Crabbing With Dad
I spent last week at my parent’s river house, and it was just the vacation I needed!
While I was there, I got to go crabbing with my dad, who started out by crabbing off of his dock. What I learned from that is there are crabs right there at the dock. Well, I wasn’t planning on swimming in that water anyway! At some point, he started placing his pots out in the river, but last week was the first opportunity I had to see them.
We went out twice a day to work the crab pots, and something interesting happened every time. I saw a school of fish jumping out of the water, this way and that, trying to evade the hungry jaws of some bigger fish. I saw large male crabs cradling little females (doublers), protecting them at molting time and securing mating rights. I saw plenty of jellyfish, birds dive-bombing for their dinner, and a crab swimming on the surface of waters that were forty feet deep.
My dad is just a natural teacher, so he pretty much talks you through whatever he’s doing. Crabbing technique, boating lessons, history, crab anatomy, bay ecology…there’s plenty to teach about, out there on the water. I learned some things, too. I learned that driving a boat is way different from driving a car. For one thing, when you turn a car off, it usually stops moving. I learned that eels are really slimy. And they can get out of that bucket if they really want to. I learned that dead jellyfish can still sting you, that lighthouses out in the middle of the bay don’t have indoor plumbing, and if your eyes tell you those waves look rough, then they are. Only more so.
Some things I already knew; I just needed reminding. Like what a joy it is to spend quality time with your family. Family and friendship are blessings that not every one of us has. It doesn’t do to take them for granted.
I made a little video of my dad working his crab pots. Vegetarians, beware: the crabs in this video all got cooked!
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