St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet


  • St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 9]

The windlass on the afterdeck was started, two turns were taken
around the revolving capstan, or windlass, and the net began reeling in.

I found myself impatient and eager to see what manner of
wriggling sea life would be dragged from the Atlantic. I had never seen
a shrimp caught, although the small, slender, long tailed crustacean had
long been one of my favorite foods. Found only in salt-water, the shrimp
is from two to five inches long. It is a greenish-gray color, which turns
pink when cooked. The body, tail, and head are encased in a thin,
transparent armor. On the fleshy tail, the only edible part of the shrimp
the covering is flexible and jointed, and is tipped by a fan-like rudder.
Long feelers extend from the shrimp's puffed out, beady eyes, and
slender, delicate whiskers grow from the sides of its head. Unlike the
crab, the shrimp has short, harmless claws.

Soon the net was swung over the side and dumped on deck.
Never had a surprise package more interest. Starfish by the hundreds fell
on deck, some an electric blue with prim borders of white, some a vivid
orange, and others resembling small five-tentacled octopi. The crab
collection was also extensive. There were numerous oval crabs in vivid
oranges dotted with blood red spots, grotesquely stilted sand-crabs, and
pugnacious little hermit crabs who seemed to occupy every empty shell
brought to the surface. Sand dollars, sea urchins, and oddly shaped coral
also appeared by the buckets full. Sea anemones, Portuguese men o'war,
jelly-fish, and other weird specimens of