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February 22nd, 2011

A unique valentine

Posted on February 22nd at
Sailors in the 1800s often purchased Sailor's Valentines in Barbados to give to their wives or sweethearts back home. Made of shells glued into octagonal boxes, they showcased a variety of beautiful and varied designs and sentiments.

We didn't sail to Barbados but we did make a Sailor's Valentine. On the Valentine's Day before we started out on our cruise, I gave Paul an octagonal box with the thought that we'd collect shells along the way and make our own valentine. We did collect lots of shells and that box traveled on the boat for three years. This Valentine's Day we finally sat down to complete our project.

The shells we used were collected on Anclote Key, Key Key, Cayo Costa, and Sanibel Island in western Florida, Cape Sable in the Everglades, the Exumas and Abacos in the Bahamas, West Palm Beach in eastern Florida, and Atlantic Beach in North Carolina. We spent the better part of two days sorting shells by type and size, designing and gluing shells into the wooden box. It was a fun project and is now a wonderful reminder of so many special places we visited on our trip south.

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