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

Saturday, May 29, 2010


This week was outstanding on the water. I had a wonderful time taking out long time clients, Brian and Nancy Johnson. Our trip started in the late afternoon around 4:30, we traveled to a small restaurant on North Captiva called Barnacle Phil's, a favorite local watering hole, known for its black beans and rice. After a delicious early dinner we traveled to Cayo Costa to go shell collecting. The low tide was extremely low at 7:30pm with the full moon. We collected shells on the beach the hour before and after the low tide. The beach was empty of people and the sunset was full of life. I have never seen a bad sunset from the beach at Cayo Costa. We found live starfish and lightning whelks, took pictures of both and promptly put them back in the water. The beach was full of solitude. After the sunset we walked back toward the boat as the moon was rising over the island. The quietness and the full moon reminded me of a stretch of beach I enjoyed in the Ten Thousand Islands four moons ago. Brian , Nancy and I followed the moonbeam on the water south back to Captiva. Some trips you can plan and they work out great, other trips, the surroundings take over and the trip leads itself. This trip, the tides and moon lead the way, all the way back to where we began.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What a beautiful week on the out islands. The May weather never ceases to amaze me. This week on Cayo Costa Island, the water looked like the Bahamas. A good friend from Colorado finally made it down here to southwest Florida. Capt. Brian finally put his long pants away and wore shorts for the first time since January. The last time I wore shorts was in January on my excursion to the mesmerizing Everglades.
Today I took a long time client out to look at the characteristics of boats on Boca Grande. This client is looking to have a custom boat, built in the Bahamas. I was able to run the Muspa out in the Gulf of Mexico along the shoreline of North Captiva then continuing North past Cayo Costa into Boca Grande Pass. The long stretch of beach on Cayo Costa brings back fresh memories of sea grape leaves, jelly fish, picnic tables, strawberries and finding old bottles. Cayo Costa holds many special memories and thoughts, both past and hopeful future. Oh, how I relish the month of May. I look forward to being there tomorrow, walking on the sand, feeling the air, seeing old trees and smelling old memories.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May is my favorite Month in Florida. This week was spent enjoying the beautiful waters around Cayo Costa Island and North Captiva Island. Between the two Islands is Captiva Pass where the water flows from the Gulf of Mexico to Pine Island Sound . The new moon was this past week and the tides have been super low towards sunset. Two days I spent watching the sunset, drifting on the tide with the engine off, observing the wildlife and listening to the sound of the tide take me out into the Gulf of Mexico. Spotted eagle rays jumped out of the water, osprey flew by with fish in their talons, loggerhead turtles swam by the boat, small blue crabs clung to the floating sea grass and 6 foot tarpon gulped air as they rolled by. May is a magical month in Southwest Florida.
P.S. I mentioned in the last blog that sea turtle nesting has started. There is currently one nest on Cayo Costa Island.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Pleasurable May Evening At The Mound House
This year the 62nd Annual Florida Anthropology society held its annual meeting in Fort Myers, Florida. The opening reception was held at the mound house on Estero Island. Construction began on this mound in 100B.C. The ancient Calusa occupied this mound as well as the Spanish and Cuban fisherman. A great time was had meeting new people, visiting with old friends and former students. A highlight was discussing the possibilities of going to Cuba in the future with a volunteer group from St. Augustine. The great thing about this historic site is you can reach it by land OR by water. The back dock is 45 minutes from Captiva Island. The pictures here were taken on top of the mound.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Jeffrey Gaines acoustic guitar played over the boat speakers as he sang "In Your Eyes". Lost in thought as the second verse started. I noticed a dark round object off the port side of the boat. I grabbed my camera in hopes that it might be a sea turtle. I took several pictures and ended up with one great shot. The water was a magnificent blue. May through October is turtle nesting season in Florida. Last year on Cayo Costa Island there were over 200 nests on the beautiful, curvy eight miles of sandy beach. Tomorrow I will be walking the south end of Cayo Costa looking for turtle tracks. This picture of turtle tracks was taken last year at the south end of Cayo Costa on a hot July day.