Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brave the Wild: Scalloping

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Each summer I  disconnect by braving the wild! My forays into nature reset my brain to ready me for the upcoming year. This year it happened to be the sea. I don't have a bucket list per say and I also believe there are many treasures to be discovered in my backyard that don't include theme parks.   With a torn ACL and the surgery to repair it looming in my future, water adventure are the most feasible. I have blogged about spring-hopping, but I wanted to do another uniquely Florida adventure- scalloping.

Eight people gathered this bucket of about 8 gallons
of scallops which yielded a little less than 4 pounds.

What I imagined and how the day turned out were two entirely different visions. I love it when a day in your life turns out that way.  I couldn't have imagined a more magical summer day than the one we spent floating in the Big Bend Seagrass Preserve. The beginning seemed ominous as we headed out to sea via the Steinhatchee River in the midst of a storm in which raindrops felt like hail, but the seas was flat which was a good sign. Fortunately, the sun peeped out just as we arrived at our destination.

You need the right equipment for the day most importantly a friend with a boat and their knowledge of the area and process. We packed light- snorkel gear, nets, and sunscreen. If you haven't been scalloping before, you might think that it is a simple process, just snorkel and scoop them out with a net. There is, however, more seeking involved, a "Where's Waldo?" scallop-style. When you see one, you know it, but to find them you must look closely, pay attention to the details.  There are a host of distractions from the task including an abundance of fish, a occasional octopus, even the way the sunlight plays upon the undersea world.

Aside from the adventure, what made it magical was my daughter's response. She's nine. She loved it. Already a strong swimmer, she didn't let fear stop her from engaging in the day. It can be unnerving for some to swim "in the weeds" where you don't see the bottom. She braved the wild. She became adept at swimming from the boat and searching for scallops on her own. What helped my parenting comfort level was the life jacket that she wore built for snorkeling. Also the water was about 4-5 feet deep so she could stand if needed. We spent at least four hours in the water, a real laboratory.

Both Hope and I have many more questions about scalloping and sea life.  I've spent my entire life in Florida and there is so much to learn about the sunshine state.  I will confess that I didn't "shuck" my scallops.  I wanted to, but that will be for my next adventure.  The eight of us gathered about 8 gallons of scallops which yielded a little less than four pounds.  In the end it wasn't about the meal garnered, it was about the journey, a day of light and laughter among friends and a better understanding of the environment.  As my friend Lee Ann blogs about, a pink-stone day.


  1. Welcome back, Beth! Glad you've been having adventures and enjoying the summertime!

  2. Scalloping??? Someone who has never been to Florida, I didn't know anything about scalloping. Thanks for coming back and giving me a summer education!

  3. Wow! This sounds like a lot of fun but, as you say, not a simple process. I assumed you cooked the scallops afterwards. What did you make with them?

    1. Bay scallops are small. I sauted them in a little coconut oil and butter with lemon. I served it over angel-hair pasta. They were delicious. My daughter did not like them.

  4. I love scallops and I loved this story of your day! And the best part was, "it was about the journey, a day of light and laughter among friends and a better understanding of the environment." Thank you for sharing!


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