The Johnson Family Nancy and Melissa

The Johnson Family Nancy and Melissa

The Johnson family, Brian ,Nancy and Melissa have traveled with me on many trips over the years. Every August it’s Nancy and Melissa. We always manage to find something off the beaten path in our travels. This trip was no exception. We left Captiva bound for Cayo Costa with dark clouds to the south(we were traveling north). The plan was to go to secret spot #3 on Cayo.  The rain clouds were starting to move closer so we back tracked and waitied out the storm under a protected shelter on Cayo Costa.  After the storm passed we headed back to secret spot#3 and explored a beach empty of people. Nancy loves to shell and Melissa loves to photograph nature and wildlife. Melissa has an excellent eye for birds on the landscape. She was thrilled to shoot many pictures of the black skimmer, pelicans on the beach, and a very close shot of an immature osprey eating a fish and then flying away. The clouds were equally as satisfying as they cast there shadows close to the sea oats. Cayo Costa is amazingly beautiful before the sun sets. ( One of the many times the island is beautiful. Lets see there is sunrise,moon set, moon rise,8 o’clock am 9, 10 11, 12. O, then 1:00 pm then it starts all over until you get to sunset.)  Sorry I got sidetracked by the 24 hour Cayo Costa kaleidoscope. Melissa took some excellent photos as usual. She even got a picture of a belted kingfisher. I seriously think she is the kingfisher whisper. I can rarely get a picture of one of these undulating anxious birds. Meanwhile Nancy was barefoot in ankle deep water shelling with the sun over her shoulders, when she said'” I found a sand dollar”. She also found a beautiful lighting whelk. The time seemed to fly and everybody was hungry so we motored over to Barnacle Phil’s on North Captiva for a satisfying diner. Then we watched the sun cast its last shadows on Cayo Costa.
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.

  • Kaybe
    Posted at 15:21h, 26 August

    Just another day in paradise.

  • Shelllady
    Posted at 15:21h, 26 August

    Brian that all sounds so wonderful and peaceful! Especially while we sit here on the east coast of Virginia, waiting to decide what to do about IRENE!! This has been a VERY busy week with Mother Nature…first an earthquake, now this!! I like Mother Nature down there MUCH better!! Hopefully we will be down there in November again!! Thanks for the moment of Solitude!! 🙂

  • Jen S.
    Posted at 15:21h, 26 August

    Hi Brian!
    Sounds like you, Nancy & Melissa sure had fun on your adventures….that's great! I enjoyed checking out the pictures from your fun day!

  • Kim@Snug Harbor
    Posted at 14:56h, 28 August

    Makes me long for sanibel…..