It was an unforgettable, scorching southern New Jersey afternoon. On the way to our destination, we stopped at a tiny, old market. My mother and I slowly walked on the cracked uneven tiles searching the dusty isles for the poultry section. We purchased some bloody, red chicken necks - our bait! Two hours later we finally arrived in Dividing Creek, a little town known for its exceptional crabbing. That's where our adventure began.
As my nine year old sister, Valerie, and my parents climbed into an aged and weathered rowboat, I noticed a few hermit crabs scurry into their holes on the river bank. We loaded up on the sun screen, and began to fill our boat with all our crabbing equipment. We had to find room the boat for four crab traps, two nets, and two ice chests; one for our packed lunch, and one for our catch of the day.
We pushed off the shore. I realized quickly, that my dad wasn"t too good at controlling the boat. On numerous occasions we ended up in the midst of the thin yellow reeds sprouting in various places in the river. It took my dad about fifteen minutes to get the boat headed in the right direction. When my father eventually navigated out of the reeds, we reached the middle of the slow and meandering river. We decided this was a good place to begin crabbing. It was my job to throw the anchor overboard. I picked up the cinder block attached to a rope, which was bolted to the bottom of our boat. I barely managed to throw it into the water. .
My mom carefully tied the bait onto several pieces of long braided string, and each of us lowered two lines down into the murky water - one on each side of the boat. I moved from one side of the boat to the other, checking on my baited hook. As I felt a tug on one of the strings, I slowly pulled it up hand over hand, making sure not to disturb the crab feasting on the bait. .
My dad quickly positioned a net underneath the enormous blue crab clutching the bait at the end of my line.