Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lovell's Island Adventure and Some Culinary Art with Striped Bass

After some intense, long days in the sun, I was excited for our fourth and final class of the week along with the rest of the class. We all met up on the Barking Crab dock at about 8:00 am and promptly departed on our boat for the day, Belle, on Courthouse Dock at about 8:30 am. Upon departing, we could see the harbor growing and the city buildings becoming smaller and smaller. Unfortunately, while we stopped to fish, I became sea sick. I think it was because I was currently sick with the cold and had taken medicine that made me drowsy. That, with the mixture of the boat movements couldn't have been a good mix. I watched as my other classmates caught black sea bass, a mackerel, and a striped sea bass. After a classmate caught the striped sea bass, I think everyone in the class remembered that part of our day as a highlight to our trip. Upon our arrival to Lovell's Island, we walked towards a beach there and saw that it was mostly made of rocks. However, some debris from an old military fort had made its way there onto the shoreline. When we arrived, which was about 11 am, it was in low tide, which meant that we could see the intertidal zone at it's best. We entered the tidal pool to observe the creatures here. It was an instant realization that the tidal pool was filled with periwinkles and hermit crabs. I had some of them on my hands! The periwinkles didn't come out of their shells unless my hand was underwater, in which they came out quickly and moved about my hand. The hermit crabs, however, weren't as shy and quickly went from side to side on the palm of my hand. I also saw a ton of invasive green Asian sea crabs in the water and under rocks. We even held them on our hands (at least the smaller ones!).

After walking to another tidal pool, we saw some shells on top of a large metal plate. These shells were bright and empty, and deeply mysterious. We didn't know where they came from until soon before our departure from the island. While we were leaving, I saw a similar shell along the path and pointed it out. Upon inspection, Professor Berman told us that the shell belonged to some land snails on the island. The mystery was solved, but there was still one question, why would land snails be by the shore where they would most likely get into trouble? Perhaps this was from storms and winds that would drag some land snails over to the water. Well, on the second tidal pool, we could start to see the rise in the water level pretty quickly. The cold water from the harbor was felt in sharp contrast to the water that had been sitting in the sun all morning. In this tidal pool, we saw some shrimp, small fish, and even some mussels! There were some shells that would attach themselves to rocks or other shells that contained an orange to yellow interior that was edible. I saw some students try it and they described it as a similar taste to oysters or mussels. However, I was not as adventurous as them to try it. After our observations, we headed back to Belle to go home.

On our trip back home, we dissected the striped bass. During our dissection, we found out that the fish was a female. Only ten people decided to take some of the fish home, in which I was in that group. I was excited to take it home and make my lunch from this freshly caught fish. Once I got home, I fileted the fish into manageable filets, breaded them, and fried them. My boyfriend and I happily ate the fresh fish with some rice that we had. That was by far the freshest fish I had ever had in my life, and was glad to have had the opportunity to have this great lunch!

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