Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meeting a lobster!

My parents live close to the coast, and as a result we have taken a number of visits to the coast whilst we have been staying with them. This one was a little different.

All togged up in several layers, we took a trip to Orford in Suffolk to catch a small boat called "Regardless" to go and see what is caught in lobster pots. Detailed as an 'excursion for the family', the boat was full of kids and accompanying adults - 23 of us in total. It was run by Orford Marine services.

The trip is all about seeing what comes out of lobster pots, and getting up close and personal with the catch of the day! On request we all chanted "lobster, lobster" as the pots were lifted...assured by our skipper that this would ensure the catch included a lobster!

We got lucky on the first pot and actually had a lobster on board the boat in the first ten minutes. The deck hand was very good at explaining about the lobster and quickly banded its claws so that it could not hurt anyone! That done, the lobster made a trip around the boat numerous times, and hit the deck several times as well. All the kids got to hold it. Henry was pretty unsure of it, but eventually we held it together, and he looked pretty proud that he managed that.

In addition to the lobster there were crabs of all shapes and sizes. We were shown how to carefully pick them up without getting nipped, then it was all hands on crab. There were hermit crabs, regular crabs and a velvet swimming crab, which actually felt like velvet to touch. How to tell the male and female crabs apart was detailed, as was the fact that they shed their shell every year.

The whole trip was extremely educational and informative, and fun. At an hour long it was perfect for the kids, and the boat was small enough so that everyone got to hold and touch whatever catch was available.

At the end, everything is returned to the sea, and a crab throwing competition ensued, even Henry threw a very small crab over board, returning it to where it belonged.

Looking a little wind blown - Debbie, William, Henry and I.....daddy was there, just behind the camera for once.

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