The past few days my dad and I met up for our annual weekend of crabbing.
Remember last year? It was a lot of fun. It was less so this year, largely because I was sick. But we walked away with a lot of good crab!
Granted, we only caught a few out of the ocean. The others we “caught” when the commercial crabbers were unloading their boats and took pity on us in the pouring rain and shared theirs that were large enough to be legal but too small for them to sell. So we caught them as they “ran away” on the docks when the crabbers “accidentally” dropped them. Or when they “jumped” into our bucket. *cough*
This weekend was also less fun because we got quite a scare.
Remember the sea lions from last year?
Yeah, cute. Now remember their giant teeth?
Yeah. The sea lions were even more in evidence this year. They kept popping up and staring at us, even when we were as far away from their dock as we could get. Every time they’d show up we’d grab Toby to be extra careful, just so they didn’t decide to snack on him.
After we’d been there a few hours, one kept popping up around us, going under water, hovering, and then popping up in a new place right next to us. It was super creepy. We had Toby staying pretty close.
And then, when I was trying to get him to drink water from a bottle, some new people came down the dock. One woman stopped and told us to keep him close. I noticed she was holding a small dog in her arms. She warned us again to keep Toby really close, and told us that a few days ago one of the seals had surged out of the water, grabbed the son of the dog in her arms, and eaten him right in front of them.
If those sea lions had wanted Toby, or if we’d let him wander farther away like we were last year (this year I had him tied to me on a short leash, so he was always close if on the ground) they would have had him before we could have blinked. They can come up out of the water so fast there is no time to react, and you can’t see them coming under the water.
And here we had thought we were just being extra cautious. Turns out the sea lions already had a taste for dog meat.
I picked up Toby, we pulled up the rest of our pots, and we left. That was the end of our crabbing.
And since then, Toby has gotten lots and lots of extra cuddles and loves. I am so grateful he’s alive. It would have crushed me if I’d lost him.
He’s definitely never going back there. I don’t know that I will, either.
Stupid sea lions.