Electrelane - To The East  (DL)

Lobster Hunt: Day 2, Part 2

Before getting into today’s adventures, I should first report on yesterday. Yesterday I spent two-and-a-half hours combing the reef looking for lobsters, but all I managed to get was a tremendous sunburn covering the better part of my body. I would post a photo of my sunburned backside, but I figured you’ll see it anyway in five days if I don’t catch a lobster pretty soon.

Today, by contrast, I found a lobster almost immediately after jumping out of my kayak. He was the first lobster I’ve seen since we moved to the island, and he was ENORMOUS. Naturally, I was thrilled. I had completed step one of my Foolproof Plan to Catch A Lobster (TM).

STEP ONE: Find a Big-Ass Lobster

Having completed step one with relative ease, I joyfully moved on to step two:

STEP TWO: Catch and Kill the Lobster, Despite Total Lack of Knowledge, Experience, and Tools

This step proved more difficult, and it struck me that maybe my steps were all in the wrong order. Sure, I’d found a big-ass, couch-sized lobster, but there wasn’t really anything I could do with it. He wasn’t exactly in a vulnerable position — he was actually very well-protected in a small cave underneath corals — so even if I’d been able to strike him with my kayak paddle (the only weapon at my disposal), I still wouldn’t be able to pull his delicious, butter-soaked body out of the cave given the size of its small entrance. Clearly I needed some sort of brilliantly-designed homemade tool.

While I paddled the half-mile back to shore, I excitedly designed my Perfect Lobster Hunting Tool (TM). First of all, it needed to have a way to puncture the lobster’s body (sorry Raphael). The tricky part is that his body is covered with a thick candy shell, so he’s really only vulnerable on his underside, which is difficult to access given how much lobsters like to be right-side up. I also needed something that would let me reach into deep crevices, and would somehow allow me to pull the lobster out. Finally, it needed to be really cheap, as I just spent two-hundred-million dollars on kayaks.

With all of those constraints in mind, I came up with a device that can only be described as The Perfect Lobster Hunting Tool. It consists of a long wooden dowel with a big-ass hook on the end of it. I figured I’d be able to get the hook under the lobster, impale him (sorry Raphael), and then bring him out of the crevice where I’d be waiting, wearing a chef’s hat and holding a pot of boiling butter. I would be a well-fed hero, and The Perfect Lobster Hunting Tool would be the overwhelming commercial success its name demands.

Once I got back to the shore and ditched my kayak, I marched straight to the hardware store, grabbed a salesperson, and had them take me on a tour of their wooden dowel selection (there were four options). I quickly found one of the appropriately length and diameter, nodded approvingly to the salesman, and then demanded that he show me their biggest, sharpest fishing hook.

"Oh," he asked, "are you making a hookstick?"


"Are you trying to catch lobsters? What you’re making is called a hookstick."

So, it turns out that apparently my Perfect Lobster Hunting Tool is actually called a hookstick, and it’s the most common way people here catch lobsters besides traps. Sigh. On the one hand, it was pleasing that I’d naturally arrived at the correct tool for the job on my own — on the other hand, it seems like I might not get that patent I applied for.

Oh, right, and here’s Electrelane’s “To The East.” It’s relevant because…the lobsters are to the East. Get off my back, I’m busy.