Harvest from the Sea


Venus Clam Shell

This week we have been having outdoor fun in Brittany and partaking in one of our favourite activities – searching for shellfish.  This time though we weren’t crabbing but shrimping.  Our first time crabbing this year was not at all successful, but we have since had some great catches.

I have to admit that at my grand old age I have never been shrimping.  Hubby though has fond childhood memories of shrimping in Norfolk.  They were so large that they were big enough to cook and eat.  If anyone knows if this is still the case I would love to hear.   Our hotel in Brittany had proper shrimping nets (they have a piece of wood along one side the net so you can scrape then along the bottom of the sea) and the most perfect of beaches.  We did find shrimps only one or 2 in the sea, but most of them in the rock pools.  They were the tiniest weeniest translucent creatures you ever saw.

Shrimping in Brittany

Shrimping in Brittany

Our outing was a really successful find for all sorts of ‘Fruites de la Mer’.  Our first catch was a hermit crab, in a shell about ½ inch long.  As we picked it up it popped out of its shell to say hello to us.  We then realised that you could spot them in the shallows rolling back and forth with waves.  We had quite a few in our bucket by the end of the morning, along with a mermaid’s purse and the shells of sand urchins.


The nets were great for catching small baby flatfish.  They were so well camouflaged against the sand that it wasn’t really possible to spot them with the naked eye.  The whole sea was in fact teaming with life and death.  The seagulls were out in their hundreds feeding away.  The closer you looked the more you saw.  It was the perfect way to spend the morning.


Venus Clam

Venus Clam

We had found a fantastic shell with both parts still attached to each other on our walk out the sea.  It was a beach where the sea went a long way out.  Rolling in the shallow water we found a similar shell but with short sharp spines on it.  This shell, however, still contained its owner.  As I picked it up the shell began to open and a long orange tongue, rather like a longer version of a scallop’s orange part began to appear.  The whole episode was rather tender and scary at the same time.  The inevitable happened, fear prevailed and I dropped it in the sea.

Luckily it was a large shellfish and after some scrummaging we found it and investigated it further.  It obligingly showed us its tongue again.  The foot in the photo is my hubby’s so you can see its size.  Was it a scallop?  Was it a clam?  We had no idea.  Back at our hotel the staff in the kitchen told us it was a ‘Priarie’ and this translates into a Venus Clam.  Not sure whether it was edible as along with at the other harvest from the sea that day he was returned to the sea.

We have returned home with a selection of shells, some wonderful photographs and many fantastic memories.

I am linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill .  Please stop by there to see how other families have been enjoying the outdoors.




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