“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

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tranquil Beach and Shelling










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.

Sanibel Sisters Take Two









The Sanibel Sisters returned with tweezers in hand  along with one of the  sisters granddaughters. The trip started with "The sisters" giving me one of the shirts they had made. The shirt said,"Got Shells". I Loved it! The next surprise was a beautiful collection of miniature shells they had collected since our last trip. WOW!! The collection is shown in the picture. A beautiful tusk shell, and honestly the biggest key hole limpet I have seen in that good of shape. (Nancy Darling would be drooling) The baby's ear is a treasure from these ladies I will set apart from all others. Well, all the shells will stay in a special spot. Thank you again for the gifts from the sea. Our goal of the trip was to explore the flats on a SUPER low tide. The tide had been falling for four hours when we left the dock. The west southwest wind was holding the tide higher than usual. The decision was made to go to North Captiva and look for shells while waiting on the tide to fall. The tide was to low to anchor at my first choice on North Captiva so we traveled to another spot on the island. Honestly on this day the shelling was not all that great. The high winds and water had washed the beaches clean of most shells. It reminded me of the beach I woke up to on Cayo Costa after a restless night of sleep on a precolumbian shell mound twenty nine moons ago. We stayed at North Captiva briefly. Still waiting on the tide we traveled to the southern end of Cayo Costa. The high water from the previous day made the shelling sparse.  The tide finally started to fall pushing out of  Captiva and Redfish pass, despite the strong wind now out of the northwest at twenty miles an hour. The flats were starting to show themselves as we traveled south.  I set the anchor and pulled the boat over the grass flats and set the stern anchor. The live shells were more than plentiful. We took no live shells but had to work to find the empty ones. Some nice specimens were collected with the tweezers. A very small horseshoe crab was collected as pictured above. One shell collected was very intriguing. A lettered olive. It was silky smooth but looked prehistoric. The coloring on this olive shell was unlike any I have observed before. All great finds. I pulled the anchor and we traveled with a tail wind back to the marina. Shortly after arriving at the marina the moon made its mystical  presence.