Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lobstering in Miami

For the 2nd year now, I've gone down to Miami to spend some quality time with family as well as go lobster-hunting for the mini-season.

Mi tia, tio y abuela viven en Miami.
My Dad was also down there visiting for a month.

For those who haven't been following along, I'm half Cuban and that side of the family is definitely more energetic and lively, to say the least.
(my aunt is more like the Energizer bunny when it comes to dancing....just ask anyone)

So aside from obviously sharing stories and events with family I don't see that often, we have two days when private citizens can go catch lobster before the commercial companies go out and clean them all out.

A quick lesson in lobstering:
Most people don't use traps like they do with crabs.
Instead, you actually have to swim down to the ocean floor and poke them out of their hiding spots under rocks and coral heads. To do this, you use a metal rod called a "tickle stick." (Oh yes...........I know your mind is in the gutter right now.......)

Then, once you've gotten them to slooooowly walk out into the open, you ease a net over them from behind to snare them. Now here's the funny thing about lobsters...... they walk forward really, really slow. But when they feel threatened, they use their powerful tail to whip them backwards REALLY fast.
So once they're in the net, they start whipping around like crazy, trying to get away. That's when you have to grab them through the net with your gloves.

Why gloves????

Here's why:
The lobster in Miami aren't like the lobster in Maine.
These guys don't have front claws. Actually, they are called Spiny lobsters because they have really sharp spikes all over their body!

So anyway, once you can manage them out of the net, you give them a quick measure to make sure they're of legal size and then stuff them in your catch bag. (Basically a sack that has a one-way flap on it so they can't get out)

Also, for anyone wondering, we were in about 30 feet of water.
.....and no, we didn't use scuba equipment. Instead, we had an air compressor that sits in an inner tube on the top of the water with 80 ft of hose that leads to a mouthpiece that we breath out of.

So aside from catching some "bugs", you also get to see some beautiful reefs and tropical fish. I saw sea cucumbers, sea spiders and under one coral head was a 5-ft nurse shark! (she seemed a little annoyed at us pokin around her home so we decided to leave her alone.)

Ok enough words...........the rest of the story is in pictures and vids....

Sunrise over the bay as we're motoring out to our spots.

Another shot of the sunrise...........gorgeous

Speeding along

Alex and Dad gettin the gear ready

We're here! Let's go!

Rockin the dive suit.

Mi tio y Yo showing off our livewell full to the top!

Overflowin with bugs!! 48 total for the three of us.

Back at the marina, we cruised past this 9-foot alligator that just snagged a dolphin carcass from the docks.

Idiot at the marina who fucked up his truck. Even funnier?? He's going to get fined by the EPA for polluting the water! HAH! DOUCHEBAG!!

Little lizard chillin on the surface of the water in the pool.

Here, check him out in action always tastes better when you know you caught it

Well.........I have some more picts and vids of dinner time in a Cuban kitchen, and if you don't know about that, then you're missing out on drinking, dancing, drum-playing, guira-scraping good times. I'll spare all the gyrating and salsaing and leave it up to your imagination........

Can't wait to go back!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

48 lobster for 3 people exceeds the 6 person limit.