Another Day on the Water
Trip Start Dec 01, 2010
51Trip End Mar 01, 2011
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It has been about a week since Gail and I have been out on our boat. Gail reviewed the weather and informed me that today was the day. Like a flash I am loading the truck with everything we need to do our days work of crabbing. As everyone knows, Gail is obsessed with crabs. She would catch and eat them every day if she could.
Normally it takes us forever to get moving because one of us has to straighten up the house before we go anywhere. Why? Why do you need to do this? Is it like the old “you better wear new underwear” thing our Mothers warned us about? I don’t know. Anyway, amazingly Gail was suited up, snacks packed and waiting on me. What was going on?
As we pulled up to the boat ramp I started running through my usual check list of duties in my mind. Plug in? Battery on? Keys, ropes, and straps ready? I back the boat down the ramp and start to launch the “My Gailsy”. Gail has her jobs down pat and is standing at the ready, ropes in hand to guide our vessel slowly into the water. Off the trailer and in the water she goes without incident. As I jumped into the boat to get her started and warmed up, Gail drives the truck away to park. She has gotten very good at pulling up the ramp and maneuvering the truck & trailer into a parking spot.
Off we go down the ICW towards the inlet. As we head down the waterway we are greeted by a small group of Dolphins, jumping out of the water and leading the way. I’m always a bit scared that I might run over one of our little friends but I guess they know what they are doing. Then I see Gail, now up on the bow of the boat calling out hello to Flipper. Leave it to my Gail to try and make friends with a Dolphin! On we go to our little crab “Honey Hole”
Arriving at the honey hole, Gail throws the anchor and I set it deep in the bottom so we don’t drift into the shallows. Getting the drop lines baited and into the water, it was now game on. No more then 2 minutes after the bait hits the water, Gail starts the slow retrieval of the line. She can not, as much as she tries, leave that bait on the bottom for the crabs to get at least a smell it. Amazingly she starts yelling at me to “get the net”! I reach for the net in its usual place and it’s not there. No, could it be? Could I have forgotten the net? I start to scramble, looking for the net or at least something net like. Nothing. The impossible has happened. How do you go fishing without a net? Embarrassed and a little scared I tell Gail we have no net. Without missing a beat, Gail being the crabbing Queen she is, lifts the crab out of the water and into the boat, all the while chastising me on leaving the net at home. Her quotes were like “how do you leave the net home”, “do I have to do everything” and “am I glad YOU did that”.
We continued crabbing net less the rest of the day. Tongs would become our net. As Gail would catch them, I would try and grab them with the big tongs. Needless to say I lost more then I caught. After 3 hours or so we started to head back to the ramp. All in all we did not do to bad. Gail came home with about a dozen crabs for a nice snack, and I came home eating humble pie.
With the boat loaded on its bed and crabs in the cooler, off we head down the road. After dropping the boat off at its home in storage, I now start the cooking of the catch. I light the fire and get the kettle on to boil. Seasoned with Old Bay, the steam starts to push out of the lid. Sorry little guys, in you go. I will have to admit, the smell of that Old Bay and steam with the added crabs does smell very good. Crabs cooked and plattered I head in to serve the best First Mate any Captain could have. As I drop off the bounty of today’s catch, Gail informs me that we will be heading back out in the morning for some redemption. All those crabs that I missed may be laughing today but tomorrow they will be mine. The net is already in the truck!