The weather was perfect for a day of shelling and exploring. Brian, Nancy and I started our trip by traveling to the north end of Cayo Costa to the recently reopened lagoon. The tide was going out and very low. I took along my paddle board for exploring areas that you normally don't see. Nancy and I went for a spectacular cruise on the board watching lease turns and reddish egrets, royal turns and oyster catchers. We also observed moon jellyfish cruise by as we paddled. Next Nancy went on the board herself, then Brian took the board for a spin. The current at the mouth of the lagoon was moving at 5 mph this made paddling a little challenging. The tide was even lower after everyone finished paddling. We shelled the shallows and found many nice shells. Shells found were a large sharks eye, sun ray venus, olives, fighting conchs, banded tulips and the BIGGEST common nutmeg shell I have ever seen. Next we traveled around the northern tip of Cayo Costa past a forest of Sable Palmettos. A special place on the island indeed. We traveled past Punta Blanco and Mongongo Island and Part Island on our way to Pineland on Pine Island. We ate diner at the Tarpon Lodge. This is one of my favorites. The staff at the Tarpon Lodge do an excellent job and the food is always superb. After a scrumptious diner we walked across the street to the Randell Research Center. The Randell Research Center is a fifty acre archaeological site. The site has precolumbian shell mounds and a precolumbian canal. Our visit was a short one because the mosquitoes were very lively. It was time to start our voyage back to Captiva. We left Pineland and made our way to the south end of Cayo Costa to watch the sunset. The dolphins were numerous as we slowed down to watch the sunset. The sunset was inspiring, we all observed the rare optical phenomena "the Green Flash". This was the first time I have been able to catch it on Camera. If you zoom in on the second to last sunset photo you can see the flash. In all my years of guiding and watching the sun fall I have only seen 3 in 15 years. This being the third. It was a beautiful day and better sunset, I look forward to the next trip in August with the Johnson's.
Immerse in an ECO-Tour and Experience Southwest Florida Islands by Boat
“Captain Brian Holaway is well versed in the intricacies of our unmatched locale. He can guide to and through a multitude of out-of-the way tidal creeks, bayous, keys and islands. More important is his passionate interest and respect for the region. With unique insights from his many explorations and his studies, not only does he identify the birds and wildlife that inhabit our semi-tropical watery land, but he explains their interconnectedness to their environment and each other. In addition, he shares the fascinating history of rugged people who came long before us: Florida Native Indians, the Calusa, the Spanish, the Cubans, early homesteaders, and the wisdom evident in the growth of their culture.
You will come away with great enjoyment and a new understanding of this beautiful place and its history.”
Historian, Betty Anholt
Author of Sanibel’s Story
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
What a beautiful evening for a shelling excursion. I enjoyed taking Moira, Marty and Kevin to an isolated piece of paradise in search of shells. The beach was empty of people. We were the only people on the beach as far as you could see. The tide was incredibly low and there were shells. The gulf had finally calmed down and the shells were in the swash channels and at the edge of the sea and in the high tide line. Marty found a cone shell within a minute of hitting the beach. Moira wanted to find sand dollars and she succeeded. She also found arrowhead sandolllars. This was a first for her. Sun ray venus shells were collected, a worm shell and lots of silky olive shells. We observed a live olive and the tracks from the olive shell. The sky, clouds, and light were stunning. The beach was full of solitude. The sun was starting to set as we skipped across the water. I slowed the boat down and we all enjoyed the last of the sun setting over Cayo Costa.