Thursday, April 21, 2011

The bounty of the sea

People have been telling us that when you really catch prawns you can get 200 in 3 hours.  We didn’t believe them and I still think that’s a reach but after today it doesn’t seem quite so impossible.


That’s the second trap we pulled today and there was at least 50 in it.  Marilyn stopped counting at 20 and she wasn’t half done.  The next trap was empty and the last one had about half as many as this one.  So we have a lot of prawns in the fridge now waiting for Doug and Jo to arrive tomorrow.  We were so disciplined tonight – its hard to believe.  We ate most of the leftovers in the fridge and saved all the prawns for when our guests arrive tomorrow.  We’ve got so many that we’ll be able to gorge ourselves for two feedings and by then maybe we’ll have found some more.  And if there’s anybody local reading this – there’s no way in hell I’m going to even give you a hint of where we had that trap dropped but you better believe I know exactly where it was and we’ll be going back there. 

Anybody who’s ever fished knows how fishing boats cluster up in the same location.  I’ve always been of the belief that most of those boat clusters happen something like this:  Early in the morning a couple of guys are on their way to their favorite fishing spot when the engine calves on their boat.  The guy in the back buggers around with the engine and the guy in front thinks “what the hell, might as well fish”.  Along comes another boat, sees a guy fishing and his partner getting the motor started so they stop and start fishing.  Another boat comes and another and pretty soon there’s 8 or 10 boats clustered in one spot.  After a while the first guy gets his motor running and they bugger off because they knew damn well there weren’t any fish in that spot to begin with but all the rest of the crew keeps on fishing and as some of them go in for lunch newcomers arrive to take their place.

I think it’s the same with crabbing and prawn traps.  Some places you go through there’s a blizzard of white floats on the water.  It can be a genuine pain in the ass getting close enough to a trap buried in the midst of one of those clusters to pull it.  Lets just say that the one in the picture above was very easy to access and pull because it was in a pretty lonesome location.  And the one that was empty?  It was a genuine bitch to get at.

I pulled the heads off all the prawns when we got to the dock at SNSYC and George ate so many prawn heads that he actually quit eating them.  Right now he looks like he swallowed a beach ball and he hasn’t squawked once about bedtime lunch.

SNSYC is our yacht club – Sidney North Saanich – and that’s where we are tied tonight.  When we rounded the breakwater there was a cruising sailboat tied up at the end of the reciprocal dock.  It was obvious it was a serious cruising boat – gear lashed down on deck, 4 jerry cans of diesel in the cockpit, dinghy on a leash – and I commented to Marilyn about how serious it looked.  Then we realized it was Estrellita which is the boat that was docked at Princess Louisa when we arrived there.  I had a quick visit with the kids tonight before their company arrived for supper.  They got their haulout done in Esquimault and now are on their way to the Queen Charlotte Islands. 

Tomorrow we’ll meet Doug and Jo’s plane, come back to the boat, run up a bit of a bar tab in the club and gorge ourselves on camarones al mojo de ajo before turning in for the night.  Depending on the weather Saturday morning we’ll either go to Vancouver, Victoria or back to our prawn spot. 

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