Shelling and Exploring

Shelling and Exploring

Sheri and her daughter Samantha had booked a trip with me over 200 days ago. I was concerned about the weather. The weekend brought bands of rain and dismal weather in general. Sunny then sideways rain. I was pleased the weather  worked with us on our boating adventure. On Sunday we observed many dolphin playing in small pods as we traveled to an isolated beach. Sheri and Samantha spotted the cockle shells before I had the boat anchored. They had plenty of time to observe because as I was setting the stern anchor I forgot to attach the line to the boat and as I walked with the anchor in hand for what seemed like a long time, the boat drifted off the beach and was held by the bow anchor only. It was time for Capt. Brian to go for a swim. I swam out to the boat then started all over. Sheri and Samantha were soon shelling as I dried off. The beach was empty of people and full of shells. Sheri filled her bag with cockles, fighting conchs, a nice cone, sun ray Venus, and many other treasures. She has an excellent shelling eye. Samantha is also an excellent sheller, she knows many of the shells by name. Samantha swam for a while then relaxed on the boat. I had to almost drag Sheri off the beach. She could still be shelling. There was rain all around except for the beach we were on. We traveled back to the marina seeing more dolphin and many osprey. Thanks Sheri and Sam for a fun day shelling and 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 14:47h, 12 October

    LOL- thats a great story!

  • Little Black Scrap Cat
    Posted at 18:21h, 12 October

    A BIG thumbs up to you, Brian! We had a fabulous adventure with you! Good times, good shelling, good company! Yes, I could still be out there shelling! We were tickled with all the shells we found. Thank you, for that! It was also marvelous to see the white pelicans, brown pelicans, frigate birds, and manatees. We will look forward to our next adventure with you – in about 360 days (or sooner if we swing Spring Break!!) Thanks for everything!!
    Sheri & Samantha

  • Kaybe
    Posted at 11:58h, 14 October

    Hey Capt. Brian,
    Thinking of you & hope you are staying out of that nasty red tide.

  • Jen S.
    Posted at 19:55h, 15 October

    Sounds like you, Sheri, and Sam had a fabulous time! That's great 🙂