Not that I REALLY believed scallops are picked all pretty and clean and wrapped with a nice thick piece of bacon. But a girl can dream, right??
I honestly didn't know much about scallops or "scalloping" (the act of gathering scallops from the water) but when Chad, Matt's friend, asked us to go, I jumped at the opportunity! I'm always up for a new adventure. I even came up with my own term for scalloping: "scallop hunting" but in this version of hunting no camo is required. :)
So last weekend, a group of us traveled to the Homosassa River and took that out toward the Gulf of Mexico. I don't know where I thought we would find scallops but in my naive little world I assumed we would park the boat by a nice sandy beach and be able to swim in shallow water and grab them. I was wrong. I am pretty sure when they stopped the boat in the middle of the Gulf I had a look of "you have to got to be kidding me" on my face.
In my mind, big open water = big mouth sharks.
But we were fine and surprisingly in pretty shallow water. We all jumped in with our masks and snorkels and a bag to hold the scallops we collected. It took me a while to figure out what was a scallop and dove down several times only to come up empty handed. Thankfully, Matt swam by my side and would point out scallops to me. I thought you would be able to see more of the white muscle and go down and grab it. Nope, we were looking for these:
All of those blue "dots" on the edge of their shells our eyes and sometimes, they'll actually try and swim away from you. To me, that only made "scallop hunting" more fun. Maybe this is why people enjoy actual hunting? The thrill of the catch? Who knows, I have not conquered that yet.
(Teamwork at its finest.)
We ended up coming away with a several gallons of scallops. I won't go into the cleaning part because they informed me it involves uses a shop vac to suction out... well, the gross stuff.
But here is the finished product... minus the bacon ;)
And I couldn't have asked for a better group to go "scallop hunting" with; I am already looking forward to the next trip and would love to someday take my family.