The waters are a spooky place for my beloved dungeness crabs this morning. There appears to be a new creature in the hood, and he's nobody's friend. The European Green Crabs, identifiable by five spines to the outside of each eye, are one of the 10 most unwanted species in the world according the DFO website and they are showing up in the waters off Sooke. Just across the pond from my beautiful Indian Arm Heaven.
The European Green Crab doesn't always appear green though. They can range from dark mottled green, to orange to red as well.
,My paternal Grandmother's name was Jenny Knutson. A first generation Norwegian woman who we all knew best as "Grandma-In-The-Bird" due to the folk art wooden parrot that she had hanging in her tiny little studio apartment, since the dawn of time. You know how those childish terms of endearment just have a way of sticking with you somehow.
She had a very challenging life, and in many ways, a very sad one. A family that kept her outside because she fell in love with an Irishman straight off the boat (my Grandfather Henry Jackson), who in the end, dealt her the ultimate betrayal. He left her with the seven children he helped create.
I never met the man. I doubt I missed much.
She worked her whole life, doing all she could, without family support to carry the needs of her children.
Eating healthfully is of prime importance in my life. I cook, from scratch, for my family, each and every day. Have done so for the last 24 years straight. Sure, we indulge ourselves in the odd dinner out or special holiday from the "drudgery of life" but for the most part, I'm the epitome of caring about what my family and I eat.
Caring about what we eat is one of my primary reasons for fishing and crabbing like I do. I love the feeling of pulling dinner directly from the environment, and bringing it home for my family, as fresh as possible. So, with such lovely intentions, could I also be poisoning my family and myself at the same time?
Possibly. So, how to avoid it yet still reap the rewards of a fresh catch?
As a person who is out on the water, a couple hundred days a year or more, so far I am seeing the odd floating item of trash out in Indian Arm which is where I primarily goof around. Of course, I will alter course in a moment to go and grab anything I see bobbing around, but what about the things I can't see?
I've been growing more and more curious about microplastics in our oceans around the planet. So concerned, I have become that now I'm looking to test the waters I frolic in to see just how far the epidemic has travelled. Luckily, there are others who have got there first. Here is a collection of some of the articles I've found that pertain to microplastics in our very own home town of Vancouver, BC.
Truly, there isn't anything in my life that isn't cured by salt water. Tears, sweat or the sea... salt water has it all run on a common theme. No matter what the challenge, one of those three forms of salt water will cure it. It's a guarantee.
Today, it was the sea.
Whenever I have a challenge in life... you know, one of those challenges like a change of direction down a long hallway. You can't see around the bend. It's impossible to see what's coming next. If there's anything I've learned about myself over the years, it's that I hate not being able to see around corners. When I do feel that way, when I have a challenge in life and I feel I just can't see around the corner of it all, I turn to the sea.
I've been thinking a lot about my life out there when I'm on the water. No matter what I'm doing, or where I am in life, in my mind, I'm on the sea. It's the driving force behind most all of my motivation. It's what I'm always yearning to return to, from the moment I leave it.
Pictured Above: Tara & Ian Immell
The Curve of Time
By M. Wylie Blanchet
My father gave me this book when I was just a little girl. I found it then, just as I do now, to be such an incredible true story of a woman out on the sea. It certainly ended up being a major inspiration for me and a book I have read dozens of times throughout my life so far.
It's a memoir written by a woman who lost her husband, and subsequently took their five children out on their 25 foot cruiser, The Caprice during a time when most women didn't do such things. During the 1920's and the 1930's, Wylie explored the waters of British Columbia ever summer for fifteen years with her five growing children in tow. The book is written as if it's one summer of their journeys, and was published by the authoress when she was in her 70's in 1961. At times, she was almost chasing on the heels of many of the same areas that Emily Carr had visited just a decade before her adventures. Often they would follow the trail of Captain George Vancouver travelling all around the west coast of Vancouver Island and as far up the Inside Passage as Cape Caution.
On March 29th, 2018, the DFO published a fishery notice regarding a 2018 regulation for the sports fishing of prawns as of April 1st, 2018.
The bottom line of the notice is that if you catch egg-bearing female prawns, you must release them. About half-way through the course of their 4-year lifecycle, prawns change from male to female. It’s pretty easy to see the eggs (roe), they are small round reddish balls attached to the underside of the prawn. While some may think this roe a delicacy, or a best used as garnish or presentation, it’s much better we support future stocks.
This is the story of a brave Catalina 27' who drifted into our lives. We immediately fell in love. Announcing the Williwaw. She has officially joined our family and we couldn't be happier.
I had heard of this boat through dear new friends, and that she needed a new home. The owners were choosing another adventure, and this time, it was taking them inland, not out to sea. I spoke to my husband and the kids about it the possibility of a new boat. I'm sure the last thing my family was thinking was that I needed another "stray" to attend to.
#Vancouvertakeout is amazing. It's abundant. It's free. It's delicious! Dungeness and Red Rock crab are honestly my very favourite food there is. So easy to prepare, though not for the faint of heart since some "dispatching" does need to be done. More about that, in another post. : (
In this post, however, I will save you time, trouble and many evenings of sore fingers with the ultimate technique to easily get the most meat out of your next plate of crab.
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.