My Fane and I have seen many seas together, but it's always more fun with my children. Learning about safety at sea has been paramount in their lives. Rules of the road. Docking manoeuvers. Piloting a course. Port, starboard, fore and aft, bow to stern. How to tie knots. Identify dangers, and handle the seas safely. All of it has been covered, little by little, here and there on each of our trips out on our quaint 1946 Fane.
But where does a parent start? What if you have no sea experience? Growing up the way I did, it takes me a significant shift to consider these questions. What would I start?
Red Rock Crabs and Dungeness Crab are both native to the westcoast of BC. They are both found on our shores, most anywhere you could find yourself. Each is a treat.
In the photo above, we were lucky enough to be in a spot where we caught Red Rocks the same size as Dungeness! It was last summer and we couldn't believe our eyes. The claws on the Red Rock were the size of lobster claws we could buy in the city.
It was a rare find and one I would be surprised for us to catch again. So, given the two varieties and how rare a large Red Rock is, how to choose which crab to "invite" to dinner?
These beauties were introduced to me several years ago and I've been hooked ever since! Shaggy Mane Mushrooms are plentiful in the Autumn, about October but also in early Spring. They are fickle. They don't grow just anywhere but when you find one, you can find ten.
But how do I do it? What to look for? How good are they, really?
This place is incredible. My beloved Indian Arm. It's a salt-water fjord that extends about 20 km north from Burrard Inlet. It is an amazing place. It provides you the chance to feel a million miles away, in a deserted ocean paradise, yet only ten minutes from town.
Seriously... BC Spot Prawns, these little pink beauties are nothing short of incredible.
I'm a massive seafood lover, despite my eldest daughter being completely revolted by the passion I feel for my version of #VancouverTakeOut. I'm hoping one day, I can convince her with these lovelies.
Seems like every day there are more headlines about shrimp or prawns from other countries, being pumped up, feeding on feces, or our western silent collusion in destroying habitats due to our voracious hunger for these yummy creatures. Making BC Spot Prawns our staple prawn all year round is my goal for this year's cruising.
The ocean is my greatest teacher. I remember being out on the tugs with my Dad, when I was just a little girl. Watching the waves come up against us. I was so small, and a bit freaked out by the randomness of which waves would crash against us. Which ones would come next? Where was it coming from? How big would it be? Would we be ready?
I'll never forget my Dad telling explaining the waves to me that day.
To dispatch and clean a crab really isn't that hard. You just need to have a bit of a passion for the finished product to get you through the prep stages. Dreaming of the beautiful crab dipped in melted butter should get even the more squeamish of us through the deeds to be done.
I've been cooking crab for years and years. I used to boil them whole, letting the simmering pot do the dirty work for me. Problem is, I really felt like there had to be a better way, to get an even better product out of such an incredible creature. The frothy boiling water always smelled fishy. The water while it was boiling never looked particularly inviting, and it left me to wonder, could my crab be better if a bit more care was taken first?
The answer is yes!
It would seem that crab on the westcoast aren't terribly smart. You can literally catch them with almost anything. I even have an article clipped out of the paper featuring a photo of my dad and his boyhood friends, crabbing on the shores of White Rock beach, with nothing more than tangles of fishing line, a small piece of bacon inside the tangle and a stick. Yes, you can catch crab that way with surprisingly good results.
There is a crab trap for every budget and they all work. Here they are complete with the pros and cons.
Have you ever been to San Francisco? I have and I love it. So much like Vancouver, yet somehow cast in an array of pastel hues. Seems like in San Fran, you can get steamed dungeness anywere. Street food vendors selling steamed crab are everywhere. So, why not here? We have the same seas, same crab?
It can't be that hard to get some free #VancouverTakeOut, can it?
HI, I'M KATE
A Captain's daughter, who became a Captain's wife. I remain always, a mermaid out of water looking to get straight back to the sea, whenever possible.