Last night the Crankee Yankee and I took off for an early supper. We have been on a mission to try out all the lobster rolls in all the restaurants along the coast; so far we’ve sampled four.
Now you wouldn’t think that a *lobster roll could be very different from place to place, but it is. Just as soon as we hit the last seafood shack and try that last lobster roll, I’ll post the results.
But more than the hunt for the perfect lobster roll is the time we have together doing our lobster roll research. For example, last evening was purely beautiful; low humidity in the mid-70s, with a periwinkle blue sky above full of scudding white clouds and seagulls calling overhead.
We rode along, cracking terrible jokes from the third grade level and laughing our heads off. There were loads of people out and about; on the beach, strolling along the sidewalks eating ice cream, biking, surfing, or just sitting on the rocks, taking in the view.
The air was full of summer scents; sun tan oil, seaweed, fried food, the somehow intoxicating smell of low tide. This unique smell comes from the various sediments full of micro-organisms that produce a strong sulfur odor. Most everyone just refers to it as the scent of the “clam flats.” (We just call it the “clam farts.”)
I haven’t worn perfume in decades, but if anyone could make a perfume that smelled like that, I’d wear it every day—yup, even if I smelled like the clam farts.
I grew up thinking that all of the oceans of the world were just like the Atlantic ocean; rough, cold, and delighting in smashing sea shells to bits (so that you rarely found anything whole), freezing your feet and legs, and generally being a real jerk. The Atlantic ocean dares you to surf in it and survive, and it sneakily sets up rip tides that can entrap you before you know it.
This gruff and unfriendly ocean might grudgingly let you have a few tumbled periwinkle shells, a slipper shell or two, or even a scuffed moon snail shell. More likely you would find bits and pieces of shells, a few crab claws and blue mussel halves, and the usual battered purple and white quohog shells.
If the Atlantic ocean was a person, it would be a wealthy but stingy and crabby old man with a bad attitude on people and life in general.
When I finally visited the Pacific ocean, it was as warm and friendly as a new puppy. The water was soothing and inviting, and the waves were gentle and glassy blue-green. There were great riches of whole sand dollars, whelks, olive shells, angel wings, limpets, sea fans, cone shells, and brightly colored coquinas strewn lavishly on the sand as from a billionaire’s hand.
Now if the Pacific ocean was a person, it would be a really fun aunt who loves to surprise you with extravagant gifts, lunches at fabulous restaurants, and who would give you the diamonds off her fingers just to please you.
I loved the Pacific ocean, but being a northerner, it seemed more a fantasy than the “real” ocean I was used to, crabby and cantankerous though it may be.
But any ocean is a good ocean. There is something about it that draws us in, even when we know that there are creatures in there large enough to swallow us whole. It may be that the pulse of the surf matches the pulse of our hearts. It could be the mystery of all that lives in the vast oceans of the world, or the fact that we still discovering new life in them.
Or it could just be the experience of eating a really good lobster roll by the sea.
*My fairly recent post called “Yelpers” explains in detail what a good lobster roll should be; check it out.