Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kevin's Birthday Beach Campout

This weekend we all drove out to the coast for a beach bonfire and

overnight for Kevin’s 27th birthday. I had sent out an email about where we could camp on the beach without getting in trouble. I got some great responses... and no, I’m not going to say where we went. Kevin and Alexa got an early start so Kevin could go surfing in the morning and they both could go crabbing in the Alsea river with Tim on his boat. Emily and I slept in so we got a late start out of Corvallis around 1pm. When we got to Newport we went down to the historic bayfront where we met up with Mischa, Colin and Danielle to check out the sea lions and get a bowl of soup and steamers at Local Ocean.
We headed over to the secret camp spot around

5pm to start setting

up the area and claim it as ours. We had heard from Kevin via a phone call that they had landed a few dungenous crabs but what they showed up with blew our minds. The 2nd time they went out they hit the jackpot landing over 300 crabs. They said every time they pulled up the trap it was packed full with crabs also hanging from the outside of it. The traps were so heavy at first he thought they were stuck on the bottom. Most were female and had to be thrown back but they landed so many males that they began to chuck back the smaller ones and only keep the 2-3 lb crabs. With 3 crab licenses they were only able to keep 8 each. So, for the 8 of us camping out overnight we each had three 2 lb crabs to ourselves. Considering that a crab that size fetches at least $20 we feasted

on nearly $500 of the freshest crab ever! It was under 4 hours from

when they were crawling on the seafloor to when I was cracking their cooked legs with my hands. We all had a blast learning how to decapitate the live crabs with Tim’s guidance. It’s really easy. All you have to do is grip all the legs and then put the side of the crab shell against something and rip it off. It seemed a little cruel as the shell also rips out their eyes and brains which we then hucked onto the sand nearby. I wonder if they could still see while flipping through the air that they no longer had their legs attached! After taking off their shells we cleaned out the guts in the stream and then piled them all into the pots for cooking!
It took us a

while to cook all the crabs. There were 23 total and we had a bonfire going and a pit of lit coals and a big Coleman grill. We also had a ridiculous amount of booze with us. 3 coolers of beer, two boxes of wine, and several bottles of booze including a Wild

Turkey American Honey that we got Kevin for his birthday. We

had two rounds of crabs piled high on the top of one of the coolers. I think we all spent a full hour just gorging ourselves without even drinking in between. I then championed a bit lit longer before joining the group around the bonfire I had built. I think I ate about 5 crab total just myself that night. I’ve never before eaten so much shellfish that I couldn’t eat anymore! The rest of the night we chilled out listening to some tunes on our portable iHome stereo and listening to Colin play his guitar and Mischa play the banjo. The drunk card definitely went to Alexa who almost had to be carried to the tent... Although the weather forecast was for


cloudiness we saw stars until 2am when we all decided to hit the sack. Danielle and Tim slept outside under the stars and stayed warm enough in their sleeping bags.
The next morning was a bit rough getting up. Everyone had some bacon and a few eggs for breakfast while I dove into another crab and a half :). Emily was feeling a bit down and out so we passed on biking Cummins creek at Cape Perpetua and instead drove back to Corvallis for a relaxing afternoon after an awesome night camping out. I think Kevin definitely had a great birthday!