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, 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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Summer is Here

April is almost over, seems like yesterday it was the 3rd. Now May is approaching and it looks, feels and smells great. I look forward to the next 45, days. Things are going to be busy. I am looking forward to showing many people the beauty of Southwest Florida. This week will be Rick and Gail, followed by Beverly and family, then Moira and family, next Daniyell and her family. Then look out, Busybee and crew. Then shelling till sunset, with Alanine and her sister. The next trip will be with my good friends and long time clients, Nancy and Brian. Mellisa is going to hold down the fort while they are away. I look forward to seeing Mellisa in August. The next day will be with an old time sheller from the Lone Star state. I look forward to hearing his shell stories and learning.  The photo of the rare shell above was found on Cayo Costa April 21 at 2:30 in the afternoon. The young gentleman who found it was kind enough to let me take a picture of it. You never know when that spotted univalve will appear.

New Endeavours

I have been exploring the nooks and  mangroves around Cayo Costa. It has been most enjoyable. I enjoyed exploring the Island and  its enviroment.  It seems the more I  know, the less I understand.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Captain Brian

Howdy,  I will be off the grid  for a while. I plan on exploring, many new places and thinking of many old faces.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The first sunset after the April full moon.

April Full Moon

The full April moon rose at 8:52 on the 18th. The moon beams were orange on the water as the moon started its climb higher. The tides were extremely low and the water calm.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Live Olive Shells

I spent the whole day today with a long time client. We started the trip by traveling to Boca Grande. Taking in the sights and venturing to one of my favorite restaurants, Temptation's.  The food was superb as usual. Then we headed back south to Cayo Costa. The water was clear and the tide was very low. We anchored on the gulf side and promptly found the beach loaded with live lettered olive shells. Sand dollars were photographed in there natural setting. The beach was unusually quiet today. It reminded me of when I was camping in the everglades walking the beach at Cape Sable. The beach was full of tranquillity.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flats Photos

I enjoyed taking many photos of  the low tide. Here are some  photos of a recent full moon low tide.Many sheller's plan there trips around the moons. (good thing to do) I currently have a few spots open. The May full moon is almost full. June is close to full. The full moon in July is on the 15th and it is booked. August right now is open, I always enjoy the full moon in August. If you are planning on shelling anywhere in those moon times, you should let me  know.