Fun Exploring with the Johnson Family

Fun Exploring with the Johnson Family

The day before Thanksgiving I had the most enjoyable charter with the Johnson family. I always look forward to exploring with them. They are always up for a new adventure. Early that morning on my way to Captiva from Cayo Costa I noticed a large amount of lightning whelk shells on the sand flats. The tide was every sheller’s dream with a negative low tide . We travelled out to a sand bar where the shells were absolutely amazing. Most of the shells were alive so we could not collect them, but some excellent species were collected. We observed on the sand flat live lightning whelks, banded tulips, horseshoe crabs, beautiful starfish and unbelievable bird life. Mellisa loves taking pictures of the bird life and on that day she filled her camera with bald eagles, osprey, willets, great egrets. white pelicans, brown pelicans, great blue herons and the elusive belted king fisher (I had to admit I was jealous of that shot for sure).

After spending the morning on the sand flat we traveled to North Captiva for lunch. After lunch we went to Cayo Costa Island for an afternoon of shell collecting. The beach and weather was perfect. Brian found many great olive shells and Nancy found a very nice moon snail, also called sharks eye (her favorite) but she managed to take home four of these beautiful shells. Melissa walked the beach taking great photos of the birds and landscape. She also took a little side excursion in a kayak for the first time and captured some great photos. Both her mom and dad were surprised. I always look forward to taking this family out.

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 13:59h, 08 December

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful time Brian! That's great 🙂 I really enjoyed the pictures.

  • Nancy J.
    Posted at 22:48h, 08 December

    We had an absolutely fabulous time!!! Our adventures with you were the highlight of a wonderful trip to Sanibel. Wait till you see Melissa's toadfish and kingfisher pics! We shipped most of our shells home, but my prize moon snails came home in my carry-on 🙂 Stay warm!!! Thanks for the memories, Capt. Brian!Nancy, Brian and Melissa