It’s about time crabbing season started here on the Oregon Coast! It usually starts on December 1st. They had to delay it this year because the crabs weren’t “ready”. They take samples of crabs to see if the meat is “filled out”. I can’t remember exactly how it works. But, apparently, they are waiting for the crab to put on weight. When the crab meat fills up the shell, they are ready to harvest. They might be able to tell just by weighing them? I was trying to quickly read up on it here. I did learn some interesting things about dungeness crabs but it’s a government paper and I’m not that patient. 🙂
Anyway, besides beging able to eat fresh crab, what we enjoy about the comercial crabbing season are the lights on the horizon at night. It’s hard to get a night time picture to portray it. The crabbers have bright lights so they can see what they are doing as they put out the traps and bring them in again. Some lights are white and some yellow. Some are way out, some in close. It’s like watching a mystery unfold. We’ll sit and watch from our campground (Tillicum). First we count how many we can see from end to end. That takes a couple counts because our counts never match. “Did you get that one?” “Yes, and those two..oh, where’d they go?” The boats that are way off shore disappear, momentarily, behind the swell of the ocean. Sometimes you can’t actually see their light. You just see the glow on the fog above it. So we wait to see if the light will become visible. The bigger/brighter lights are closer in. Too see some so close to shore always makes us wonder if they know something the others don’t.
The crabbers are allowed a 64-hour “pre-soak”; meaning they can set out their gear that far ahead of being able to retrieve the crab “pots” (which are actually cages). We counted 16 lights from Ona Beach on Monday night as we were driving back from Newport, Oregon. The season opened at 12:01am, December 15th. On Wednesday night we counted the same number from Tillicum Beach. Of course Tillicum further south from Ona so they weren’t the same boats. But that gives you an idea of how many boats are within sight on the horizon.
It was a little foggy yesterday. I wanted to stop driving everytime I saw a neat picture of it but I can’t get all my work done that way. Driving back from Waldport, I saw a layer of fog that was lit up by the sun, in stark contrast to the dark, green, mountain of Cape Perpetua behind it. Nights are only in the 40’s and it’s warming up to somewhere in the 50’s. It amazes me that the temps change so dramatically in the winter. Just last weekend our water hose, to the rig, froze overnight.
It’s hard to get a clear photo in the fog. But it makes odd shapes out of the setting sun anyway.
A little breezy too.