Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sometimes crabby, but not when crabbing!

I was going to title this entry "We're not crabby, just crabbing!" but Lois said I should be a bit more honest. We have been on the road now for 60 days, and there still are times when we do get crabby with each other. Yurts are bigger than tents, but the noise that our four children produce (especially "Boombox" Joseph) does cause Mom and Dad to get frustrated. We have noticed that as parents we struggle with listening to our kids when they ask us questions (as in "Dad, are you actually listening to what I am saying?") and that we are all still too quick to speak harshly to each other. I could list our kid's sins, but Lorianne says I can't, and Caleb says there are too many to list! Suffice to say, their sins are no different than most kids, and in fact they crop up a lot less than they did at the beginning of the trip, for which we are very thankful. God is guiding us in our parenting, and our children are grasping the truth that a big part of their mission in this world is to honor and glorify God by submitting to and obeying their parents. Thanks for your prayers - the Dueck 6 team is still going strong.

Okay, enough of the deep family self revelation. The catchy title actually has to do with an amazing time we had as a family on Thursday doing something that I never thought we would do - crabbing! Crabbing and clamming are two coastal activities that we had hoped to do here in Oregon. We discovered that clamming involves lots of muck and pails and shovels, and is very dependent on minus low tides (a minus tide is a low tide cycle that is actually 0 - 2 feet lower than normal). So we scrapped that idea, and focused on crabbing. God gratefully provided us some new friends from Harbor Baptist Church in Winchester Bay who not only had us over for an incredibly delicious supper, they also lent us a crab basket. As you can see from the pictures, the basket lies flat when on the dock or on the bottom of the sea. To actually catch something in the basket you of course need bait. Many of the locals use turkey drumsticks or chicken legs, but we just bought a frozen fish carcass from the local store and headed out to the Charleston boat docks to try our luck.

Fortunately for us there were a few locals on the dock to help us Prairie folk figure out how the whole system works. They said it was simple and it really was. Once you attach the bait to the bottom of the basket, and you have tied the one end of the rope to the dock, you just throw the basket in the water and let it sink to the bottom. Then wait about 10 minutes and pull it up. So that's what we did. And you know what, it actually worked! I really had my doubts that we would ever actually go crabbing, and then I really didn't think we would catch anything, but as you can see, God was gracious to us and the crabbing was good!

Now I have to clarify what I mean when I say the crabbing was "good." It was good for us because every 5 or 10 minutes the kids could pull up the basket and there was anywhere from three to 12 crabs in our basket. It was good because we were having a ton of fun, the weather was great, and we saw some harbour seals and a sea lion playing amongst the boats, and we observed a whole bunch of little jelly fish just floating along. But if we had been actually hoping to keep and eat anything, then the crabbing wasn't "good" at all because we didn't catch any crabs (of the good eating variety) that we could keep.

To keep a crab in Oregon it has to be 5 1/2 inches wide across the back. Every novice crabber has to have a measuring tool (the orange thing in the picture) which you place across the back of the crab to see if it measures up. The biggest one we caught was about 4 1/2 inches. We didn't feel to bad at not catching one, because there were a few others on the dock with crab rings and boxes and they weren't catching much of eating size either. These other crabbers were very kind to our kids, letting them watch them haul up their catch, teaching them how to put the crabs "to sleep," showing them the different types of crabs, and letting them help throw the little crabs back.

Overall, it was just a great time "going crabbing." We got to be outside, do something we had never done, and learn a lot. There are lots of big boats in the area that will be going crabbing out on the ocean when the season starts on December 1. The harbor is full of the boats, and all their crab rings are piled up on the dock waiting to be used. But for now, crabbing season is only open in the bay areas, which worked great for us. And while we didn't eat any crab on the coast, we did have some amazing fish and chips and clam chowder.

Sadly, our wonderful time on the Oregon Coast is almost done. We are currently staying at the last of the wonderful State parks that they have here in Oregon, and we will no longer be seeing this sign which led us to some of the most amazing parts of God's creation that we have ever encountered. Tomorrow, we will be leaving our "yurting lifestyle" behind as we head to California and the Redwood Forests. We are very thankful that God has provided us with a family to stay with next weekend, and we are also very excited that our ministry stay in Los Angeles has been confirmed beginning November 27.

So stay tuned for the further adventures of the Dueck 6!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys!

Sounds like life is pretty interesting for you. Tell the kids I miss babysitting them. I guess those times are over. Drive carefully and keep having fun and adventures!