My wife and two toddler daughters were visiting my terrestrial research sites in SE Alaska on Prince of Wales Island. Where the island was not clear cut, the island was dominated by tall dark green coniferous forests. The ocean, however, was our playground and source of fresh seafood. Locating our large fluorescent orange buoys, we would yard up on the yellow poly-rope and remove the colourful Dungeness crabs from our large iron-ringed meshed crab pots. The legal-sized male crabs were placed in a large blue tub in the aluminum car topper boat, the rest tossed back.
Meeting my family at the wooden planked dock, I removed the tub of crabs and placed them on the dock. My toddlers were dressed the part in their yellow rain slickers and rain caps with rubber boots. They stared mesmerized at the teeming mass that was climbing and crawling all over each other. I convinced my reluctant four year old daughter to lift a crab by the hind claw and hold it for an infamous family picture. Meanwhile, my fearless three year old daughter practically dived into the blue tub and proudly pulled out a crab. She looked at me with big eyes “Pitcha, Daddy?”