All a bit crabby here

By | November 15, 2015

We are anchored in the Great Sandy Straits near Fraser Island sitting out another few days of unsettled weather.  Big thunderstorms here last night with lightning illuminating our boats well in to the early hours of the morning.  But we are snug and in the company of several other boats.

With bad weather boredom can set in and even a bit of snitching or crabbiness. New activities are welcome.

So with the wind easing the guys decided to check out the crab pots that they had put last yesterday. Two pots had captured two undersized crabs.  The third pot was missing.  After morning tea and a chat on ET we headed off in our two dinghies to find it.

What a windfall. Steve not only located the missing (brand new) crab pot, but after 24 hours, we had five crabs in one pot.  Four big ones too.  After checking the sex of each, along with the size, all was good.  Female crabs have to be returned to the water and there is a minimum size limit.

So what do we do now?  Neville has taken on the crabbing activity (I fish) so come on guys … get them out of the pots … and kill them (the humane way)??

Steve fortunately got them in to the bucket with a big shake, Neville still learning.  They are then put in the freezer to sleep. This part was quite entertaining.  As we tipped the bucket upside down in Bossa Nova’s cockpit all four of us ducked for cover. The big big crab was vicious. While in the bucket he decided he’d had enough of his little brother and chomped right through his nipper.  Our toes were at risk!

Tongs, plastic bags and Steve’s bravado won out.  Crabs safely in the freezer. A scary thing opening your freezer seeing things moving. They tell me they go to sleep quickly.  Then back in to the fridge ready for tomorrow night’s feast (crab pots were back out straight away for another catch … we hoped).

Our feast …

We ended up catching four good-sized mud crabs.  All four were in the freezer for their forced ‘sleep’, then in to the fridge to be kept alive.  We then learnt (via Google) they needed to be correct side up and have air to breathe in order to stay alive. After a quick check we decided it was time to cook them. We steamed them for 10-12 minutes, then after cooling, we ate them.  Fortunately we had Leanne on board teaching us how to dismantle and clean them and how to pull them apart the most efficient way.  Lovely to eat!

We were all pretty pleased with the guy’s hunting!