Captain Brian Exploring and Shell Collecting

Captain Brian Exploring and Shell Collecting

Last week I spent two days exploring and shell collecting south of Marco Island.  The tides that far south are tricky and dictate where you travel. The shell collecting was superb and the wind had the tides low. The Kings Crown was my best find. The cones had some unusual markings that are most intriguing. I was more than thrilled to find them. The true tulips were amazing. (Nick Hahn would have been going crazy, and I am sure he would have found more tulips) The albino lightning whelk was also a cool find.  Going off the beaten path is always interesting. I enjoyed the smells, landscapes and solitude of the places just off the far horizon.

Brian Holaway

I have been a Shelling Guide to Cayo Costa State Park since 1995. Many people know me as the Shelling Guide and Captain with Captiva Cruises over the past 20 years. In 2016 I began solely offering private small boat charters to the islands of Pine Island Sound including Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. I am a certified Florida Master Naturalist, licensed USCG Captain, avocational photographer, seashell enthusiast and passionate about the history, people and culture of Southwest Florida, especially Cayo Costa. I volunteer as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park and have great respect for the heritage of Cayo Costa. My goal is to provide guests with an overall experience and appreciation for the waters, islands, shells, plants, marine life, wildlife, history and people of this unique area of Southwest Florida.

  • Kim@Snug Harbor
    Posted at 00:38h, 22 January

    Is that a sponge in the 2nd photo? Gorgeous shells! It's fun to check out new places.

  • gpc
    Posted at 00:38h, 22 January

    The kings crown is amazing, and I love the albino whelk. But alphabets are my favorite find of all!

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 00:44h, 22 January

    Kim, it is a sponge and it was about two feet long.

  • Mike Roeder
    Posted at 20:15h, 22 January

    Are those Florida Cones in the photo above the True Tulips?

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 20:22h, 22 January

    Mike, I believe they are Florida cones with markings that are rare. I will keep you posted. I am taking a few shells to show the most knowledgeable shell person I know. I would be happy to know 2 percent of what this guy knows. He is amazing.

  • mkdally
    Posted at 21:22h, 23 January

    Holy kings crowns, batman! What a haul.

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 00:56h, 24 January

    Mike, i talked with "The shell expert" he said they were florida cones. There was a little debate among his colleagues, they went back and forth on the latin names but in the end he said, florida cones.
    He also said,"they used to be more common on Sanibel". I personally have never found cones like this before anywhere with these markings.

  • Moira
    Posted at 03:17h, 25 January

    That Kings Crown is awesome!!!

  • Moira
    Posted at 03:17h, 25 January

    I love love love that kings crown! Hope you can steer me to one like that when we are there in May!!!

  • Roxanne Reinhart
    Posted at 16:32h, 31 January

    I love the King's Crown. And your photography is spectacular as well. Thank you for sharing