I've been collecting seashells for as long as I can remember. From east to west, coast to coast, and shore to shore, I always find a treasure to keep, and adore.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Different Kind of Shelling...Del Goes SCALLOPIN'!

It was SOOOOOOO much fun!

It was like being in another world down there. The water is so crystal clear. There are the prettiest little fish, some that have the most beautiful electric blue stripes when the sun glints off of them. I was in total amazement, and could have lived in that underwater dream world forever. I swam around feeling like a mermaid, perfectly at home in this beautiful underwater world.

Our friends Jamey and Teri showed us where to go. They have much experience diving for scallops in the Gulf, and diving for spiny lobster in The Keys. (I want to do that, too!)

Hubby has known Jamey for a while, and I just met Jamey and Teri a few weeks ago when I dropped by the office to have lunch with my hubby, and our daughter Laci.
It was pretty much non stop talking, as we have some things in common with them. They love to go shelling, too, and have found really big shells and sharks teeth on the Atlantic side of Florida, down southwards.

One thing led to another, and our adventure was planned. It's only an hour drive over to Crystal River where we launch the boat.

We had to go around the oyster beds, which are quite visible during low tide.

The water is shallow for miles I swear, and we scalloped in 3 to 6 feet of water, even as far away from land as we were.

Everyone was out enjoying the Gulf, and scalloping!

There are HUGE pieces, chunks, and balls of coral, which you can plainly see just by peering over the side of the pontoon. SO MANY!

Jamey found a starfish for me to take a picture of...

and I saw an enormous sting ray swim by, but he was too fast for me to even get my camera ready.

Here are a few pics topside:

And the magical underwater paradise below:

see the scallop on the left?

The current was a bit too swift for me by this time, so I opted for some time topside playing with hubby's Fish TV. I lowered the little fish cam down into the water, and just sat up on the boat watching the fish swim by. It was like having my own little salt water aquarium!

It has been an amazing summer, with some awesome shelling excursions, and we got to top it off with scallopin'. I would love to get my grandkids down there snorkeling! They would love it!

I found a dozen scallops! Hubby found that many or more, and Jamey and Teri found the rest! We caught our limit, and my scallops are in the freezer :D

It was such a beautiful day on the Gulf!

We found a few shells, too!

And did a little fishing....

My mask and snorkel will be with me whenever I go shelling from now on! Well, at least when the water is warm.

We have been wanting to go scallopin' for years, and it's on my bucket list, so....
I get to check something off my bucket list!


Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

oh you know I was loving reading this with my morning coffee! This is so very cool! The pics are gorgeous and I felt like I was right there with you! How fun!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

This was an awesome post! It was so interesting. Loved the underwater photos. Do you just pick up the scallops with your hand? Do you need a fishing license to take them? How do you clean them? I'd love to do that some time. I'm adding that to MY bucket list. It sounds like you had a great time. Oh yeah, another question, once you clean the scallop shells are they pretty colors like we find on the beach?

Eyelah said...

That looks like so much fun! I'm not a fan of deep water so I would have been happy in the 3feet of water. Those shells are so interesting live. Did you eat any?

Della said...

I know everyone will want to know these answers.

Yes, you just pick them up with your hand!

Yes, you need a saltwater fishing license!

To clean them..take a butter knife and 'cut' the scallop cleanly away from the dark side of the shell, open up the rest of the way, break that side off and toss it, Now scrape the gross stuff away from that pretty scallop meat, and then cut the scallop away from the light color side of the shell.

Not AS pretty as our beach scallops, but some interesting color. A little pink and green on white, and we did find 2 bright orange shells in the bunch. Jamey said they were orange because they got burned by the orange coral. If you touch orange or red coral, it will hurt, and feel like a burn.

I planned to make scallops with angel hair pasta, but was too exhausted to cook. We were even too tired to eat dinner Sunday night. One night this week we will be eating some of those scallops!!!

Migrainista said...

What an amazing adventure :)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Look at those shells! What is that one with the little points all around? I've never seen that one! And what fabulous underwater photos! You had a wonderful day! WOW!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I just read your comments...thanks for explaining about the scallops! How interesting! The image on my new pillow is red coral....coincidentally! Hugs!

Sheryl Hastings said...

Wow! What a fun day! And you can't get any fresher than that. I love scallops but I've only cooked with them once. Those shells are beautiful, and the starfish was awesome! Thanks for taking us on this great trip with you.

Ames said...

I haven't been out on the water like that since I was 14. Oh I've on a cruise ship but it isn't the same as being in a 24 foot boat.And snorkling. Oh what fun!~Ames

Roxanne Reinhart said...

Dang Della that looks like an amazing day!! So very cool. I love the shells you found. Yummy I love scallops. So very cool that you can just pick them up off the bottom and shuck and cook. I get they taste amazing once you cook them. Seriously envious of your fun time! I love to snorkel and I love to fish although it's been years sincebive done either one. So happy you ad a fab time with your new friends.

Cheryl Kraynak said...

Thanks for taking us on that adventure! Wow, looks like such fun.

julie cavender said...

That looked like fun! So cool to see what the shells look like in their natural state. I love scallops(to eat) and to use the shells as textures on my pottery. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

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