Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Own Deadliest Catch

The goal of this weekend was to bring home a mega-load of crab for my family, so I enlisted Calvin for help. The first thing we needed to do was go get some fresh crab bait, which is either trout or whitefish up the Shaktoolik river. It was nice and "hot" today, about 35 degrees, so Calvin had to check the river to make sure we didn't fall in. I kept imaginiing Calvin breaking through and getting swept away, but he was okay.

And then, err, we broke through about a mile more upstream. We managed to pull the sled out and make it past the thin part, but riding in a sled right next to the open water of a questionably deep river still makes me nervous.

After a quick hour of ice-fishing, the bait was caught and we headed off to Cape Denbigh. Crabbing was so much more pleasurable this time around! When Silas took me crabbing it was dark, 0 degrees and we caught 1 crab all night. That and the sled ride was so bumpy that my jacket has sled marks in the back of it. This time the ride was smooth, and it was sunny and windless at the cape. I even got a little nose sunburn! The open water was right there at the edge of the ice:

But wait, doesn't that ice break off and float away? Haha, yes it does, that's why you have to be careful. People have stories of the time they lost their crab lines because the ice broke off and floated away, or whole crab pots even. There wasn't a "North Wind" blowing though, so the chances of a chunk breaking away were relatively low. After all of our hard work handlining (see previous crabbing post), we raked in 13 crabs! I had to hold two on the sled ride home because the cooler was overflowing. Calvin is standing proud with our catch:

I thought it was pretty interesting how the locals load/unload their boats from the water too. I took another video for you, which is almost like a 360 degree picture. I should have done more of these throughout the year...

We got back home after a long day at 1 am. It was just about dark. After taking my share of the crabs and buying a few off of Calvin, I had 7 crabs to process. I got to sleep at 4:45 am this morning, just as the light started to come back. I can see why king crab costs 20 dollars a pound. Fun times!

No comments: