Ever since I can remember rock pools have fascinated and attracted me. Those areas that trap a bit of sea water and contain so much life, a tiny little microcosm of the ocean. Of particular interest are the rocks themselves, because upon lifting them up they generally reveal a bounty of treasures: crabs.
I bloody love crabs.
Not eating them though, if I’m honest, never really developed a taste for them. But seeing them revealed, under a rock, and then scuttling away or – even more entertaining – seeing me as a threat and holding their claws aloft (just like the crabs in Finding Nemo).
This appetite for uncovering these crustacean critters has spread to my kids, and especially to my son.
I’ve always known he loved these crab-hunting trips, but it really came to the fore during our recent trip to Ile d’Oleron, a beautiful island off the west coast of France. We spent a lovely week there – well, after the first three days of rain had buggered off anyway – and pretty much from day one my son was pestering me to take him crab hunting.
I love when you find something that you have in common with your kids and, if I’m being honest, I was probably having more fun than they were. I was definitely having more fun than my partner – their mum – anyway. As evidenced on the many occasions when she would sigh ‘Come on! It’s tea time, let’s go!’ and we would slowly, slowly head back towards her, stopping to collect shells, or look under more rocks as her face got longer, and longer.
We didn’t just discover crabs though, my son and I, as the following photographs show. I won’t even try to pretend to know what some of these things are, they just look bizarre. I will tag them with what I think they are but, as I’m no marine biologist, apologies if I’m wrong.