Oysters & Puppies & Good times

Shakira & her pups
Originally uploaded by apes_abroad.

A couple days ago Colin and I went out with Don and his friend John on an oyster hunt. We crossed the estuary and walked over the rocks on the point to find a place we could enter the water without being chewed up by the waves. It was a low visibility day so we had to dive down to see the rocky floor and searched for crevices in the rocks where a little black slit of a mouth might be hiding. It took me nearly half an hour to finally bag my first one and I shot to the surface holding it high and singing the A-Team theme through my snorkel.

I found my second and third by turning over rocks, and in the process also uncovered eels, slugs, and a beautiful big cowrie whose shell was at first totally covered by its bumpy grey body. Then came the biggest, most tenacious oyster which all my tugging could not separate from the rock. The current was picking up as the tide came in, so every time I had to come up for breath I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find him again. My fingers got all cut up in the fierce battle, but after five tries I shot to the surface holding the oyster over my head in victory!

That night we had ‘pirates’ at the bar, which is an oyster with chili followed by a shot of rum. When I lifted my oyster to my lips (my tenacious opponent perhaps!) I saw a tiny pair of eyes looking back at me. The oyster had been home to a miniature transparent lobster, smaller than a thumbnail with perfect little lobster claws and wavy eye stalks. People eat these guys live as a delicacy that kind of tastes like sweet fish roe (Aaron ate one while he was here!) but I couldn’t do it. A friend took pity and brought it down to the ocean, where I doubt it will be able to find another oyster (I now know from experience, they’re hard to find!) but one can hope.

While the Mishkins were here we were all placing bets on when the local dog Shakira would give birth. Well, she looked ready to pop for the last two weeks I thought, but Ariel won the bet – she gave birth within 24 hours after they left. Gabe’s wife Natalia had to crawl down under the bar floor to retrieve the puppies. Four.. five… wait there’s two more.. eight.. oh there’s even more over here.. ten.. eleven! How Shakira, who was not a very big dog, fit eleven puppies in her I don’t know, but she is much happier now to have them on the outside (she could hardly walk before!).

The puppies still haven’t opened their eyes and only have two states: sleeping and hungry. For me they are right on the gross/cute line but quickly tipping over to cute. You can see what I mean in this short video I took of them piling on Shakira to feed.


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