The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

A Day of Crabbing

26 May 2023

I have entered the realm of crab hunters. While shopping for groceries at Walmart I saw some hand-pot crab traps for sale at $2.50US so I bought one. At the fish mongers in Delltaville I bought small bag of frozen chicken necks for $4.00US. How about that? The bait cost more than the fishing gear.

Yesterday I began to use it at Chris and Bill's dock and caught one almost immediately. I managed to get it into a bait bucket where my plan was to keep it in a source of fresh sea water. The bucket had a clip on lid so I felt safe that it would be secure there. However, thirty minutes later when I hauled in a second and opened the bait bucket to add it to the first, and, though the lid was still securely clipped on, the crab wasn't there. Houdini Crab! I left the second crab in a larger bucket of water over night in the cockpit in case it managed to get out too (it didn't) and left the trap on deck over night. This morning I re-baited the trap and in ten minutes caught another that went into the bucket with the original occupant.

I'm going to need a bigger bucket! By eight o'clock we had three! The best part about these hand pots is that they are cheap, but they do require constant monitoring. If you don't and, say, take a nap, after a half an hour you are liable to raise the trap and find that the wee buggers have eaten the bait and scuttled off wiping their lips, or the crabby equivalent of. If we were going to be staying any longer I think that I would get one crab pot to use instead. They only cost about $50US and then I would only have to bring it up every 12 hours or so.

I also discovered that the top of the bait bucket wasn't as secure as I thought it was. The little plastic latch that holds an opening lid in place was broken and I guess the first captured crab was smarter that I am as he discovered that sharpish and simply opened it and swam away.

On the negative side of things, Barb and I have been very conscious of the fact that we have traveled through four separate airports all petri dishes for all sorts of diseases so we have been testing ourselves for COVID regularly. Well, this morning Barb and I both tested positive, she asymptomatic and I with my cold symptoms. That means our social calendar has been severely curtailed for the next week or so. So that means no party tonight. We seem to be having dreadful luck taking them up on their kind invitations to a variety of events down here.


Last night we had a wonderful social with Chris and Bill, a stir-fry supper and rhubarb crumble for desert. I just hope we didn't spoil things for them by passing on the virus. At least, when we informed them of the situation, they didn't storm the dock with torches and pitchforks.

The next couple of days will be a lot less fun than we hoped they would be. Crappy weather and shipboard isolation.

Oh well....could be worse. I am going to post this early today as Chris and Bill are going too return the hotpot to the library and will be coming to get it at noon. They will take out another but we won't be receiving it until tomorrow.