Next to last post on this URL. Switching to Team Red Cruising. Our second year will start September 16, 2013.
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In addition to fussing around with software, we're also doing minimal boat jobs. CA's making Floating Leaf Tiny Quilts, working and learning how to crab as well as fish. Crabbing. Animals that live in the mud under the marina.
Meanwhile, I've done almost nothing.
Said farewell to Escape this week. Sirius, too.
Sirius has big, ambitious dreams. We wish them fair winds and following seas as they move the boat to Florida. They seemed excited as well as overwhelmed. A 40′ boat is a big thing to wrap your head around.
Baloo has a new engine. Serenade is working on a wind generator. Motu is putting in new fixed portlights. Tilt is in the yard, as is Sapphire, getting ready for the winter migration.
It was Marja's birthday on Tuesday, so we had a big old party out by Motu.
It's exciting looking at all the work being done around us. I'm thinking of new ways to manage the dinghy outboard. Heavy conceptualizing. While laying flat on my back. With my eyes closed.
There was a wedding on Saturday and the local watermen all drove their deadrises to the marina to whoop it up. They had a good DJ, so we enjoyed their music from the screen porch.
Sunday night was beer tasting with Sapphire, Tilt, Discovery and Serenade. And yes, we did taste a lot of beer.
We begged Miss Ingy to teach us the rudiments of Chesapeake Bay crabbing.
They loaned us two crab pots to see how it works. Chicken legs were on sale at the market, so they bought us a half-dozen legs as starters.
Theoretically, we should be baiting our traps with the heads from the Croakers that we catch.
On her first day crabbing, CA picked out four that were close to 5″ jimmies. They live under the docks. In the marina mud.
We looked at the Virginia DGIF web site for the essential crabbing rules. The distinction between Jimmy, Sally and Sook was (of course) impossible to understand in text. Here's the picture guide to Blue Crabs.
The easier-to-learn rule is to pick it out of the trap and imagine it spread out on the picnic table. Look familiar? Keep it. Look weird? Throw it back. Based on the "have you eaten this before" rule, it's much easier to chuck the Sallys and Sooks.
The good news is that recreational crabbing (limit of 2 pots working, one bushel of 5″ jimmies) is largely exempt from licensing. Fishing seems to works out well for us; we fall under the "Non-Resident SW Recreational Fishing Boat License ... boat registered in VA" category. However. Two individual non-resident licenses are actually cheaper than the boat-wide non-resident license.
CA steamed the crabs with Old Bay. Five is about all the pressure cooker can handle.
Indeed, getting the last one into the pressure cooker is a challenge. They're wily devils; they can jump and skitter pretty fast. But the galley is small and you can box him in the corner, grab him with the steel tongs and throw him back in the pot with another tablespoon of Old Bay on his back. Details on the new blog: CA Goes Crabbing.
It totally worked. A few crabs with dinner is way, way cool. Even if they did come from the mud under the marina.
$'s per calorie, however, isn't really great on the first batch because we invested four chicken legs to get the crabs. As we get more crabs, the investment will be amortized and we may (eventually) reach a break-even point before we need to work out the bait issue.
Some Oyster Toadfish (or Mud Toads) were in and out of the traps. They're one butt-ugly mess of fish. Susan of of Liquid Therapy said that a "sticky" bottom is what they like; if you find a sticky bottom and catch one, you should move on. That's not a place that Croakers generally like.
I setup a second saltwater rod for us. I bought a cheap 6' stiff as hell stand-up rod. Plus a reasonably cheap Penn 209 reel, and some 30# test line. Plus hooks, sinkers, and synthetic bait.
I did research how one strips hundreds of yards of old line off a fishing reel.
Almost made me feel like I knew what I was doing. Now we've got our Croaker rigs, and our crab pots. We're sort of set to forage.
Next she's going to want to learn to oyster.
Engine Hours: 0. Diesel Gallons: 0. Miles Run: 0.
Read Aloud: Mistborn Trilogy.