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On-island guide providing free boat trips for first-hand view

August 31, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

A Florida master naturalist and island boat captain wants show that the water quality crisis is not all doom-and-gloom - that there is still wildlife left - by offering free boat rides to the public.

Capt. Brian Holaway, with Captain Brian on the Water, will host free one-hour trips on Tuesdays throughout the month of September at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Open to all ages, the boat rides aim to highlight that there are still positives to experience when out on local waters, despite the ongoing situation.

"I'm trying to do positive because there's a lot of negative about the water," he said, pointing out the constant bombardment of dead sea life images and videos circulating online and on social media.

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Capt. Brian Holaway, with Captain Brian on the Water, if offering free one-hour trips on Tuesdays during September to highlight that there are still positives to experience on local waters.

"I want them to see for themselves what it looks like," Holaway added.

The rides will depart from McCarthy's Marina, with up to six people on each trip.

"Anybody can go," he said.

While Holaway does offer paid ecotours, the free rides are simply that.

"We're going to leave from Captiva and probably go up around North Captiva," he said, adding that there will be no stopping or getting off of the boat like there would be during a typical cruise.

"I just want to make it a trip where they can see what's out there," Holaway said. "I just want them to see what things look like, so they can come to their own conclusions."

He kicked off the offer on Aug. 28 with his first set of trips.

"It was three different groups," Holaway said.

He noted that they saw some birds, among other things.

"They loved it," Holaway said. "They were appreciative and happy."

"All I want to give them is a positive experience on the water," he added.

Because of the limited availability, advance reservations are required.

As of Aug. 28, Sept. 11 and 25 still had openings; Sept. 18 was filled.

Guiding for over 20 years within the Sanibel and Captiva area, Holaway began offering private eco-boat charters in 2016 to the islands of Pine Island Sound, including Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. Holaway has been a shelling guide at Cayo Costa since 1995.

He is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain, Dolphin SMART certified and CPR/first aid trained.

His services range from nature, shelling and history trips, to photo safaris and sunrise/sunset cruises.

Holaway is also a volunteer member of the Friends of Cayo Costa State Park.

To reserve a ride boat ride, contact or 239-989-6522.

For more information, visit or "Captain Brian On The Water - Sanibel/Captiva Tours" on Facebook.



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