Eureka – Finding California

The Sea – part 3

Eating Mussels.

When camping out in a hard to reach place, the length of your stay is often determined by the amount of food you were able to carry with you.  Food rationing can get extreme if the waves get good and no one wants to leave.  The really smart thing would be to know where and how to catch a fish and survive on what the sea provides.  Not everyone has spent the time and effort perfecting this art.  Knocking a mussel off a rock at low tide however doesn’t require much more than basic caveman skills.

Supplementing top ramen with fire-roasted mussels became the method of choice to extend food supplies on one memorable trip.  Throwing them on the rusted grill over the fire at night and watching them steam until they popped open in a final and dramatic release of the mussels life became a nightly routine. Scooping the little alien out of the shell and into the boiling ramen noodles was an easy chore at that point.  Getting them down your gullet was another story, though.  I can’t say they were that bad, a little tough maybe, but they aren’t called mussels for nothing.  Just a little strange getting used to them, I guess you have to be in the right mindset as well. But I can say this, living day after day to the rhythm of the oceans roar with a group of good friends, and eating strangely tough and crunchy little crustaceans every night with them is a great way to forge lifelong friendships.

I tried it on another trip by myself, but just couldn’t get em down. Maybe I wasn’t hungry enough. Maybe it was the lack of moral support.  I don’t know, but it was always in the back of my mind that you have to be careful eating them due to the fact that for three months of the year they are poisonous.  Hmmm.  I could never keep straight the rule about when they were safe or not. Months without a “u” in them? Without an “r” in them?  Who can remember these sort of things?

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