Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tis The Season...for Dungeness Crab

August (in my humble opinion) is the best month in this northwest Puget Sound/San Juan Islands area.  And not just for the weather.  It's also the season for recreational Dungeness crabbing.  

We are fortunate to have a long-time RVer friend who is also a sailor, actually a tug boat captain from his working years, with an old wooden trawler he keeps up here where he spends the summer, taking friends around the islands and Dungeness crabbing during the season, which ends on Labor Day.

We leave from the Deception Pass marina, just me and the guys, and Rusty's boys, Anchor and Hawser, two spirited yellow labs!  And a boatload of crab pots, coolers, turkey necks (yuck) for bait, drinks, snacks, coats, and camera.  

We motored out into Cornet Bay and dropped anchor.  Rusty and his friend, Vern, know where the sweet spot is, and the work starts by baiting the pots and hoisting them overboard, tethered to the boat of course, in about 50' of water.  Vern checks his watch for the allotted 45 minutes, and we sit back and chat, enjoying the beautiful scenery. 

The day warmed up, and the process was repeated several times.  Each batch had to be measured if there was any doubt the crab was at least 6.5" wide, and I didn't ask! 

Most were returned to the sea but we ended up with 13 beautiful keepers, divided amongst 3 of us.  You're allowed 5 per license per day. 

I stare at the patterns and designs on the bodies of these creatures and pretty soon I'm seeing iconic faces and Anasazi hieroglyphics...seriously! 

On our late afternoon return, Rusty lets us take the boat out through Deception Pass, the strait between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island.  

The connecting bridge is a much-photographed landmark in the Puget Sound area and this was a great opportunity for yours truly.  

We returned home to the RV, put a large pot of salted water on to boil, made a fresh green salad, sliced the French bread, poured a glass of chardonnay, and 10 minutes later, dinner is served! 

More of our day.....


Donna K said...

That looks like a wonderful way to spend a day. I love crab but have never caught my own and cooked it. Bet it tastes good real fresh like that.

stillhowlyn said...

It was a wonderful day, Donna, and quite delicious!

Gaelyn said...

Nice catch. I thought Deception Pass was a treacherous place.

stillhowlyn said...

It can be, Gaelyn. Last year we tried to get through against an incoming tide running about 7 knots and got nowhere! This trip we luckily hit slack tide.