Excellent Trip, Dolphins, Sunset, and Clear Water

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.
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.

  • Jen S.
    Posted at 01:20h, 29 March

    WOW–it looks like you guys had a fabulous time! I love all of the pictures 😉 The water looks so clear and the sunset is gorgeous!
    PS–great shot of you in the water….I ♥ it!

  • Nancy J
    Posted at 01:20h, 29 March

    Your dolphin pics are beyond amazing!!! WOW is right 🙂

  • Busybee @ Snug Harbor
    Posted at 20:41h, 29 March

    The dolphins were awesome! And I loved the flag idea – how fun. Hope your foot is ok. Now there's a Captain who goes above and beyond for his clients!!

  • Libby McMillan
    Posted at 11:58h, 14 October

    super dolphin pics ! this was a great read 😉