capt log #8 2010

Coconut Crab Survey

If you have ever seen a little hermit crab out of its shell then you know what a Coconut Crab looks like. Just imagine the hermit crab on steroids. Like a monkey compares to King Kong. They don’t worry about a shell to live in for the same reason Great Whites don’t have hide y holes. They were once found on most all the Islands of the South Pacific. They supposedly can climb a coconut palm, use their monster claw to clip off a coconut then peel it, and eat the oil rich inside. That is one monster claw, try peeling a coconut. Give yourself a hammer, couple screwdrivers, a machete, and a hour or two; it’s still a hell of a job.Now, they are not plentiful and travel guides and cruising guides suggest not to partake of the unique rich flavorful meat, so as to preserve the species.

You can understand the moral struggle that I found myself in when, as we were leaving Port Mary, eight of these delicious creatures were delivered to Special Blend’s back deck. Each crab was in a mesh bag so as to be rendered harmless and I was assured would keep that way for several days. I shared two of these forbidden fruits with Asylum and two with Lizzie, let then make their own moral calls.

It was the next day after a rough crossing that I checked by livestock, two had died and two made the pot, so much for stomach vs environment and declining species thing on Special Blend.

Asylum had one escape that climbed the rigging, after much spraying with stuff and prying with tools Jim was able get him to turn loose. Katy said three meals from two crabs. So much for the Liberal Democrats of Washington DC and their save the world thing.

The Kiwi’s on Lizzie also had one death, but also one escape. The escapee climbed up the side of Lizzie and took a defensive position atop a hanging banana stalk. It took Rod a while to get him down and back into a bucket. Rod and Betty decided the crab was too small and should be released back to nature. They would have been the clear environmental do gooder award winners of this little survey if they hadn’t given the crab to a couple of skinny natives who promised to release it for them.