Saturday, August 27, 2011

Divers Down!

Tonight for dinner we enjoyed scallops we gathered from our annual scalloping trip to Dekle Beach with the Hornsbys.  I must admit, the scallops were divine!
Just last month we traveled to the grassy flats of Florida’s Big Bend to go scalloping.  Since 2006, we spend a few days with the Hornsbys gathering the bivalve mollusks.  Scallops seem to like the shallow (4-10 feet) seagrass beds common to the Big Bend area, particularly preferring the area where the sand/mud bottom meets the edge of the grasses.  Amazing that with a swim mask, a snorkel, and a small mesh bag, one can gather and collect these tasty, sweet jewels of the sea! 

Ben and Benjamin scalloping in 2006.

Even after five years of scalloping, the experience still excites me yet makes me a little nervous.  Just under the sea, it is a quiet other-world.  Creatures move and swim in a silent style.  (It is the sharks I cannot help but consider; will someone play that “Jaws” theme song as they approach!?!!)  Searching and finding the scallops with their many neon blue eyes is fun for both children and adults. 
If you have never scalloped, give it a try!  Scalloping season lasts an extra two weeks this year, closing on September 25, 2011.  Divers down!   

In 2007, Georgia-Lee shows two scallops.

More About Dekle Beach
Dekle Beach, in Taylor County, Florida, is a popular scalloping destination.  With very little development, striking views, and an old world Florida feel, it is easy to see why.  However, the small community with beautiful views hides a deeply-felt tragedy   The No Name Storm of 1993 struck Dekle without warning.  Hurricane-force wind gusts and 12’ storm surges followed by low temperatures and inches of unusual snow claimed the lives of ten people in Dekle.  This Storm of the Century forever changed Dekle.  Even now, even among the beauty and peacefulness, there is something slightly sad about the community.  

Three years ago, a resident told me about a lady that clung to a palm tree with her baby for hours throughout the night, gripping tightly as wild waves crashed beneath her.  During the early morning hours, it started to snow.  As morning broke, the lady could hold on no more and fell to her death.  In my morning runs, there is one spot where I can nearly picture the woman clinging to the palm; it has an especially melancholy feel. 

Crabby Creek at sunset

In spite of its tragic past, Dekle pulls and tugs on one's coastal heartstrings.  Ben loves the area, the fishing, the views; I think he actually relaxes at Dekle.  Benjamin spends hours exploring Crabby Creek, the canals, and the long dock with Gus.  Georgia-Lee follows Hannah, just happy to be there.  

I could have eaten another plateful of rice and scallops – mmm!

Ben’s Favorite Rice with Scallops
1/3 cup butter
2 T chopped green onions
¼ t garlic powder
2 T lemon juice
2 T dry white wine
1/8 t dried dillweed
4 dashes hot sauce
1 pound fresh bay scallops
Crawford rice or white rice
Lemon slices

Melt butter in a large skillet; add onions, stirring until tender.  Add garlic powder, lemon juice, wine, dillweekd, and hot sauce; heat until bubbly.  Reduce heat to medium; add scallops.  Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes or until scallops turn white.  Serve over hot rice or Crawford rice.  Garnish with lemon slices. 

2011 Scallopers

In 2006, scallopers take a break to read a few books.

1 comment:

  1. What a terribly sad story of the lady clinging to life during the storm. Funny how an area so beautiful can hide such tragedy.