That’s a very high tech device you are looking at. To the uninformed it may look like just another 5 gallon pail with a curly hose hanging over the side of it but it is much more than that. Much MUCH more.
If you look closely you will see that there is water flowing over the edge of the bucket. That’s because the hose is running a continuous small stream of seawater into the bucket. That’s right – you are looking at a poor man’s live well. You can’t see the 4 crabs that are currently living there but they are there nonetheless. Their execution date is scheduled for later this afternoon.
I’ve had a pretty good run of crabbing lately. I’m not about to publicly confess to any fish and game felonies but there’s a good store of crabcakes in my freezer right now. Today I pulled the traps and stowed them away as part of my “get ready for SWMBO to arrive” program. Only 2 more sleeps now until she arrives in Sidney, assuming all goes to plan. Regular readers may remember that all doesn’t always go to plan and in fact the last time Marilyn tried to fly out to visit me her plans were frustrated by a blizzard.
My other big boat project just barely shows in the lower left corner of the picture above.
We carry 600 feet of 3/8 poly line for shore tying. Shore tying for you land lubbers is what you do when the anchorage is too crowded for everyone to just swing around their anchors. We often do it just because we like to stay oriented in one direction in an anchorage. Some of the anchorages out here actually have iron rings embedded in the rock for us to tie up to but more commonly we run a line around a tree or conveniently located rock.
Up until now our shore tie line had been rattling around on the upper deck. I’ve got 2 reels of 300 feet each and I had been engaged in a desultory search for a custom stainless reel but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay what the manufacturers think such a reel is worth – try something north of $400. I also wasn’t 100% convinced I wanted a single reel with 600 feet of line. I’m not sure why I bought so much line but I’ve found that having it on 2 reels is sometimes really handy. If we’re in a tight anchorage (which is often the situation when you need to shore tie) then it is beneficial to cross tie the stern. I’ll run a line from the port bollard diagonally out to the shore on the starboard side and vice versa. That leaves us very tightly fixed in one position where a single line would still let us drift back and forth sideways.
The framework that lurks under the neat canvas cover in the picture above has room for both the individual 300 foot reels. So I could conceivably pull off 300 feet of line and tie it onto the 2nd reel for a total length of 600 feet. But more typically I can do my cross tie trick easily off two individual reels. The best part is that it didn’t cost much because I had considerable left over structural aluminum from the solar panel installation. I think the only piece of aluminum I bought specifically for the project was the shaft that the reels turn on.