Crabbing on Vashon Island

We bought crab pots (traps), we got our crab licenses, and crabbing season has started! Since we could go crabbing we thought we should go crabbing! I read this article about kayaking on Vashon Island and it looked like a lot of fun! There is an old wrecked houseboat there that I thought the kids would really like to go and see. Chris also found a place he wanted to go crabbing on Vashon Island. Lucky enough, it was all the same place! We decided that we would start kayaking, drop our pots, then paddle over to the old houseboat, then paddle back and pick up our traps, so that is what we did!

We parked our car at Burton Acres Park. They had a lot of parking spots, kayak rentals, picnic areas on grass, and a decent beach. It was easy and low stress to unload our kayaks and put them in the water here. Once we were in the water, with our car behind us we headed right. We paddled out a ways and we dropped in our crab pots. Then we turned and paddled the other directions to head towards to the old houseboat (now going left with our car to our back.)

Paddling here was so pretty! There were a bunch of water front properties that were stunning. The sun was just right in the clouds, where we had a nice sunny day, but not too bright and the clouds filtered the sun perfectly! We followed the shore up a ways, and then we had to cross a marina (still following the shore). As soon as we crossed the marina there was a little inlet that we turned down. In this inlet was the old house boat.

At high tide you can float down this inlet quite a ways, at low tide you can’t even make it to the houseboat. We were in the middle, the tide was going out, but we could float around the houseboat perfectly, but we couldn’t go further. (There is a bridge right here as well and we couldn’t go under that bridge. On our drive home we went over this bridge and the tide was out enough that you couldn’t even paddle to the houseboat anymore.) The kids thought it was cool and we thought it was cool too! After we had seen what we wanted to see, we started our paddle back to our crab pots.

When we made it to our crab pots, we literally had no idea what to expect! Chris and I both thought we wouldn’t catch anything and we told the kids to prepare themselves for no crabs. They both were just happy to drop in the pots and paddle around. As Chris pulled up our crab traps we were happily surprised to find crabs! We pulled in several, but only two were big enough to take home! We were so excited!

Since we weren’t quite sure how to fit the crab traps, with crabs in them, in our kayaks we had Ryan come in the Kayak with Lillian and me, and Chris had the crab traps in his kayak with him. As we were paddling back a boat going pretty fast drove past us. For some reason I didn’t notice it, but its wake came and it pushed the kids and me onto the shore. Our kayak got full of water and we almost tipped, but we were ok. (It was actually a lot of fun!) We were basically back to the car so I let the kids get out and play on the shore while Chris and I landed, unloaded the kayaks, and put the kayaks back on our car.

As we were loading up and changing we watched a bald eagle fishing for awhile. We were even lucky enough to see it catch a fish. (We had a front row seat for this and it was only about 20 feet away from us.) It was an awesome ending, to an awesome day!

For transporting the crabs back home with us we put them in an ice chest. Got a rag wet with the salt water and covered the crabs with that. Then we put ice on top of that. (You don’t fill the ice chest with water because the crabs will breathe all the oxygen out of that, then when the oxygen is all gone, they suffocate and die. (And the fresher the crabs the better.) The wet rag keeps the air moist and the crabs can breathe that way. When we got home Chris cleaned the crabs and cooked them. (To Clean the crabs you kill the crabs first by hitting them hard on the head, then you cut their bellies in half, scoop out all the innards, and you are left with basically two halves of the crabs-think the left legs and the right legs. You boil those in salted water for about 15-20 minutes.) The kids each tasted them, Ryan didn’t like them, but Lillian did! Chris and I each got a whole crab and we were stuffed afterwards! They were delicious! It was definitely a fun day!


We put in at the white dot, then we went down to the x, put in our crab pots then went up and around the shoreline to the x at the top of the picture. Then we followed the yellow line back down to our crab traps, then paddled back to the white dot where we got out.





















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