Out There column

Mark crabbing at Bare seawater paddling pool in Morecambe on Sunday.
Mark crabbing at Bare seawater paddling pool in Morecambe on Sunday.
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Film fans may remember the movie ‘Big’; a tale of a young boy trapped in a man’s body.

Well, I don’t think it just happens in the movies – I know a person in the same predicament and he’s my husband!

Mark and I recently returned from a caravanning holiday on the south coast of England. When we visited Poole Harbour in Dorset, Mark spotted lots of children (and some adults), catching crabs on lines.

“I’m going to do that when we get home,” he proclaimed, and headed off to the shops to buy a bucket, a line and some bait.

I was hoping the idea might be another fad, but on Sunday Mark decided it was time for crabbing.

Off we went in the howling wind and rain to the seawater paddling pool at Bare in Morecambe.

In the hope of not getting the stinking bait on his hands, Mark put on a latex glove (no wonder passers-by eyed us with suspicion). This ploy didn’t work so I had to squeeze the foul-smelling bait out into the tiny mesh pouch on the end of the line.

By this point I was dying with embarrassment and deeply afraid of toppling into the murky waters of the pool. Mark lowered the line into the water and I thought ‘this will never work’. However, seconds later crabs were latching onto the bag and Mark hoisted them into his bucket.

The frenzied gulls shrieked overhead, but we let all the crabs go. Some were tiddlers whereas others could just about take your finger off with a nip.

Unsurprisingly, Mark was like a child with a new toy. I continued to be embarrassed, although I did enjoy being so close to the raging sea. Eventually we decided to head home as it was raining.

However, worse was yet to come. We had to get the fishy bait back out of the mesh bag and the only option was to use our bare hands. We washed our hands in the seawater and then, to our horror, realised that we didn’t have a bag to take everything home in.

The main lesson to be learned from all of this is that if you’re going to relive your childhood make sure you’re well prepared. Mark is keen to go crabbing again, but next time I think I’ll respectfully suggest that he goes with someone else.