Uncategorized

The Reason for the Rope

Several days ago I'd written and posted pictures mainly about Julia practicing casting with her new saltwater gear.  I finished that post with the following cliffhanger:

But then…right after I took this picture…our peaceful meandering was interrupted by a yell from my husband:

"Jayne!  Throw me the rope!"

To be continued…

And now, thanks to a gentle prod from my friend, Tonya, I give you the nerve-jangling adventure that unfolded….

"Jayne!  Throw me the rope!"

Kind of like in the first Indiana Jones movie "You throw me the idol, I throw you the whip!" 

Kind of.

Anyway, I splashed over from where I'd been with Julia, looking at tiny hermit crabs and shells and things, found the rope and threw it toward Bill, who was standing kind of bent over with the tip of his fishing pole in the water.

Rope isn't as easy to throw as, say, a baseball, so I had to splash halfway to Bill, pick up the rope and throw again.

This time it landed within reach, and Bill grabbed the rope and stood there like this:

IMG_1806

And then he did this:

IMG_1807

And then this:

IMG_1808

What the heck was going on under there???

Turns out the rope was no help after all anyway…

IMG_1809

So what the heck…?

It's…

It's…

IMG_1810

IT'S…..!!!!!!!

(dramatic music…maybe the Jaws theme…)

IMG_1811

IT'SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…..!!!!!!

IMG_1812

Callinectes sapidus!

A blue crab.

(I love the name Callinectes sapidus.  It's from the Greek calli, which means "beautiful" and nectes, which means "swimmer," and the Latin sapidus, which means "savory."  Very accurate all around.

IMG_1815

Bill had seen it down below the water, on the sand, and poked it with the tip of his fishing pole and annoyed it a bit, just to get it to move…and then when he realized it wasn't alone.

No, this hansome devil of a blue crab was…amorously engaged with another crab. 

Bill hadn't seen the second, smaller crab because it – well, she, we're assuming – was underneath Big Blue here.  (Maybe instead of the Jaws theme, we should have played Barry White…).

Anyway – no wonder the larger crab was trying to ignore Bill's pesky poking. 

He was busy.

Poor guy.

No wonder he was feeling, well, pretty darn crabby after that point.

Bill had interrupted the romantic tryst, and the lady crab when scuttling away, gathering her unfastened garments about her as she went.

I saw her briefly.  She wouldn't make eye contact. 

Anyway. 

Somehow, the fishing line from the pole had gotten caught around one of the crab's large claws, and Bill was actually trying to free Big Blue, but naturally Big Blue was suspicious of Bill's motives and latched on with his sharp claws to anything he could.

IMG_1817 

He was also digging the sharp tips of his smaller legs into Bill's hand and wrist. 

It hurt.

The kids got a good look at the crab, but Julia was more interested in the tiny hermit crab in her hand.

IMG_1820

So the next order of business was to get the crab untangled (there was fishing line looped around one claw and kind of stuck in one of the joints) and get it to let go of the styrofoam popper it was clutching.

And not get his finger crushed in the process.

IMG_1821

Hm.

This takes a bit of planning.

IMG_1823

There wasn't a whole lot I could do to help, but Bill had me hold the fishing pole so he could hold the crab in one hand and work on untangling the line with the other.

I held the pole in one hand and, of course, continued to take pictures.

IMG_1826

So here we go.

Bill was thinking maybe if he just put the crab back in the water it would let go of the popper and make this whole job a bit easier.

IMG_1827

And yes – it worked!

IMG_1828

Now the only problem was getting the fishing line off of the crab, who continued to reach and try to pinch or crush anything he could get at.

IMG_1829

"Calli" indeed – look at that gorgeous blue on his claws!

IMG_1830

IMG_1831

In addition to "beautiful swimmer" and "savory," maybe there should have been something in there about "vicious" and "painful" as well. 

IMG_1832

Blue crabs are known for being pretty aggressive, and their pinches will HURT you. 

IMG_1833  

That's why you need to hold them just so, at the back end. 

IMG_1834

Their front claws are also pretty long and have a fairly wide range that they can reach. 

IMG_1835

As a result, the safe area for holding them is relatively small. 

IMG_1836

At last, the crab is almost freed.

 IMG_1837

It hangs onto the line a moment longer until Bill finally yanks the last of it out of Mr. Crab's claw.

Time to let him loose.

IMG_1838

Bill warns us all to get out of the way before he lets go.

IMG_1839

Because this guy will come out swinging…

IMG_1840

And pinching…

IMG_1841

before he turns and heads as far away from us as he can.

IMG_1842

(Though not as fast as Julia, who screamed and went running in the opposite direction.)

Oh, and remember I mentioned that a pinch from this guy would HURT?

Here's some of his work:

IMG_1845

IMG_1847

Nice, huh?

After that bit of drama, it was back to practicing casting some more and then scouring the sand for treasures…

IMG_1864

Like this guy.

IMG_1875

And this one.

IMG_1893 

IMG_1895

IMG_1896

And that was our afternoon.

IMG_1863 

4 thoughts on “The Reason for the Rope

  1. I’m with Margie…coffee almost came out my nose! I really enjoy reading your blog! You’re such a great writer and your pictures are always beautiful…not to mention your amazing recipes. Keep up the good work!

    -e

  2. I guess I’ve never see a Blue Crab that’s so blue. I’ve seen them, just before we threw them in a pot to cook them, but I didn’t remember the color so blue. Maybe ours are not that blue because our water is warmer down here.

Leave a Reply