Our third day started out with a gorgeous sunrise, which we watched from the roof top deck.
After grabbing some specialty coffees and scones from the coffee bar at Baileys, we headed out to McCarthy’s Marina on Captiva where we were to meet Capt. Brian at 8 am for our private cruise. You can check out Capt. Brian’s blog and cruise info here: http://captainbrianonthewater.blogspot.com/
Let me just start by saying that we had a fantastic time. Capt. Brian had a large cooler stocked with ice on board, where we stowed our drinks and lunch bags. The skies were a clear blue, the sun was warm and the breeze was light.
As we got under way, Capt. Brian pointed out Ding Darling’s cottage and we got to witness a rare sighting of frigate birds (we thought he said FRIGGIN' birds, which gave us all a good laugh)
We also saw a dolphin cruise by, all before we cleared the northern tip of Captiva. Capt. Brian is well versed in the history of the islands and kept us entertained with stories all the way to the northern end of Cayo Costa As we nosed the boat toward shore, we noticed turtle tracks on the beach leading to and from a nest made less than 10 hours earlier.
Not only did I want to visit Cayo Costa because of the shelling, but I wanted to find a geocache that is rarely found because of its remote location. We hiked down the beach picking up shells and sand dollars along the way.
First we found the cache....
We slowly meandered back up the beach and when we reached the boat, Capt. Brian surprised us with a fresh watermelon that he had sliced up especially for our cruise. I have to tell you – that personal touch really showed me what a great guy he is and how much he cares about his clients.
We enjoyed our snack on the beach and then continued hunting for treasures. We found a couple of great things – Almost immediately I found a guadia nautical. We also found a lot of beautiful sand dollars and Chablis found a huge arrowhead sand dollar. I had never seen one of those before. Chablis also found a very large star fish.
He was still alive so we took some photos and placed him back into the water. But the find of the day was the seahorse that Wendy found. It was lying dead in a tangle of seaweed. And it was in pristine condition! It’s almost 4” long. It’s a real beauty and Wendy was thrilled beyond words.
Here is just a portion of what we found....
All too soon our 4 hour cruise was drawing to a close. We climbed back into the boat and pulled our lunch out of the cooler to eat on the ride back. We had a simple lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but we had made one for Capt. Brian and he seemed to really appreciate the thought. We had barely eaten half of our sandwiches when a pod of dolphins swam up. All thoughts of lunch were forgotten as we scrambled for our cameras so we could take some close up shots. What a thrill!
On the ride back to port, Capt. Brian let Laurie take the helm (a brave move on his part) and he climbed up front to point out some things of interest and to entertain the girls. He had them in stitches.
After the cruise Capt. Brian showed us some of the shells from his personal collection. All in all, it was a lot of fun and I highly recommend a cruise with him. It was a real highlight of our trip.
We then stopped at the Captiva Chapel by the Sea to walk around. The history of this cemetery is really interesting and you can read about it here: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flswphs/cem/captiva/index.html
After that we stopped at Blind Pass to check out the shelling on the Captiva side. I have to say I was rather disappointed this time. The shell piles were not as large as last year and the shell selection was poor. I did get to take some nice photos of the pelicans as they flew around and dove for their lunches.
We called it quits early and headed back to the condo, where we cleaned up and then headed out for a yummy dinner at the Hungry Heron. Afterwards we did a little souvenir shopping...
stopped at Jerry’s Market to look at the birds outside...
and then stopped on Periwinkle to grab another geocache. It's someplace on this tree, but I won't tell where!
We then headed out to the causeway to watch the sun set.
What can I say except that it was the end of another perfect day!!