Perfect Weather with The Johnson’s

Perfect Weather with The Johnson’s

The  weather was perfect for a day of shelling and exploring. Brian, Nancy and I started our trip by traveling to the north end of Cayo Costa to the recently reopened lagoon. The tide was going out and very low. I took along my paddle board for exploring areas that you normally don’t see. Nancy and I went for a spectacular cruise on the board watching lease turns and reddish egrets, royal turns and oyster catchers. We also observed moon jellyfish cruise by as we paddled. Next Nancy went on the board herself, then Brian took the board for a spin. The current at the mouth of the lagoon was moving at 5 mph this made paddling a little challenging.  The tide was even lower after everyone finished paddling. We shelled the shallows and found many nice shells. Shells found were a large sharks eye, sun ray venus, olives, fighting conchs, banded tulips and the BIGGEST common nutmeg shell I have ever seen.  Next we traveled around the northern tip of Cayo Costa past a forest of Sable Palmettos. A special place on the island indeed. We traveled past Punta Blanco and Mongongo Island and Part Island on our way to Pineland on Pine Island. We ate diner at the Tarpon Lodge. This is one of my favorites. The staff at the Tarpon Lodge do an excellent job and the food is always superb. After a scrumptious diner we walked across the street to the Randell Research Center. The Randell Research Center is a fifty acre archaeological  site. The site has precolumbian shell mounds and a precolumbian canal. Our visit was a short one because the mosquitoes were very lively. It was time to start our voyage back to Captiva. We left Pineland and made our way to the south end of Cayo Costa to watch the sunset. The dolphins were numerous as we slowed down to watch the sunset. The sunset was inspiring, we all observed the rare optical phenomena “the Green Flash”. This was the first time I have been able to catch it on Camera. If you zoom in on the second to last sunset photo you can see the flash. In all my years of guiding and watching the sun fall I have only seen 3 in 15 years. This being the third. It was a beautiful day and better sunset, I look forward to the next trip in August with the Johnson’s.
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.

  • pam @ iLoveShelling
    Posted at 01:39h, 02 June

    Was this Saturday night? We saw a green flash Saturday night on Capitva near the Duck…. well, I could swear we saw one and I wasnt the only one.

  • Jen S.
    Posted at 01:39h, 02 June

    Looks like you guys had a great time 🙂

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 01:42h, 02 June

    Friday night is when I saw the green flash.

  • Kim@Snug Harbor
    Posted at 11:16h, 02 June

    I've never seen a green flash, so I loved your photo. Wonderful pictures today, especially the last one. Nice nutmeg!