Exploring The Flats And The Beach

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!

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 10:59h, 23 August

    Amazing photos today Brian!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 10:59h, 23 August

    Stunning photos! Those shells are HUGE!! WOW!

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 11:03h, 23 August

    Thank you Kim.

  • mkdally
    Posted at 22:01h, 23 August

    That looks like it was a great trip! We'll have to get out to the flats sometime.

  • Roxanne Reinhart
    Posted at 01:11h, 24 August

    I didn't look real close at the jingle shell photo. I always scroll real fast and then go back and read everything and look closer. At first glance I thought the jingles were an actual flower!! Looks like a fabulous day!

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 10:45h, 24 August

    Mkdally We could do it on our next trip. If the tides allow us to.

  • mkdally
    Posted at 18:29h, 24 August

    We'd love to! We're expecting a baby this fall, so unfortunately we probably won't be back down to Captiva until early 2014. 🙁

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 18:31h, 24 August