Crab pot wrangling

Our latest mini adventure had a purpose – we were going to catch some sand crabs. The crab pots were checked, the bait was in the freezer, the sails were up and we were off to an anchorage that is a well known sand crab hangout. ‘Look out crabs, we’re coming’ was on repeat in my head during the sail.

Crab pots 101

Crab pots 101

Due to our late afternoon arrival, the sand crabs got a reprieve the first night. ‘Run, scurry, crawl away’ I kept thinking, trying to telepathically warn the sand crabs of their impending doom. But their time was up after breakfast the next day. Much to Orbit’s delight, the Skipper turned preparing the pots into a ‘father and son moment’. The Skipper explained the technicalities of where and how to put the bait in, the virtues of one type of bait over an other, where he was going to put the pots in, the legal bag and size limits, … I called it Crab Pots 101. I was surprised by how interested and focused Orbit was, not realising that a 21 month old had such an attention span, but I guess that is one of the superpowers that dad’s have.

Once the tinnie was in the water and crab pots on board, the Skipper was off, leaving me with a very disappointed little boy who really wanted to go with his dad. It would have unsafe to have Orbit and I and the crab pots in the tinnie at the same time. Orbit will have to wait until he is big enough to sit in the tinnie without me holding him before going on any adventures to put the crab pots in. I explained this to Orbit while he was devouring a banana, his favourite fruit and preferred tantrum distraction, but I wasn’t sure how much, if any, registered as the banana disappeared pretty quickly while he scanned the waterline for his dad.

That evening, the Skipper timed checking the pots with Orbit’s dinner. With Orbit already distracted, the Skipper quietly slipped away in the tinnie. Orbit did however hear the outboard on the Skipper’s return and there was nothing stopping him from getting into the the cockpit to watch his dad come back to Medina.

Sorting the crabs

Sorting the crabs

Orbit’s concentration span got another work out when the Skipper was back on deck. As the Skipper sorted the legal from the non-legal sand crabs (females or undersized) he explained to Orbit how we need to respect all living animals, particularly the ones we catch to eat. He went on to explain that we should only take as much as we need to feed ourselves, don’t be greedy, kill the animals as humanly possible, don’t cause them any unnecessary pain and eat as much of the animal as you can – don’t waste anything. All this while keeping little fingers out the way of snapping nippers!

The next time the Skipper went to check the crab pots, Orbit was on deck and to my surprise, gave him a big wave goodbye, rather than throwing a tantrum to express his disappointment, so maybe (just maybe) I have some superpowers too …

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