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“A Must Do While at Captiva/South Seas”

Captain Brian On The Water
Ranked #7 of 17 Tours in Captiva Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A private ECO-tour by boat with USCG Licensed Captain Brian Holaway departing from McCarthy's Marina on Captiva Island. Guests of Sanibel & Captiva Islands explore the natural surroundings by water with this specialized trip. You will have an opportunity to view birds, collect shells, see dolphins, take photos, relax, learn and explore islands only accessible by boat. I am a Certified Florida Master Naturalist and have been guiding for over 20 years to the islands surrounding Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Destinations may include North Captiva, Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa or Pine Island. I Hope to get you on the water soon!
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Must Do While at Captiva/South Seas”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Our family booked a four hour outing with Captain Brian Holoway while we were vacationing at South Seas on Captiva Island. Captain Brian is a wonderful guide and his knowledge of the waters and his interest and knowledge of the history of the area is incredible. He took us to Cayo Costa where we saw beautiful areas of the beach and the terrain, we found amazing shells and incredible sand dollars and we even walked through a little path to the beach that has wild coffee plants growing amidst the greenery. Our day with Brian was amazing!!! We were able to see things we would have never found on our own. We HIGHLY recommend this to families and individuals visiting the area. We saw dolphins,we perused Useppa Island from the water, we saw Robert Rauchenberg's artist abode and so much more! We loved every minute of our adventure with Brian. Captain Brian even shared with us the most delectable mangos we have ever eaten! A trip with Captain Brian is a must for all! We will definitely go with Brian the next time we visit Captiva.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank 962Lewis66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brian H, Owner at Captain Brian On The Water, responded to this review, August 11, 2014
Thank you for the positive comments. I enjoyed showing your family around. I agree, the mangos were great! Capt Brian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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English first
Maryland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Another awesome trip with Captain Brian!!”
Reviewed June 13, 2014

I just completed another awesome adventure with Captain Brian. I have been on about a half-dozen trips with him...each one a great experience.....fun, memorable, and unique in the areas explored! With his years of experience as a Guide, in-depth knowledge as a Florida Master Naturalist, and great familiarity of the region, he has been able to find the best spots for shelling and wildlife observations, based on the tides, wind, time of year, etc., for each of our trips. I have gained such a huge appreciation for the beauty of Southwest Florida's natural environment and history during these different trips with Captain Brian. He is a wonderful source of information on wildlife, plants, Calusa Indians and early settlers, and of course shells!!

During the various trips, we have been able to observe some beautiful live mollusks in their natural environment, which I have truly enjoyed. Captain Brian has a true talent in helping to locate great shells. We have found gorgeous empty shells for collecting, including a couple very special ones... a lion's paw and a phenomenal horse conch. I have learned so much from Captain Brian on the "art and science" of how to find the various types of empty shells for collecting.

This most recent trip was focused on wildlife observation, particularly sea turtles, and learning more about the shell mounds. Captain Brian provided some great insight on the history of the shell mounds and on the Calusa Indians. Captain Brian provided a lot of wonderful information about sea turtles as we walked by their nests on the beach. He also scouted a great place for us to spend time observing the sea turtles swimming and eating (without disturbing them)! That was such a cool experience and definitely a highlight of all of the various trips, as sea turtles are my favorite marine creature!

I highly recommend Captain Brian for a great trip! I have included an excursion with Captain Brian during each stay in the Sanibel-Captiva area and will continue to schedule adventures with him on future trips to the area. Between trips, I follow his blog, too. He has amazing photography skills. He does an outstanding job of capturing the spirit of the object being photographed, whether a shell, flower / plant, bird, or other marine life.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Kathy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, TX
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“A most enjoyable morning with Captain Brian”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

My husband and I just returned from a morning shelling tour with Captain Brian and had a most enjoyable time. Captain Brian was most accommodating to my mobility issues, producing egg crates, boxes, anything on hand to help me in and out of the boat! We explored an isolated Cayo Costa beach where we were the only ones there, except for the SCCF volunteers looking for turtle nests and a State Park trapper, looking to trap raccoons so they wouldn't eat the turtle eggs. Guess what? They all called out to Brian by name. He is a well known modest naturalist who sits on the Cayo Costa board whose purpose is to protect the State Park.

Brian has eagle eyes and helped me find and identify many shells: welks, Sunray venus, Calico clams, 3 Albino cockles, a couple of apple murex, one lace murex, turkey wings, purplish tagelus, angel wing and several false angel wings, 2 Baby ears, 2 Sanddollars, worm shells, ceriths and augers and an alternate tellin. We also found two very special tellins, but their name escapes me. And, I know I have forgotten to mention all of the shells!

Captain Brian showed us a Calusa shell mound on the return trip. It was pretty magnificent as we learned that specific shells were used in each "work" area. Early settlers then built on the mounds because they were the only elevated areas along the coastline.

We also motored by an old commercial fishing house on stilts that was used by fishermen to store their fish, first with salt and then with ice as it first became available out of Punta Gorda.

I highly recommend Captain Brian for an enjoyable and worthwhile trip.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank SAScooter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Never disappointed”
Reviewed May 2, 2014

As always it's a pleasure to take a trip with Captain Brian. We got to visit a newly formed sandbar.Just waling on the sandbar brings you back to your childhood and the treasures that await. He's always up to an adventrue and gifted in helping you find shells and sealife. I always look forward to looking at his blog for current photo's and trips that he has taken.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank teacup_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brian H, Owner at Captain Brian On The Water, responded to this review, May 9, 2014
Thank you! Hope to see you again soon for an adventure. Capt Brian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Captain Brian is our goto captain”
Reviewed March 26, 2014 via mobile

Once again our group had a wonderful time on the water with Captain Brian. Whether on the water or hiking through mangroves to get to the beach, he was extremely knowledgable about birds, plants and fish. He's a master naturalist and strived to make our trip a personalized adventure. Will definitely go out with him again next year. Thanks for a great day, Captain Brian!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jean J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brian H, Owner at Captain Brian On The Water, responded to this review, March 29, 2014
Appreciate your review and look forward to another trip. I truly enjoy giving people a memorable experience on the water, so glad you enjoyed it. Capt Brian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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