Friday, August 04, 2006

Hello my Little Scallop

Well our vacation was great fun!

We drove all of Wednesday, had a lovely (but short) visit with my folks on Thursday, rented a pontoon boat for scalloping on Friday, toured Homasassa Springs Wildlife Park and canoed the saltwater marshes on Saturday and then drove back on Sunday.

If you've never been scalloping here's the basic breakdown.
1. Go to an area of the Gulf that has scallops - during scalloping season (July-August)
2. Get a salt water fishing license (Available at your local Homasassa Wal-Mart at the gun counter.)
3. Rent a large boat - we got a nice size pontoon boat for 5 adults, 1 child and a dog.
4. Bring lots of sunscreen, flippers, a snorkel, food, GPS, tasty beverages, bathing suits, towels, bait (preferably live), and some fishing poles.
5. Make sure you know how to swim and dive really well - because you will be doing it from 9am-5pm!
6. Pilot the boat out of the salt marshes (this part of FL doesn't have sandy beaches) and out till where the mile markers stop. (About 2+ miles out) Remember to stay right of the red miles markers and left of the green. This takes about an hour and a half or so.
7. Put on all your gear and dive on in - the water's just fine. You'll be in anywhere from 6-12 feet of water.
8. Start looking for the typical "sea shell" shape just above or in the seaweed.
9. When you dive and pick them up be careful!! They tend to "bite" by snapping shut - not to keen on being someone's dinner is my take on the situation.
10. Collect them in mesh bags and keep them in the water till your ready for land then put them on ice.
11. Pilot back after some recreational fishing.
12. Clean the little boogers and pan fry or saute them for dinner. (After cleaning a portion of the 125 we caught - and helping with the 156 caught the next day I think I can say I am now an expert in shucking and cleaning scallops!) And a word of advice on cleaning them would be - wait a little while after you slice them in half - its really creepy/freaky to feel them twitch long after they have left their shells.

Now on to the good stuff! Pictures!!

Paul coming up for air and some fresh water

Sophie (the "Other Sabrina's" pup) soaking up the rays

The rough and tough scallopers showing off their muscles

"Where the ocean meets the sky I'll be sailing" The water was so nice and calm in between the tides you couldn't tell where the ocean ended and the sky began.

All of us - well except Maya because she was sleeping - after our long day at sea scalloping. Left to right: Noone, Dustin, Sabrina B. Paul and I.

Here's the two-headed turtle that lives at Homasassa Springs Wildlife Park. Did I mention there's a nuclear power plant nearby?

More photos to come when I get home this evening....


At 8:17 PM, Blogger Laura said...

wow B, what FUN!!!! i miss you, my little adventuring roomie!!

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous the other sabrina said...

brinabat- great photos!!!can't wait til the next goupr trip - snowboarding anyone?

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Kelli said...

This has nothing to do with scaolloping (which seems like a ton of fun by the way!!) but I've been seeing a lot of commercials for that new movie "Descent" about caving and I'm not so sure I want to come up there and try it anymore :) It looks freaky!!

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Anne said...

As always, you provide handy tidbits of information in every blog, i.e. that fishing licenses are available at the Homosassa Wal-Mart's gun counter (I wonder if that's the case in every Wal-Mart? Hmm.), and that there is a nuclear power plant nearby....which, if we've learned anything from the turtle picture, should teach area tourists not to stay in the water for too long there! LOL...looks like you had a blast, though!


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