Florida crab fisherman invite tourists aboard
Aficionados of stone crab claws, which many seafood lovers will argue are more delectable than even Maine lobsters, can now get an up-close and personal look at how their favorite crustaceans are harvested in the Florida Keys.
With the stone crab season just under way, Keys Fisheries in Marathon, an affiliate of the famed Joe's Stone Crab restaurant, is taking reservations for public trips aboard its commercial fishing boats.
Three-hour tours, aboard 40- to 50-foot vessels, provide opportunities to observe fishermen as they reap crabs from traps and process their claws. The $425 cost covers up to six passengers and grants them up to six pounds of fresh claws either iced for travel or prepared at a dockside restaurant and served with side dishes.
The stone crab is considered a renewable resource because only its claws are harvested. After the crab is returned to sea, it regenerates new claws within one to two years.
Traditionally, that harvest, which continues through May 15, weighs in at 3 million pounds and is worth at least $25 million.
Hotels dredge up ghostly histories
With Halloween in mind, the staffs of a number of historic hotels are conjuring up plans to re-create ghostly legends of the past.
A guided ghost tour and ghoulish stories are among the offerings at the Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., through Nov. 8.
Several of the member Historic Hotels of America, part of the Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation, will carry their ghostly tales into the New Year.
The Algonquin in New York holds an exorcism of its famed Round Table literary figures on New Year's Eve. And both the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa in Asheville, N.C., and the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, N.Y., offer haunted happenings packages in January.
Guided ghost tours are conducted year-round from the Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Ark.
For more information on the Historic Hotels of America, or their ghostly encounters, see www.historichotels.org. The site includes a look at packages, specials and gifts.