"Sorry, we're CLOSED due to Illness"
Gus’ Crabby Adventures, LLC pledges to donate future profits to Jan K. Platt Environment Lands Acquisition Protection Program (ELAPP).
June 23, 2011
Book by Capt. Gus Muench
Five years passed since Marc’s visit to Grandpa Boom in Florida and his under water travel adventure with Mister. Grouper the Goliath grouper. Mama and Papa did not believe those tall tale travels with Mister Grouper, or his conversations with all other bay fish. Even pictures taken with Marc’s underwater camera of sea animals proved nothing to Mama and Papa. But, this trip for Grandpa Boom’s 75th birthday would be different. Marc how carried along his 3 year old sister Beata to meet Mister Grouper. If Beata backed up Marc’s fishy tales, then everyone would believe Marc.
In first book, Mister Grouper Talks to Marc -Last Chapter XXXII - Marc’s Return
“Mama wondered, why did Marc request, ‘Grandpa Boom keep those magical goggles in a safe place? Did Marc and Mister Grouper plan a reunion when family visited Grandpa Boom on his next birthday?”
I wonder if Grandpa Boom put my magical underwater goggles Mister Grouper gave me in a safe place. It’s been five years; will those magical goggles still have powers to hear Mister Grouper talk, and can I talk to all the other bay fish?
“Me Too,” yelled Beata.
“Mama told you, ‘We’re going to visit Grandpa Boom?’ I thought Mama would wait until we landed in Florida and surprise you.”
“With all the packing, Beata kept asking WHY,” said Mama.
“Beata, Grandpa will show you different fish he catches in his crab traps…stone crabs that crush stone with their strong pinchers. Maybe we’ll see Billie, the female blue crab Grandpa gave me for Christmas. Girl blue crabs paint their pinchers red just like girls paint their finger nails. Boys Don’t!”
“Boys and girls are different and boys are strong!”
“Grandpa Boom will let me pull crab traps and catch flat face founder and oyster toad fish that are caught in his traps.”
“Me too, me too, I’m a big girl,” yelled Beata.
“Mama, tell Beata she’s too little to pull crab traps.”
“I think when Beata sees and tries to lift a crab trap she’ll understand,” said Mama.
“I don’t want to go see Grandpa Boom if I can’t pull crab traps,” said Beata.
“That’s no way to act Beata and besides you’ll see your Grandma and ride in Grandpa’s boat,” said Mama.
Pinching Beata on the arm , produced a loud "Ough" then dancing a gig Marc sang, “I’m going to pull Grandpa’s crab traps, I’m going to pull Grandpa’s crab traps, and Beata’s NOT!”
With a swift deadly slap to Marc's back side, Beata yelled, “Mama, tell Marc to STOP IT."
The slap to Marc's backside felt good knowing he struck a nerve in his sister.
“Stop teasing your sister Marc,” said Mama.
Beata doesn’t know she will meet Mister Grouper. What if Mister Grouper no longer swims near Grandpa’s dock? I should have called Grandpa to chum with his stinky herring bait attracting Mister Grouper back!
(rewrite chapter in first person??)
“The two of you stop talking and go to sleep, you have a big day tomorrow,” yelled Mama.
“How big is your Mister Grouper. Is he scary?”
“Mister Grouper can swallow you in one bite Beata. I know Mister Grouper so he will not eat you.”
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Beata, I’m telling you the truth.”
“Well, I’m scarred Mister Grouper will eat me.”
“Don’t be silly, Mister Grouper may be bigger than I am, but he’s sweet and gentle unless you make him mad.”
“Marc, Grandpa Boom gave you a blue crab and a Goliath grouper. Will Grandpa give me anything?”
“If you’re good, Beata!”
“Would you like Grandpa to give you a fish or a crab?”
“No! I want a squirrel, a robin’s egg and a baby robin, chocolate cake, pretty princess dresses, and Kiki's flying witches’-broom so I can fly like Kiki.”
“Kiki's magical witches’-broom is for her delivery service.”
Squeaks came from the wooded floor as Beata danced around the bedroom with arms stretched out like an airplane yelling, “With Kiki's witches'-broom I would fly as high as the tree tops and low to the ground where worms pork their heads out of the ground. I could fly to Florida to see Grandma and Grandpa.”
“Beata, Kiki's witches’-broom is not real, it’s just in a movie.”
“Me too! Me too! Marc, you have magical goggles and can talk to Mister Grouper! I want Kiki's magical witches'-broom too! If I wish hard enough I can have Kiki's witches'-broom."
"Beata, wishing is first step to have something."
"What's going on up there? For the last time; stop talking, running around, and go to sleep," yelled Mama.
Beata thinks the witches'-broom has magical powers just like the magical underwater goggles Mister grouper gave me. I see Beata running through the house dragging Mom's old broom between her legs singing I'm Kiki, see me fly, fly, fly!
“Grandpa, where are my underwater goggles?”
“Marc, I don’t remember, that was 5 years ago. You’ll not need your underwater goggles, because I’ll show you how to catch mullet with a cast net on your holiday vacation.”
