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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photograpgy and Exploring

I always enjoy a trip with Paul and Koni. They are from the wonderful state of South Dakota. ( I go way back in the Dakotas) This trip Paul and Koni brought along friends, it was enjoyable to listen and watch Koni point out all of the Islands as we made our way towards Cayo Costa. I surprised Koni by taking her to a spot we had never been to before. The beach was quiet and full of solitude. Next we traveled to  historic fishouses in Pine Island Sound. The tide allowed me to get very close. Paul took many photos, and I tried to give him all angles of the light. Everyone was smiling as we finished taking photos and started our trek back to Captiva. The trip was enjoyable for Paul, Koni and there guests.  I always learn something from Paul who has an excellent eye for capturing images.   After finishing my last trip of the day I traveled alone to Cayo Costa for the night. I took many photos of the sunset at the south end  of Cayo Costa while Jennifer Nettles sang a Matt Nathanson song over and over. It is always nice being on the water at sunset, even better spending the night on Cayo Costa, even for just a few hours.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Excellent Trip, Dolphins, Sunset, and Clear Water

Wow!  I always have a plan on where we will go on a trip, but sometimes nature presents itself and you enjoy what's in front of you.  Plans A, B, and C found a dusty shelf and stayed there. That is how the trip went with Christine and Susan . We started our trip with a southwest wind and traveled to the north end of Captiva Island. We observed Manatee  in their natural environment. This was a first for Christine. The weather was perfect as we traveled across the shallow water east of North Captiva. We went into the protected harbor of North Captiva and observed the red mangroves and a historic fishouse built in 1926.  We continued traveling to the next island to the north, Cayo Costa. I brought the boat to a slow idle and we enjoyed looking at the clear water when Susan spotted a dolphin. I put the boat in neutral and we saw two dolphins cruising the grass flats in 3 feet of water. The dolphin started to get closer to the boat as we drifted with the tide. It was amazing! The water was so clear we could see them checking us out. I have not seen the dolphin this close to my boat in that clear of water ever. I took many photos. Susan, Christine and I just looked in awe. All I could muster up was "WOW" over and over as I clicked away with my camera. Twenty minutes later the dolphins decided to move on. What an experience! Next we explored a remote beach on Cayo Costa Island. The beach was tranquil. The sun was starting to get closer to the Gulf of Mexico, so we moved on.  I anchored the boat over a grass flat, thinking we could explore one more flat before the sun was down. Susan had other plans. She proceeded to pull out a cocktail flag and announce,"its sunset time, do you have a stick or something to put our flag on?" I managed to find my boat brush handle. Susan was quite the girl scout- she had brought twist ties for the flag. She went to work hoisting the flag while Christine was busy getting the cocktails ready. I just had to get a picture of this from the water, so I stepped in the water with camera in hand and took a few photos and was bitten by a blue crab on my right foot.  The sun went down while great conversations were had about plants, fossils, pearls, minerals, rocks, and dichotomous guides.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shelling on the Flats

On the evening of the fullest moon in 18 years, I found myself looking for seashells on a lone sandbar. My client was a retired teacher from the great state of Nebraska with her sister Mary. Many live shells were observed.  Many non-living shells were collected including rose tellins, sunray venus, one beautiful horse conch, a razor clam along with other special shells. The trip was very satisfying for the teacher from Nebraska who was an avid shell collector.  The moon was pleasing to the eye as I pointed the bow of the boat into the the moon beams on the water. Thoughts of past moons flooded my memories like a broken down dam.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shelling The Grass Flats

I enjoyed showing Susan and her daughter Rachel the grass flats, explaining the live shells and the botany of the mangroves.( No live shells were taken) After exploring the grass flats we traveled to Cayo Costa. The water was calm and  inviting. The beach was quiet and relaxing. The shells found are pictured above- Lightning whelks, rose tellins, olives, a large banded tulip, pear whelk, Susan's first angel wing, and a beautiful large kings crown. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed the conversations as much as the azure water we traveled on.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beautiful Day

Today I enjoyed shelling, talking, and exploring the Islands with many unique passengers. I will blog about our travels and finds soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clear Water and Seashells

The water has been pleasantly clear around Cayo Costa. Here are few photo's from the beach.  My trips are filling up fast for April and May.  I have been scouting for trips I will be doing in May.  It is always fun exploring. You never know what is just around the next mangrove corner.