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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Capt. Brian's Back Porch Goes Inside

Tropical storm Isaac is forecast to scoot by later today through the night. There are many things to prepare for in a storm and yes shells are one of them. I spent much of the morning putting the shells off my back porch in safe containers. It was kind of like old home week. Every shell tells a story. I was remembering where I found the shells, Cayo Costa on a December full moon, The Ten Thousand Islands on a January full moon, Cayo Costa on a hot and sweaty day in August, Panama meeting new friends, camping on my boat under the stars, every shell tells a story. It is one of the beautiful things about shelling. I have included a picture of my boat and where it rides out tropical weather when we get it. The last picture is of two good luck shells that will stay on the boat to help ride out the storm. My thoughts go out to all my shelling friends along the Gulf Coast from Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, take care in the storm. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Capt. Brian

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Colman / Junonia Family

Wow! What a day of shelling.  I had a great time cruising and shelling with Janet, Evan, Sam and Justin.  We started our trip by listening to dolphin breathe. It only got better when we hit the beach. Evan found a great Lighting Whelk and the kids were finding Tulips and many Fighting Conchs. Then we traveled to secret spot number five. Janet was finding Apple Murex, Sharks Eyes, Worm shells , Cones, Lace Murex , and many other great shells. I bent over to grab a Apple Murex, and turned to show the shell to Janet when her son Justin picked up something a foot from where the Murex was at. He said" I found a Junonia". Sure enough he did! Great find Justin! Not less than 10 minutes later his brother Sam found a beautiful piece of a Junonia (Great find Sam). The day before at blind pass Janet also found a piece of Junonia.  The Colman family were great shellers today. Congratulation's on your great finds!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Exploring The Flats And The Beach

It was a great day on the water with Todd, Kate, Caleb, Josh, Sam and Kate's dad, Ray. We observed manatee and many species of bird life on the boat ride to our first destination, the crystal clear flats. We walked the flats and Todd found a extremely large live Lightning Whelk. We took many pictures and put it back in the water. The flats were alive with Horse Conchs, Stingrays, Horseshoe Crabs and Hermit Crabs. After exploring the flats we traveled to the beach. The beach was full of shells that were deposited the day before in the high wind.  We found Sun Ray Venus, Turkey Wings, Lightning Whelk, Sand Dollars and the most amazing arrangement of jingle shells I have ever seen. The jingles were all stuck together in what looked like a flower. The really cool thing about this is that both sides of the jingles were there. Ray is a long time outdoorsman and literally two minutes after I explained to him what a Lions Paw was he found one! It was a great day of exploring!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nancy and Melissa Exploring Again With Capt. Brian

Nancy and Melissa traveled with me for the 7th year in a row. We always have a good time and enjoy what nature has to offer on our excursions. On this trip we traveled  to one of my favorite spots and took the paddle board. Melissa is an excellent photographer and took many excellent photos on the front of the paddle board. Nancy collected shells in this remote spot.  The storm clouds started to roll in so we headed over to the delicious Tarpon Lodge for lunch. After lunch we took our time traveling to favorite spot number one. The beach was empty of people and the water was clear. We collected more shells and Melissa took many photos of the birds and landscapes. The day was an absolute pleasure. The real treasure for me on this trip was a book the Johnson family made for me. The book is 65 pages long and has photos from all of our trips from May  2005 to  May 2012.  I posted the cover and the first and last page. Thank you for a wonderful book of photos and memories.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Teresa and Jean from Texas

Two long time Texas shellers traveled with me to one of my favorite places. The water was calm and the time seemed to fly. We found many fighting conchs, angel wings, ( which is unusual for August) Sun Ray Venus, Olives and a beautiful Worm shell. We also saw a manatee on our return trip. Teresa said," That was the icing on the cake" It was a great day on the water with long time Texas shellers. God Bless Texas!