Thursday, April 12, 2018

Day 5 - An Hour and a Half at a Time

Weight 186.0

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other."

I was extremely busy today.   I was off from work so I took advantage of the nice weather and got my butt outside.  After dropping Jamie off at school I took a ride to the lake and tried a little trout fishing.  Almost immediately I caught one fish and then another.  That's the way to start a fishing trip.  And then it was nothing for the next hour and a half.  Strange.  Happy to have landed a couple trout today, I headed off to tennis practice.  That's right - I have tennis practice once a week.

I was a little concerned about my energy levels for tennis.  I had a piece of fish for breakfast and some water but that's all.   Surprisingly, I felt pretty good during tennis and got a pretty good work out for about and hour and a half.  There were a couple of times when I got really tired after a long rally and I need water more times than usual.  But for the most part I got through it unscathed.  Tennis ended around noon and I knew that low tide in the Navesink River was 1:20 PM today.  My window of opportunity for clamming was closing fast.

I usually like to go clamming about 2 hours before the scheduled low tide.  Today I would only have a short period of time to get clams before the tide started to come in.  I prepared by bringing all of my clam gear to tennis so that I could shoot right over to the river as soon as I was finished.  When I finally got to the water it was about 12:30.  I still had about an hour and a half of decent water for clamming.  I did the best I could under the circumstances and managed to dig up a bunch of steamers as well as some hard clams.

Navesink River Clamming

It wasn't easy.  Clam digging is very hard work and my energy was already quite low from tennis.  It's smelly and dirty and cold and wet.  But my window of clam opportunity was only open for a short while so I had to do it.  I was almost glad when the tide came in because it forced me to stop.  The long walk back to my truck while carrying a load of clams and all of my stuff was a difficult one.  Not to mention being wet and cold and dirty (and smelly).  Man, the smell!  I couldn't wash this muck smell out from under my fingernails no matter how hard I scrubbed with soap and water and lemon juice and a scrub brush.  I had to cut all of my nails a low as possible and then scrub some more.  I was even wearing gloves the whole time but it didn't seem to matter.

Ok - next, I picked up Jamie from school and we headed back out to the trout pond to see if I could score a few more trout.  Again, it was fast and furious right out of the gate with my magical bait.  I managed to catch four more within a half hour.  Now I have a nice stockpile of trout but I actually have a little too much.  I couldn't eat it all before it went bad and I don't really like freezing fish.  An idea I had the other day was to get a smoker so that I could cook and smoke some trout fillets in order to preserve them for longer periods of time.  So that's what I did.  I treated myself to a new smoker grill.

In the past I used a few old bbq grills that I had in the yard and converted them into smokers to make fish jerky.  I seemed to always run into problems controlling the smoke and temperature.  I need to learn how to do this right and this should be the right tool for the job.  Surviving in the wild would certainly have more challenges without the use of smoker grills and other appliances I have at my disposal.  Perhaps by learning how to properly smoke fish I will better equipped in the future to do it with more primitive methods.

I hope to have this smoker up and running by the weekend.  In the mean time, I got home after fishing and realised that I still had a lot of work to do before I could even rest.  I cooked up some rice.  I rinsed off the clams and separated out the ones with cracked shells.  These would be tonight's dinner because they would not survive lone.  The rest of the clams I put in a cooler in the garage submerged in saltwater from the river.  I also got a small aerator from Amazon in the mail today so I plugged it in and I am using it to keep my clams alive and healthy for long time (hopefully).  I've never tried this before so I'm curious to see how successful it is.  Next I had to scale and clean six more trout which had been sitting in ice slush for most of the day.

Today's Catch
I spent about an hour and a half cleaning these fish and then packing them in the refrigerator.  Then I had to shuck and clean all of the broken steamer clams for dinner.  I ate a couple raw but I didn't really like the taste because all I could think of was the smelly much that still left traces of yuck on my hands.  I broiled the rest and added a little sea salt for flavor.  It was a good change to have clams tonight instead of trout.

By the time I cleaned everything up I was downright pooped!  Finally I got to lay down on the couch and watch some television.  Guess what was on?  Yup - Survivor!  Pretty cool.  Lots of hidden immunity idols at play tonight.  They didn't talk too much about the food situation or any actual surviving.  A little more social drama than I like to see.  However, in scenes for next week's show it looks like there is going to be a nasty food eating contest for the remaining players.  That's always a fan favourite to watch.

Did I miss anything?  Sheesh.  Today was a busy day for sure.  Next time on Survivor Diet Challenge. . . The new bees should be arriving soon!  I need to get their home ready and in move-in condition.  Also need to figure out the smoker so I can put it to use this weekend.  Gotta figure out how to find some green food asap.  No garden asparagus yet due to a harsh winter. Stay tuned. . .

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