Crab Pickin’

Picking crab by the woodstove. For the first time in 25 years, it’s the woodstove in the house, and not at the cabin, which we sold. Doesn’t make me too sad. I’m glad to know the young couple will have lots of fun there like I did. And, instead of me baiting, setting, retrieving, cooking and picking crab myself, I had Bob and Jeff with me to share the fun. Bob took some of the crab. Jeff didn’t want any.

We had a king pot and 3 dungy pots set in the channel. There’s a 4 day king crab opening. One king pot per vessel. And one king crab per household. The king crab pot now lives on the tug, so all we had to do was bring it down from the roof, check the bio twine, bait it, sort out the corkline, and toss it in.  We set the pot mid-channel near the end of the channel. We took the dungy pots to set for dungies near shore so we’d have more than one pot to check.

Although we can see town from the king pot, it takes an hour to get there in the tug, which goes about 6 knots. All of us are retired now, so we sort of enjoy taking up the day with the boat ride, instead of trying to get this done as quickly as possible to get around to other tasks or get back to our jobs.

My colleague at the job I retired from can see us idling down the channel from her window, the same window I used to look out from my desk. Yesterday, she texted asking what we were doing, then asked for a report today, which I gave her. I don’t miss my job, but do miss my coworkers and fishing industry people I worked with. Retirement can be isolating if you let it, and I have let it.

The harbor is finally ice free after holding the tug in the ice for 2 months. I’m gonna move the boat out to Auke Bay if cold weather is forecast again so I don’t get iced in again.

Really appreciated having Bob and Jeff with me today. Two good friends who, like me, are retired here and didn’t move away for warmer, drier climes. We all like it here. All of us still involved in the town in our own way.  Jeff and Terri are busy keeping the Salvation Army store running, where they sort donations and get them priced and out to the store. Terri helps at the food bank, too. Bob is always busy on some project or another. Right now, he’s trying to get a performing arts center funded. I’m hoping Chris can join us tomorrow. He’s found his niche after retiring as a board member of the local trail maintenance organization, and also caring for his daughter with a physical/mental condition.

So, thinking about all this as I picked the tanner crab shells clean tonight, and adjusted the damper on the woodstove as needed for the right amount of heat. Sara and I first had crab with our salad for dinner. Then I picked the rest.  I vac packed the meat – which Sara says is “so convenient!” when she pulls it from the freezer for some dish – then put the shells in a pot with water to simmer to make stock.

Glad to have this winter activity, especially with the lack of snow and skiing right now.

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