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Here we are at about 4:30 a.m. at the tide pools. Note the U-shaped metal thing in dad's lap - that's the official abalone-measuring gauge. Yep, you gotta put 'em back if they're even 1/16" under. One shot of Gerstle Cove, looking out to sea Looking across the cove (there's actually the tiny white speck of a seagull near the upper right) This is the cliff we climbed down at 4:30 a.m., by the light of one small flashlight. Getting back up was fun, too.
Look carefully in this shot and you'll see dad reaching under a rock searching for abalone. Here you can see the abalone iron dad has to use to pry the abalone off the rock (surprise - they don't wanna come). Look carefully at the center of this shot and you'll see the seal that came up right next to dad (who is behind the bottom rock, out of sight). Fortunately you can't eat seals. While pop's murdering innocent shellfish, I'm taking pictures of the tide pools. Here's a typical one.
I love starfish, but I'd never seen a four-armed specimen. Another starfish. More starfish; did I mention I love starfish? Too bad the camera chose to focus on the sand, because this really was a beautiful sea anemone.
Just a nice still life of starfish and kelp A close-up of rocks worn by the sea. We're finally done (hallelujah!), and here's dad with his final three abalones. After dad's pried the poor little bastards from their shells and cleaned and sliced 'em, the abalone meat has to be tenderized - meaning it has to be pounded by this special little mallet FOREVER.
The finished steaks, pre-cooking.. Here they are ready to eat. They've been lightly breaded and sauted in button. And I'm tellin' you, they are mighty tasty. Almost worth all the insanity. Almost. Just to prove the trip wasn't all gray, ugly tide pools, here's a typical view of the land. Isn't it...well, okay, it's creepy as hell. I found "Cthulhu was here" carved into these dead trees (not really, but I should have).
And just look at the gorgeous wildflowers...okay, it's a damn thistle, but it's kinda pretty. Isn't it? Can you name the classic horror film this appeared in (although it's been considerably remodelled since then). Hint: It's in Bodega Bay.