It quickly becomes obsessive. I watched my mild-mannered family as they were drawn in, tossing the chicken-baited string out into the brackish stream again and again and again, eagerly waiting for the subtle pull of a nibbling crab.
The crabbing technique here is primitive: tie a chicken drumstick to a string and toss it in the water. These carrion eaters will promptly start nibbling. Typical crabbers are young families and threesomes of men enjoying a mid-afternoon beer. Seagulls attend, coolly attempting to conceal their gluttonous motives.
A stronger pull on the string is the sign of another glutton: one of the huge snapping turtles who live in this stream, under the Madaket Road bridge. (Yesterday morning we went to the Nantucket Natural Science Museum for the feeding of the “Carnivorous Critters,” and we learned that reptiles only need to eat about twice a week. I’m convinced that these estuarial snappers are obese.)
Yesterday, my cousin Christa caught one crab.
We won’t be having any Maryland-style crab feasts, where bushels of Old Bay-seasoned crabs are heaped on the table and everyone steadily picks and talks and drinks for hours.
The fog rolls in…