31 Days of 5 Minute Prompts: Day Twenty — DISCOVER

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Yes, the picture is blurry. But it is the best I could do with a phone camera, fully telescoped! These are spiny red sea urchins and they are our biggest discovery of the last few months. Now that we are walking at the marina several evenings each week, we enjoy watching the fishing boats unload their catch at the end of the day.

These guys are the single most lucrative ‘crop’ in the entire Santa Barbara seafood fishing industry. Who knew? Strange, spiky, and small, they carry within them liquid gold in the form of 5 small glands that are high on the specialty list of a lot of restaurants up and down the coast. Not something we have ever eaten — nor do we desire to do so, having been told their texture is akin to liver. Ah, no thank you!

They hang out in the gigantic kelp forests off our coastline and small boats with one captain and two divers go out several days each week and gather them up, bring them into the marina docks, where trucks are waiting to carry them up and down the coast. Most boatloads we’ve seen weigh in the vicinity of 1500 pounds. That’s a heckuva a lot of sea urchins, folks. A heckuva lot.