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Crabs – The Animal, The Meal, The Island, and The Art

The Animal
Crabs are found in all of the world’s oceans, while many crabs live in fresh water and on land, particularly in tropical regions. Crabs vary in size from the pea crab, a few millimeters wide, to the Japanese spider crab, with a leg span of up to 4 meters (13 feet). I hope to never encounter a Japanese spider crab in the wild.

The Meal
Back in 2009, Andy and our friend Graeme were still in the landscaping business. One customer paid them with crab legs – a LOT of crab legs. We feasted like kings, I tell you! My favorite crabs to eat are snow crab, Alaskan king crab, and blue crab. If you’re a South Walton or Destin crab lover, you can get locally caught blue crabs at Nick’s in Freeport and Nick’s on 30A. Another great place for crab legs is Old Bay Steamer on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach. Old Bay Steamer doesn’t serve locally caught crabs, but the funky atmosphere and great food make up for it. If you want to eat crabs like a tourist, put on your fanny pack and airbrushed t-shirt, and head over to The Crab Trap or Joe’s Crab Shack (to be clear, I’m not actually recommending you do that).

Andy Saczynski Graeme Cowgill
Feasting like kings in August 2009.

The Island
The jewel of Destin is Crab Island! If you’ve ever driven over the Marler Bridge (often referred to as the Destin bridge) during high tide, you’ve surely noticed the glowing emerald water just north of the bridge. Many, many years ago, Crab Island was an actual island. Now it’s an underwater sandbar and popular place to anchor your boat. The water is about waist deep for adults, and at high tide is crystal clear. If you’re like me, you see pretty water and you absolutely MUST be in it. Before you cry yourself to sleep over lack of owning a boat, I have a solution! Call our friends Chris and Heather of Destin Vacation Boat Rentals at (850) 650-2628. They’ll be happy to help make your dreams come true! In the meantime, read Heather’s blog post The Complete Visitor’s Guide to Crab Island (they have pretty photos and great information).

Destin Crab Island
Crab Island as seen from the Marler Bridge in August 2011. Gorgeous, I know.

Destin Crab Island
Crab Island as seen from a boat in August 2011. Aren’t you dying to jump in?

The Art
Andy has made a few crab pieces, one with just paint and others that are assemblage art. When he disassembled his first piano, he thought the keys would make good crab legs. He’s also used spoons, tools, and cabinet hardware to create crabs. What do you think he should use next?

Andy Saczynski crab art
Ontogeny of a Crab
37×23 inches

Andy Saczynski crab art
Mr. Crabs
43×31 inches

Andy Saczynski crab art
Crabs for Linda
size unknown

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