Winter Crabbing

Don’t Count Your Crabs Before They’re Caught

Just before Christmas Nate called me to ask if I was interested in bringing Sister Susie, our boat, up to Anacortes, where he lives so I could teach him to sail and we could go crabbing. It sounded fun but when I started thinking about the logistics I wanted to forget it but he managed to talk me into it.
I had to take the boat out of mothballs which took a few hours. I got it all ready to go before Christmas so that I could hitch it to the car on Christmas afternoon. We were planning on going up to spend a couple days any way. Since Christmas was on Sunday I just parked the boat at the marina overnight and on Monday we launched it at the boat ramp in Washington Park on the west end of Fidalgo Island, a couple miles from Nate’s house..
The weather was unusually warm for late December but the wind was a bit strong in the afternoon. Winter boating can be fun but staying warm is a challenge and extra vigilance is necessary to stay clear of the bad weather. Most of the mornings were calm but every day the wind would pick up in the afternoon and several days gale warnings were posted.
Lara’s family were there too and David came out with us the first day.
We put our crab pots out in some fairly sheltered water where we could retrieve them more easily than the spot we had originally picked, the west side of Allen Island. Allen Island was quite close but I was afraid that putting the pots on the windward shore might make it dangerous to retrieve them in high winds. The place we put them was just south of Saddlebag Island. There were many pots there already so we thought it must be a good spot.
It turned out to be a bit of a challenge to retrieve the pots in the wind but we did manage to get them all in the boat. They were all empty except for the last one which had a giant sea star and one small rock crab. It was quite disappointing for me because I was looking forward to a crab feast but it was a fun adventure.
We raised the sails a couple of times and sailed for a while but eventually had to furl them so that we could stay on schedule. The days were very short and we weren’t out very early because the rest of the family stayed up late playing games, so Nate was not interested in getting ¬†up very early.
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