“But, Grandpa I need my underwater goggles.”
“Maybe so Marc, but first let me tell you a story about an old cast netter in search of mullet.”
“The sun began to rise as the old man stumbled wading on the oyster bed. His boots soles scarred with millions of razor sharp oyster cuts. Then moving on slowly sliding his feet cautiously over the sandy bottom reminded not to step carelessly on a half buried stingray. Only the ray’s beady eyes were exposed above the sand and its tail ready to lash out at anything stupid enough to disturb him. The bay’s stingrays; plus bussing no-see-ums and mosquitoes were created as guardians of the bay’s living resources. The old cast netter continued wading slowly attempting to be camouflaged in red mangroves. Water depth near the mangroves and bottom substrate was dissimilar with each step. One moment a cast netter could stumble walking on a shallow oyster bed and fall on their razor sharp mouths. Oyster bar foot steps might lead to soft sediments half way up his white boots and glued to sticky slim. Then without warning, the bottom might drop four feet where fast flowing outgoing tides sliced a wash channel. Only hard bottom seagrass flats made for easy wading, but no camouflage mangroves grew on open grass flats.
Wading brought back youthful memories following in steps of his dad in Tampa Bay. Dad taught him to make cast nets and wade the mucky bay searching for mullet. Wading was not easy; unseen submerged obstacles, slapping mosquitoes and no-see-ums, plus trying to avoid buried stingrays. The cast netter retraced his dad’s muddy foot prints in remembrance of one deceased who had taught him so much. Searching for an elusive school of feeding mullet excited him like a miner searching for gold. There were fishermen who threw their cast nets from moving boats, but he preferred wading in shadows of mangroves stalking a school of mullet. To him, the challenge meant also following his dad’s teaching. They had been buddies; therefore, his dad named him Buddy. And, today dad’s shadow followed him. In the past, not a dozen words were mixed as they wading in silence through muddy, grassy, over oyster bars, and through mine fields of stingray pot holes. Guess that’s why his education came from watching others work and not from reading and talking.
Schooling mullet were feeding somewhere on the bottom in front of him and his eyes strained to see tiny bubbles on the surface. Mullet sucked the muddy bottom just like chickens plucking the ground for food. Mullet feeding caused tiny bubbles to be released from the mud and rise to the surface. Mullet have gizzards just like chickens also nibbling at every thing and sucked surface water for floating bits of food. Caution kept him hiding in the infested mosquitoe mangroves, because mullet could sense his presents before he could detect their location. The cast net dangled in front of him ready to be launched within seconds over a school of mullet. The 10’ net had been folded into two loops held firmly in left hand. The hanging down portion of net divided into two sections. The lead line clutched between teeth connecting the two sections. The sting of leads held between right hand thumb and index finger with right hand middle, ring, and little finger gripping that section of cast net. No more than twelve inches separated his hands holding the two sections of net.
Pesky mosquitoes along with no-see-ums keep up their attack, but with both hands holding the net, slapping pest was impossible. The bubbles stopped surfacing and somewhere beneath the dark water a mullet school swam in unison, but where? Then instead of bubbles rising to the surface, tiny sucking mouths plucked at the surface; one, then two, and more mouths feeding on bits of floating matter. The school numbered more than previous bubbles released from the muddy floor below. Mullet rose directly in front of his hiding spot, but experience taught him to wait. If launching net too quickly, mullet would see net opening above scatting before touching the water sinking entrapping them. Sweating and running out of patience desiring to slap those biting pest he stood so, so still. The red mangrove camouflage hiding spot would protect him from searching eyes until mullet moved from directly in front then slowly swim to his right. Timing was the key, because mullet searching eyes looked forward, not behind where he hid. So very cautiously sliding feet in the mud and squatting down he moved out just enough to clear mangroves from tangling net when launched. With his body twisting first to the left swinging the leaded net behind and then with all his strength back to the right he flung the net on an upward angle towards the school of fish. His right, then his left hand and clenched teeth instantly without thought let go net as weighted lead line pulled and stretched net into a flying circle. His right hand thumb and index finger were last to release the airborne net. As the net started to open, surface water explored with mullet darted downward and outward in every direction. The lead line first touched the water near him and like slow motion the lead line lay upon the water then sinking to stop fleeing fish. At the same time leads hit bottom surface water explodes with heads of anger mullet pushing net upward above the surface attempting to escape their entrapment. Forcefully striking the net in one location, then in another location, mullet searched in vain to escape. Moving quickly towards his net, the cast netter grasped the net searching out tugs of anger mullet. Holding net he could detect from which direction mullet struck the submerged net. Grasping with both hands head of the nearest mullet attempting to free itself he then released the fish with his right hand. Squatting down in the water up to his neck he pushed the right arm under the lead line grapping the mullet’s head at its gills. Then releasing his left hand he retrieved the struggling mullet from under the lead line. A netted bag hung from his belt and he shoved the struggling fish into the bag. Again he grasped the net in search of another anger mullet.” NOT FINISHED MORE TO STORY!!