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

Friday, March 26, 2010

Third Day of Spring

The third day of spring began with Van Morrison singing "Into the Mystic" as the sun rose over the bow of the boat. Today I had two wonderful charters. The first trip was with two crafty ladies: Hannah Milman and Clarice Rogers. Hannah is the Nature and Craft Editor for Martha Stewart Living magazine. Hannah has been a great friend and client for over a decade. Clarice is a wonderful person and a joy to be around. I have been fortunate to have known her for five years. We traveled to Secret Spot #2 on Cayo Costa Island. We walked around and discussed the plant life in a remote region on this barrier island. Clarice is very knowledgeable about botany and curious about the plants of Cayo Costa. We observed new shoots of sea grape trees, nicker bean and prickly pear. Hannah was busy studying the Cabbage palm tree and the different textures this unique tree possesses. Hannah was looking at every branch and leaf as a work of art and how they could be used in art. Two very crafty ladies with a keen eye for observation in the natural world. I learned a lot from both of them from the questions they asked. Trip two... destination: Cayo Costa Island. Trip two was with four ladies from Ohio. Grandma, daughter, granddaughter and granddaughter's friend. Margery, Paula, Emily, and Mary Clair. The trip departed from Captiva Island and, as we traveled to the North end of the island, we spotted manatee. It was a real treat to see these large marine mammals. We continued North past North Captiva. and explored the harbor on the island, which is known as Safety Harbor. I heard the distinct sound of river otters before I spotted the first one. We were lucky to see mother river otter and her two babies. Emily wanted to take one home, saying "They are so cute." We listened and watched as the little otters weaved in and out of the prop roots of the red mangroves. After a great viewing of these streamlined creatures, we continued our trip North to Cayo Costa. Before we reached Cayo, we spotted a dolphin and it was spectacular! The dolphin cruised on both sides of our boat, so close that we could hear the dolphin take a breath. I put the boat into neutral and we enjoyed watching the dolphin swim around the boat. When the dolphin finally decided he was ready to move on, we continued our voyage to Cayo Costa. But, sometimes the best laid plans don't always come to fruition. My first choice of a place to disembark on Cayo Costa didn't work out as planned, so I went with Plan B. It's always good to have different options. The second place to access the island worked out great. However the wind was a strong 25 mph on the Gulf side of the island. Remember when I said Plan B? Well, it is always good to have plan C. We ended up pulling anchor and traveling to the Pine Island Sound side of Cayo Costa. We enjoyed the warmth of the sun and found excellent small shells in perfect condition. The ride back to Captiva Island was enjoyable, with the wind at our back. Three generations enjoyed a beautiful beach, river otters, dolphin, manatee, and Plans A, B and C. Captain Brian

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Masterpieces of a Sheller

This week I took out a longtime shelling client to Cayo Costa Island. Her family has been shell collecting with me for over 10 years. She is a selective sheller and has produced some excellent shell art from some of her shell collecting. She has an amazing eye for finding the color of the shell for her art piece. Her work shows the longevity and time it takes to complete the work she enjoys and is pleasing to any sheller's eye. The great enjoyment of being a guide, is meeting people and discovering what they do with their treasures. The pictures here tell the story of her shelling treasures.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cayo Costa Island

I really don't know if there are enough adjectives to describe Cayo Costa Island. Every time I go there is a gift. I remember the first time I went to this tantalizing island. I moved fast wanting to cover as much area as possible. That was August 1994 . Now I move at a slower pace but still take everything in like it may be my last. I was very fortunate to spend over two hundred and forty days there last year. I wish I could have been there more. Many full moons, lots of sunny days, some stormy, some buggy. Some cold nights, a few sleepless. But always "good days". I look forward to being there tomorrow.