Shell Lady

Shell Lady

Thank goodness we had west winds for two days. A full moon and a very low tide. Those were my thoughts as I looked out toward the building cumulus nimbus clouds. I was looking forward to taking out “Shell Lady”  her daughter Jess and her husband Brad, and Shell Lady’s father, Mr. Incredible.(He served in the Korean War and Vietnam war as a fighter pilot. He completed over a hundred missions in each war, he is 84 years young, and very cool. The trip started with beautiful summertime clouds. This can also mean thunderstorms. We anchored at the south end of Cayo Costa and started shelling a high tide line that not a lot of people had explored in the last three days. The discoveries were baby ear shell’s a few worm shell’s and olives. Brad and Shell Lady’s dad were busy digging at the low tide line for shells. They both went about this activity vigorously. Brad found some nice shells and was not afraid to get wet in doing so. Jess explored the low tide line and has an extremely keen eye for shelling. Shell Lady walked the high tide line and far. Sand dollars were found on her walk along with a zig zag scallop (A flat scallop).  The tide had dropped almost two feet while we were shelling. Jess found a beautiful cone shell 10 yards from the boat just as we were getting ready to leave. Reluctantly we all got on board the boat and started our trek back to Captiva.  The sun was setting as I pulled the anchor, it’s hard to leave any sunset in Captiva Pass. (quite possibly my favorite place in the western hemisphere at least my favorite place 26 degrees north of the equator.) The sun set and we watched dolphin breech and listened to a baby dolphin take a breath beside her mother. The green flash decided to show her face once again. I followed the pink horizon  south until it turned to grey, and once again was thankful for the full moon.

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.

  • Shelllady
    Posted at 12:38h, 22 June

    We had a great time Capt. Brian! We'll see you again soon!! Thanks for the great comments about my Dad…I think he's Mr. Incredible too!! 🙂

  • Jess Kraft
    Posted at 18:11h, 22 June

    What a fun trip!! Thanks for showing us a good time.


  • Kim@Snug Harbor
    Posted at 02:10h, 23 June

    I'm so glad Shell lady and family got a chance to meet you and take a trip. Looks like they got some nice treasures! Plus a green flash too – wow!!