Muscling Mussels

There’s no denying it now. Numerous days on the wharf, knocking back bottles of beer and endless casting of lines only to catch a small pathetic dangle of seaweed… there’s only so many excuses we can come up with. Those smarty pants conservationist were right….There just simply isn’t any fish or squid in the sea.

Or we’re just brilliant anglers who have yet to reach full potential. Fishing might have to take a backseat for awhile as I recover from my last casting episode. We decided to bring out the huge rod (michelle size x 3) and when I was casting it, I stood at the edge of the wharf and obviously lost my balance and fell down. My first thought, SAVE THE ROD! Which I did, heroically shoving it back onto the wharf. My second, ow. OW. OWWWWWWWWWWWW. Instead of falling into the water, which would have a much higher comedic value, I instead fell in between a wooden beam and the wharf. Imagine, a kitten dangling from a pole on it’s front half, trying desperately to cling on, and mewing in protest because her mini-sized rib cage has been whacked against a large wooden beam. And beam is all Will did while I eventually hauled myself up and rolled around the wharf groaning and laughing and then groaning again because it hurts when I laugh.

The fish and squid may have escaped our unskilled grasp, but shellfish, beware. The first month of our island life was marked by the King’s tide, or Spring tide, which means it was the lowest that it would ever be during the year. A perfect occasion for mussel picking. Despite most mussel beds being raped and pillaged, we managed to find a good haul of massive green-lipped mussels.

It is hard to distinguish the more intelligent life form in this photo.

The rocks here are also grottoed with oysters. Armed with a hammer, a quick tap on its hinge will unshell a delicacy. Or a huge smack will result in your face dripping in oyster juice…

Afternoon snack

But we dined in style that night. Delicious mussels in sweet leek and garlic broth. There was however an unexpected guest in our dinner. Will had a good chomp on a pea-crab. A tiny gravid orange crab that seemed to live snug inside the folds of mussels. Somewhat disturbingly cute. Bearing in mind what mussels and their byssal threads do resemble… it gives a whole new meaning to crabs.

Bivalvic STDs?


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