After another tiring but fun day with All Access at Georges Island, I am proud to report that our third crab count day of the summer went great! Conor and I spent about an hour this afternoon looking for crabs on the beach, with help from many enthusiastic visitors of course.
Today we decided to try something a little different. In the past the sample area was always right on the edge of the water; today, we set up our 60 feet long and 10 feet wide crab zone at the top of the beach, closer to where the sand ended. This certainly seems to have paid off. We caught 6 good-sized crabs and found many more baby ones that we thought were too small to count. Two of the crabs were female: one was 1 centimeter wide and the other was 2 centimeters. The four other remaining crabs were all male, measuring 1/2 centimeter, 2 1/2 centimeters, and 2 centimeters wide-two of the male crabs were 2 centimeters wide.
As happy as I am that I found a bunch of crabs today, I'm just as happy that so many kids were involved in the process. As soon as I mentioned looking for crabs, a group of almost 10 kids jumped up and wanted to help me and Conor. One girl in particular sticks out in my mind-at the beginning of our crab hunt, she shrieked every time she saw one scuttling across the sand and flat-out refused to pick any up. Conor and I tried to explain to her that the crabs wouldn't hurt her if she just held them the right way (by pinching the back of their shell and their stomach with two fingers) but she didn't believe us. Still, we continued to encourage her to at least try to hold one, and just before we had to release the crabs, she picked one up!! Not only that, but she calmly walked to the water with Senor Smoothie (as she named it) and placed him back in the water.
So to sum up, today I was a good citizen scientist who collected a lot of data for the STH/STB crab count and I showed a little girl that sometimes things aren't as scary as they appear. Yay!