Monday, July 23, 2018

Crab Week

This week was crab week at All Access Boston Harbor and I couldn't have been happier. It is only our third week of programming and the amount of crabs we caught this week was incredible. There wasn't a day that went by where we did not have a single crab in our touch tank. The best part of it all was that most of our crabs were caught while fishing! Do you understand how happy it makes someone to catch something while patiently waiting for a bite? It's as happy as winning a special prize. My prize was seeing the kids' faces light up with surprise and joy.

It all started on George's Island. It was a cool summer day, fog greeted the edges of the island in every direction you looked. There was nothing within eyesight anywhere except the precipitation looming in the air. Fishing was off to a quiet start; the kids sat there patiently waiting for a bite. "AHHHHH", a loud scream interrupts the silence as everyone hops onto their feet to see what all the commotion was about.  And there it was, at the end of the hook grasping on for dear life was a crab. But not just any crab, it was a green crab. Fans of AABH themselves, they often pay us a visit on our sites. The young boy who caught it was still screaming and the crab was still hanging. My co-worker, Patrice picked up the crab and placed it in the tank to hang with us for a bit.

A crowd swarmed over to the tank, including me, to observe the little green guy. There he was, with his pinchers raised ready for battle. I picked him up so everyone would be able to get a closer look and feel for him. Indeed it was a male after all, a few kids speculated and I confirmed it was true after seeing his light, triangle shaped belly. Hands reached from all angles to get a feel of his hard exoskeleton. I began telling the children fun facts about green crabs. Not too long after our first catch, we heard another shout of excitement and as I turned my head to the left I spotted another crab holding onto the line! The cycle began and for the rest of the week we were flooded with crabs on each line.

Over at CHV, dark clouds gathered in the distance. The air was warm but all was still, we could tell there was a storm coming on. Jules and Eric walked up the dock with two giant crabs in their hands. I was amazed, I never knew how potentially large these crabs could get. They took up all the space in the touch tank, just these two creatures. I peeked inside and there they were, two ginormous crabs: a spider crab and a red rock crab. I could not believe how big their pinchers were, it 
was almost intimidating. But I could not help myself, I was desperate to hold it. And that I did! I picked up the spider crab and its limbs just dangling there. "Lol", I thought to myself I recognized this trick. The crab thought he could fool me by playing dead. A real vet, like myself, knew it was a trick so I placed him back into our tank.

Our first day at Spectacle was similar to George's. Everyone was fishing, there was not a sign of any bites yet so we waited and waited until someone shouted, "I caught a crab!". Imani helped the group of girls rail the rod in and on the end of the line was yet another small green crab. The girl walked over with the crab and added it to the tank. It was the first crab we caught and as the groups swapped in and out, we received more. I made sure everyone was able to pet the crab at least once and/or hold it. Before we knew it time flew by and it was the end of our fishing session so we prepared for our favorite game, crab races! I carried the tank over to the yellow line and slowly poured the water out until the crabs were the only things left. I lined them up and out they went, moving quickly with all their legs eager to return to the ocean. I cannot wait to see what other creatures we'll be catching this summer.

                                                   Ready for more, Kharliyah Ortiz, Summer 18

Crab Lessons

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