Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lobster Hunting with s/v Saltrun

Our new friends at s/v Saltrun - Chris and Joyce were kind enough to invite us for our first ever lobster hunt.  After purchasing a Florida fishing license with a lobster stamp, we set off with a boat full of scuba equipment.  Chris ventured off about 30 minuets from the boat-ramp to one of his favorite spots and we dropped anchor.  

Captain Chris at the helm
We decided that the easiest thing to do was to dive in teams so Saltrun went first.   After suiting up, they dove the anchor to make sure it was set, and away they went into the current as Justin snorkeled above to learn how its done.  The trick to it (other than avoiding all the jellyfish that kept drifting by) was to keep up with everything needed to catch them - a tickler (encourages them out of their hiding hole), a net (to trap the buggas), and another net to contain the keepers.

Time to suit up
Fortunately for us, Saltrun came back with six beautiful keepers - now it was our turn.  And although it had been about 7 years since either Justin or I have strapped on a tank, it was literally like riding a bike (and diving in 12 feet of water, if anything should go wrong, you can just drop your weights and go to the surface.)  We descended to the bottom and off we went.  You look for any formations where the sand is - basically anywhere there isn't grass. And then you look for their tentacles sticking out - and they were everywhere.  Each place that you see that looks like a lobster should be, they were there.  Justin was the "encourager" as he tickled them out of their home and I was the "netter" - snatching them up as they try and back into their hiding hole.  But unfortunately for us, they were all too small - but catching them was a blast.  Its amazing how fast they are - I'd even have them back straight into my net - but if I wasn't fast enough, they'd swim right out of it.  

Gettin' my grove back

One of the lobsters we had to let go due to size

Sometimes, its good to be under-sized 
Other than the gorgeous weather and good company, the best part about the day was just being on the water.  It was just another beautiful Key West day - sunny and warm with a great ocean breeze.  But it was time to go back to the boat ramp and back to Catchin' Rays.  Chris was nice enough to let us keep their catch, but we didn't really know how to clean them or prepare them - so once again, they were generous enough to invite us over for dinner where they would show us how to prepare the lobster.  We posed for the picture with the 6 lobsters and told everybody on Facebook that it was "our" catch - Chris said he didn't mind. 
We'll still take credit for them
We then practiced pulling off the tails while trying to get as much meat as we could to stay with it, and Joyce showed us a great way to de-vein them.  The meal was great, and once again, so was the company and conversation.  Preparing and cooking lobster (well, Chris does the cooking) in their back yard that backs up to a gorgeous canal - it just doesn't get much better than that.  We can't thank them enough for being so generous with their time and for giving us a much needed day off.  Now its time to get back to boat work. 

1 comment:

  1. It was a great time taking you guys lobstering, and we agree, it is a lot of fun. Almost as much fun as eating them! We had fun, and it was a nice day to be on the water, although a bit windy for a small boat. We are thinking about going next week, if you are interested let us know. Thanks for the help with my blog too.
    See you soon
    Chris and Joyce