I had never been to Puget Sound, so when my good friend Dave invited me to visit this past July, I jumped at the chance. Dave’s house is perched on a hill overlooking the water and offers the most magnificent view of the waterway and the Olympic Mountains. His little outboard motorboat is tied in the harbor three hundred feet below, and the crab grounds are about a half a mile out to sea.
Every day after golf, into the boat and out to the crab grounds we went. Skipping over the tiny waves in the small boat, icy saltwater spraying us, was nothing like riding a horse while gathering cattle in the hot, dusty desert. I’ve rafted down the Grand Canyon, lounged on a houseboat in Lake Powell, elbowed others on a “cattle” cruise boat in the Mexican Riviera. Not even those compared to the sensation of whizzing over the waters of Puget Sound.
We pulled up the crab traps never knowing the contents. But Dave’s an expert and we never came up empty. Anywhere from two to eight Dungeness crabs surfaced, along with a few smaller crabs and starfish that were immediately jettisoned to their watery grazing grounds.
We took the crabs straight back to the dock where we cleaned and prepped them for cooking. Within a half hour, they were steaming in a crab cooker.
I was raised on beef, but I have no complaints about crab. The sweet meat is hard to stop eating. We didn’t even dip it in butter. It didn’t need it. Fresh crabmeat, a salad, some white wine, and a Pacific Northwest sunset is as good as it gets. I love Arizona, but I sure don’t mine falling in love with new places and spaces.