Monday, July 30, 2012

TEB's Observations of Captain Brian's Observations of the Water

So, you've been waiting all year for that tropical beach getaway.  Nice sandy beaches full of sunsets & shells.  But when you arrive............

Everyone else had the same idea - at the same time. Sometimes the traffic on the beaches of Sanibel can be a tad overwhelming.  There are lots of shells but also lots of people looking for those shells. 

If I only had some way to get out to all the little islands less traveled that surround Sanibel somehow.  If I only had a boat.  If I only had a friend with a boat.  If I only had a friend with a boat who was also a shell guide.

Put 3 Rednecks in a boat, with nets, what 'ya got?
There are plenty of shell guides that will motor you to the outer islands but you better check them out first. Any ole boat captain can dump you off on a desolate beach while he reads the newspaper or catches a few zzzzz's.  To really enjoy your trip  to the fullest one needs to select a captain who is experienced on the water, knowledgeable of the local wildlife, & hopefully one with a love for what they do.

The first clue that a shell guide is passionate about what they do would be the dashboard of their truck.
Another sure fire indicator of a great shell guide would be a really cute first mate.

If there is any trouble your shell guide should be able to kick some a** with a machete in a hand-made sting ray hide sheath.
Sting ray hide dries as hard as  armor. It's an imposing weapon with the animal's eye holes left intact.

Here's the shell guide that fits the bill - meet Captain Brian Holaway of  Captain Brian's Observations on the Water.  Captain Brian has been navigating the waters of SWFL for 17 years.  He has a special place in his heart for the island of Cayo Costa.  Captain Brian even travels out to Cayo on his days off. 
  When you book a trip with Captain Brian he will customize your travels with him to include your interests.  Whether you are desiring to explore a deserted beach for shells,  shoot some wildlife photography, learn about the local ancient culture, or just enjoy being on the water and have lunch on North Captiva.   Captain Brian enjoys showing off his backyard. 
Captain Brian pointing out some landmarks to my niece on the trip we took with him & first mate Salty last week.
Looking at the low tide lagoon on Cayo Costa.  We decided to forgo paddle boarding and go shelling instead.
The remains of Tropical Storm Debby were still littered every where.
First Mate Salty found a nice spot to relax.
Captain Brian always manages to spot something unusual in the sand.  Heart Urchins aka sea potatoes which is exactly what they look like in mass quantities.  (I always bring a little Tupperware holder to keep delicate finds like these from getting crushed on the way home.)

We had an amazing trip with Captain Brian on Cayo Costa.  My niece said she felt like she was on her own private island.
Shellicious finds from Cayo Costa.

Angel Wings were everywhere.
Thanks Captain Brian & Salty. Till next time.


  1. Marvellous finds. I love that sting ray hide case and the lovely little heart urchin.

  2. We LOVE Capt. Brian! He always helps us find something we haven't found before. He is so knowledgeable - you will be so happy to go shelling with him. Make sure you go with Capt. Brian when you get to Sanibel/Captiva!!!

  3. I really enjoyed this post! And I loved the picture of the truck dashboard filled with shells! My dashboard of my car is home to 6 of the numerous sand dollars found on Blind Pass, Manasota! It always makes me feel like the beach, even when I am driving to work!

  4. ONE of these days.... I will be sure to have Capt. Brian take us over to Cayo. I've heard SO much about it! I prefer paths less traveled over the hustle and bustle of a busy beach any day.

  5. Karen, I loved this post. I recognized the famous seashell dashboard too! We have to stop telling everyone how great Brain is or he's gonna be too booked for US when we get down there. LOL!

  6. Karen, Thank you for another great day at Cayo. I love them all. I am so thankful to be able to go there as much as I do. Like Ann Morrow Lindberg said" The waves echo behind me,Patience,Faith what the sea has to teach.
    Simplicity- Solitude- Intermittency...But there are other beaches to explore,There are more shells to find. This is only the beggining." Good old Ann. Thank you Karen for enjoying the simplicity, solitude, and intermittency on our trip. Capt. Brian

  7. OMG jealous-Cayo costa is definetly on my bucket list.

  8. I can't wait for our return trip in October. LOVE the off season, less crowded beaches. Already have made contact with Capt Brian for our trip to Cayo Costa! Can't wait to go out with him again! You found some great shells!! Take care!!

  9. Beautiful treasures from the sea!!! I love his blog. Looks like yall had a fun day. Debby was good to us at Honeymoon as well. It is always so exciting during the storm invisioning all the shells being blown to shore, I am always at the beach the morning after. Cant wait to see them in person.


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