The beautiful ‘Sand Dollars’ are a kind of sea urchin or starfish that lives in shallow seawater and eat small sea creatures on the ocean floor. Sand dollars can be found in the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Venezuela. On a sailing trip around the stunning San Blas Islands, you can watch the mesmerising sand dollar when snorkeling and exploring the magic coral reefs and tropical marine life. Most times we can find one on the sand of the beach. Dead individuals have an empty skeleton or test, are completely white and their round shape has a beautiful sketch-like pattern. Clypeasteroida* are like fine porcelain dishes decorated by nature. They seem painted by an angel: fine, delicate, thin, soft and fragile. When they are alive they have a brown color and they slide into the background of the sea drawing a beautiful tail on the sand. It’s important to pick up only the dead ones, in order to prevent hurting the animals’ population.
We find different names for the Clypeasteroida, according to the place. In Southern California they call them ‘Sea Biscuits’. In Mexico ‘Sea Cookies’ and ‘Sea Shield’ in Uruguay, to name a few. These shells also have different symbolisms according to different cultures. But we believe that on our sailing charters in San Blas, the sand dollars give us good luck and provide us with good weather. We‘ve collected a few of them over the years and we never get tired of looking at them.