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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Good Day for Worm Shells

The tide was super high a 2.1. I grabbed my camera and set out to take pictures of the beautiful sea oats on Cayo Costa. After walking a few steps I noticed a worm shell, then another, and another. Three hours later with no pictures of the sea oats, I realized I missed my opportunity of the early morning light on the sea oats. However, I found many great worm shells.  The worm shells I collected in three hours are probably half of what I collected in all of last year. You never know what a day of photography can bring, this day it brought worm shells.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fresh Coat of Paint

The bottom paint on my boat was long over due. I had a window of opportunity to complete this project. I pulled the boat, power washed it and scraped the barnacles off. Next came hanging the boat and sanding the bottom. I always like when the sanding is done. Two coats of paint were applied  on the bottom and three on the sides( 1 gallon total).  My favorite part is pulling the tape off . Ahh... The most enjoyable part is seeing the boat anchored at Cayo Costa.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Snowy Egret

The snowy egret  has orange feet and coloring around the eye for only a couple days a year. The other three hundred and sixty three days  the feet and eye patch are yellow. This is part of breeding plumage/ coloring. Observing this in the wild I find very rare. I have witnessed this occurrence one time before in 1996. I was delighted to take over 200 pictures of this bird and lucky enough to get pictures of the snowy catching and eating fish with it's orange coloring.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Florida Ladies

Great day on the water. Today I had the privilege of taking out three native Floridians. We traveled to Cayo Costa. The weather was perfect. The beaches were full of solitude and stories... I enjoyed listening to stories about old Florida and the shells collected. The ladies enjoyed the beach and beautiful water. We ate an excellent lunch on the boat. Courtesy
 of the Florida ladies.The tomatoes were home grown from one of the ladies and the sandwich's were also homemade. Karen made her special brownies of white chocolate, chocolate and raspberries. They were delicious. After a very nice lunch we observed the grass flats and shell formations that have been around for a long time. The three ladies gave me a treasure of their own. Sharks teeth, a beautiful card, brownies, a glass, a copy of a great book "A gift from The Sea" and a good feel for the Islands.Thank you for all of the above. Brian

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shell Lady

Thank goodness we had west winds for two days. A full moon and a very low tide. Those were my thoughts as I looked out toward the building cumulus nimbus clouds. I was looking forward to taking out "Shell Lady"  her daughter Jess and her husband Brad, and Shell Lady's father, Mr. Incredible.(He served in the Korean War and Vietnam war as a fighter pilot. He completed over a hundred missions in each war, he is 84 years young, and very cool. The trip started with beautiful summertime clouds. This can also mean thunderstorms. We anchored at the south end of Cayo Costa and started shelling a high tide line that not a lot of people had explored in the last three days. The discoveries were baby ear shell's a few worm shell's and olives. Brad and Shell Lady's dad were busy digging at the low tide line for shells. They both went about this activity vigorously. Brad found some nice shells and was not afraid to get wet in doing so. Jess explored the low tide line and has an extremely keen eye for shelling. Shell Lady walked the high tide line and far. Sand dollars were found on her walk along with a zig zag scallop (A flat scallop).  The tide had dropped almost two feet while we were shelling. Jess found a beautiful cone shell 10 yards from the boat just as we were getting ready to leave. Reluctantly we all got on board the boat and started our trek back to Captiva.  The sun was setting as I pulled the anchor, it's hard to leave any sunset in Captiva Pass. (quite possibly my favorite place in the western hemisphere at least my favorite place 26 degrees north of the equator.) The sun set and we watched dolphin breech and listened to a baby dolphin take a breath beside her mother. The green flash decided to show her face once again. I followed the pink horizon  south until it turned to grey, and once again was thankful for the full moon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Black Mangrove

One of the many things I enjoy about  Cayo Costa is the botany. Today I photographed the flowering black mangrove tree. This tree uses the salt water and releases the salt through it's leaves. If you look close you can see the salt on the leaf. The underside of the leaf is a pale color. This is from the salt. In the months of June and July the tree can be very productive for honey. The honey is clear white. In the early 1900's there was a gentleman who lived on Cayo Costa with a large family who collected the honey from the black mangrove. I have always liked the location of his long gone house, an ancient shell mound. The vistas are breath taking but sleeping is hard. This is one of the many things I enjoy about Cayo Costa.