PICTURE HEAVY POST...you have been warned!
We ventured off to Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. What started out as something that sounded fun, from our google search, the previous night in the hotel room, turned out to be a fantastic find! One of the selling points for us during our search was the Ty Warner Sea Center that offers interactive exhibits, hands on tanks to touch sea creatures, and a "research center".
Driving onto the pier. The girls LOVED this. It was fun to hear their squeals and giggles as the boards moved and creaked as we drove across!
My squinting family!!
We are crab fisherman!!
While eating lunch we had a view of the end of the pier. I saw this boy casting a net and a few minutes later pulling it up, a few times there were crab in it. He didn't seem to be "fishing" as he kept throwing them back in. I asked Erik if they rented fishing supplies on the pier. He doubted it and was just over come with joy when I said we needed to find out! As soon as we finished lunch I made a bee line towards the little shops and sure enough I found the Bait and Tackle shop. I marched in, leaving Erik and the girls perplexed outside, and asked the man behind the counter if I could rent a crab net. He didn't think I was crazy, just asked for a 20 buck deposit and told me I had to buy bait!! Easy enough, hook me up! After asking where the best place to catch some crab would be, after all I didn't want "the girls" to be disappointed, we headed down the pier. By now the girls are excited, Erik is still wondering why he married me, and I am tying my rope to the ladder! Melody tosses our net into the water and all three girls immediately plop down on their bellies on the pier to watch. We waited about ten minutes, pulled up our net and SUCCESS!!! We caught three soft shelled crab and two decorator crabs. Now Erik is having fun! The girls are having a ball chasing the crabs, other tourists come over to check out the catch and I am just loving it all! We spent a good hour crabbing and it never got old!
The decorator crab. They pull seaweed, dirt and whatever else strikes their fancy from the ocean floor and rub it onto their shells. Their shells are rough like velcro so everything sticks. They were fascinating! Some where more extravagant than others.
This fun little pier is definitely getting a return visit from us!