tony’s Seafood Restaurant, tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34126-d62… . I had the Low Country Boil, and my wife had Tony’s Guilt Free Seafood dinner. Both were excellent. At the end of the meal our waiter treated us to a complimentary dessert “tasting”, which consisted of three different desserts that were all very tasty. That was an excellent dinner and a special time. On Saturday we again ate good seafood at the Rusty Rim Pub. The crab cakes and steamed shrimp were excellent. Saturday evening Cedar Key celebrated Halloween. It was fun to see the young and the not-so-young dress up in costumes and trick or treat along the several blocks of restaurants, stores and accommodations.
Sunday morning was colder, and the wind was up. We spent the low tide collecting on the sand flats off of the old Beachfront Motel, which has not been operational for several years and is now owned by the bank. We saw numerous (over 100) live White baby ears. In addition to some of the shells already mentioned, we found some nice Cancellate lesser whelks, http://www.gastropods.com/8/Shell_15228.shtml , multiple Eastern oyster drills, http://www.gastropods.com/4/Shell_2994.shtml , some Mauve-mouth drills, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=70 and a few Humphrey’s wentletraps, shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=66 .
The nice folks at the Island Place permitted us to have a late check-out (3 PM), which gave us the opportunity to collect seashells during the entire low tide and then take showers and clean-up before leaving for our long drive home. Although our condo was not as nice as the one last year, it was more than adequate for our needs and had a nice view of the water. Because of the excellent service we received, we will definitely stay at the Island Place during our next visit to Cedar Key.