Lenie got me a crab hoist for my boat for Christmas, so naturally I had to go crabbing the day after Christmas. My three sons and Erik (my son-in-law who is home for Christmas leave) went with me. We were all very eager to go since the Dungeness crab season opened only a couple of weeks ago and big catches with big sizes are being reported. I had even gone out and bought four “better and heavier” crab pots because my new hoist would be doing the work of pulling them in.
But none of us bothered to check the ocean forecast. It was sunny with mid-50s temperatures, and I could see from my living room window that the ocean a mile and a half away had no white-caps. But after we launched the boat in Brookings and headed toward the mouth of the harbor, it was a different story. The sailboat in front of us did a 360 and headed back in. We put the boat in idle and looked at the swells breaking at the entrance, took in the flashing lights on the Coast Guard station warning about a dangerous bar, and watched the small-craft-warning flag flutter next to the flashing lights. Then we did a conference to see if we wanted to risk our lives for monster crabs. Jake did, his two younger brothers were undecided, but Erik and I decided to nix the trip.
On the way back to the dock a pelican hopped onto the main motor for a ride. I think he was expecting a handout, but we had nothing to give him. He didn’t leave until we docked and Sam tried to pet him.
After we got back to the dock and unlaunched the boat, I bought six crabs at the launch-side market that sold only crabs caught in local waters. They measured seven inches across, which is huge! You seldom find these crabs in the market.
I’ll check the bar and ocean conditions before venturing out tomorrow.