Robin and John

Robin and John

Robin and John from Arkansas were a pleasure to have on the boat. We started shelling at secret spot #2.  Robin was in heaven with all the shells she was finding. John enjoyed finding sand dollars.  The rainclouds from the Gulf were headed our way. We made the decision to travel to a nearby island for lunch and let the storm pass. The storm passed and the tide was going out strong. We anchored at favorite spot #1 and hit the shell bonanza. Robin found large lightning whelks, fighting conchs, worm shells, shark eyes and angel wings. She also found a beautiful scotch bonnet…… with a hermit crab in it. We let it go back to the water, but not without getting a few good pictures.  John found some large whelks as well.  He also found a perfect banded tulip.  We pulled the anchors and dodged one last storm before getting back to the dock. It was a wonderful trip with Robin and John. I look forward to seeing them again.
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 02:33h, 14 September

    Your photos are always such a pleasure to look at.

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 02:34h, 14 September

    Thank you very much Kim.

  • Little Black Scrap Cat
    Posted at 21:01h, 16 September

    We can't wait to hit some of those secret spots!!

  • Janet from IL
    Posted at 19:34h, 17 September

    Thanks for posting these photos! Love the Sunray Venus Clam, and the Sand dollars and the beady-eyed bird (an eagle?). In picture no. 3,
    there is a dark-gray, round shell tucked under the left side of the sand dollar. I found a few by the lighthouse once and am wondering if it might be an operculum some sort. I've been watching the weather and it seems like you've had a lot of rainy days this summer. More than normal? Good to see you were able to have a nice outing in spite of that. After all, a rainy day on Sanibel is better than a sunny day in most other places :).

  • Capt. Brian Holaway
    Posted at 23:34h, 17 September

    Janet, The bird is an Osprey often confused for an eagle. The dark grey shell is a jingle shell. They come in white, orange and the dark colors. Rain, I would have to look at the rainfall. When you see rain on the news it may be raining by the light house but never makes it to Cayo Costa. When the forcast is for 50 percent rain. It could rain all day in Fort Myers and I dont get wet on the out islands. The rainclouds make for great photos. One of the many things I like about the rain. Capt. Brian

  • Moira
    Posted at 12:47h, 18 September

    Love the pics – nice shells and lots of sanddollars!!! Hoping to go to a secret spot next May!

  • Janet from IL
    Posted at 12:47h, 18 September

    The one in the picture does look like a jingle shell, which I love to collect, now that you mention it. I thought the round ones I found may be different because they are quite solid and flat and round, without a pearly look to them. They may just be jingles well-worn from the elements. Thanks for chatting, have a great rest of the day and sunshine tomorrow!!