“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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Horse Conch



The wind has been blowing hard out of the south, southeast, then southwest for a number of days. I have been waiting for the gulf to calm down. Today it finally did. The shells were laying in the swash channels. You had to be patient and really look after the 3rd set of waves were finished rolling in. Then you had a brief amount of time to look quickly or scan quickly for shells. I noticed this horse conch in about 2 foot of water just beyond the swash channel. At first I thought it was a fighting conch. When I got closer I couldn't believe it was a horse conch. I have found very few this size and condition. I have found many smaller and a few much bigger. This was a exciting find. The horse conch is the Florida state shell. The world record Horse conch was found off Sanibel Island and is in the Sanibel shell museum.  I believe it was 26 inches long. Once while exploring the islands in the everglades I found the outsides of a broken horse conch that was huge. I knew it  had to be bigger than the one I saw in the Sanibel shell museum. Once the skeleton of the shell was safely in my garage, I broke out the tape measure...... 16 inches, not even close. That's all my horse conch stories for now. I need to remeasure that shell.