A study on the secret moves of Sanibel’s shell seekers
Jack Breslin takes us on a hilarious journey as we explore the various techniques of stooping used by shell seekers in their quest to find the perfect seashell.
While Sanibel Island has earned an international reputation as a seashell paradise, it is also home to a fascinating array of “stooper” methods employed by those who covet the sandy treasures. They come in all shapes and styles— casual to hardcore and clever to clumsy. Perhaps you have seen these various types while strolling Sanibel’s shoreline yourself. Or possibly you recognize your own style among these moves.
THE SNEAKY STOOP
You’ve undoubtedly seen this one. ( Or has he been just too sneaky?) He will make every effort to appear as if he doesn’t really care about shells. After all, it’s a touristy thing to do.
But, as he appears to meander casually along the beach, he’s really constantly on the prowl for prized pristine shells. And once he spots his prey, he moves swiftly with the resolve of a panther pouncing on his evening meal. Quickly snatching his selection between two highly trained fingers and dropping it in his pocket in one deft movement, he glances sideways to confirm he was not detected.
Walking away nonchalantly, he keeps his treasure in his pocket until he’s far down the beach. When he’s convinced there’s enough distance between him and the scene, he slowly brings out his invaluable item only to find it’s a run- of- the- mill shell. It happens every time.
Sneaky, devious, shifty? You bet. But, sadly, he’s more focused on the technique than the prize.