Crayfish feast

March 30, 2019

It was such a beautiful day and the tide was so cooperative that we were able to do a second dive for crayfish. Apparently that's quite a rarity at Toms Rock.

We had even less luck the second time around. My buddy found a small nest and managed to grab a few. I couldn't find any crays but I did discover a crab that I was able to snag after a couple of attempts. It did managed to give me a good pinch on my index finger for the trouble.

While we searched around we did come across one peculiarity. It was a dead crayfish (or perhaps it was the empty exoskeleton of a cray that had molted) surrounded by a large starfish to form a bizarre ball. I wasn't even aware that starfish are scavengers and include shellfish in their diet.

After we ascended and got back on the boat with our small catch we discovered that some of the other divers faired much better. Some had returned with as many as ten crayfish! However not all of the crayfish were keepers. All of them were measured to ensure they met the central New Zealand area fishing rules for minimum size. Any crays under size were thrown back. We also made sure to stay within the daily bag limit of 6 crayfish per diver (the limit at the time of this dive).

That meant I returned with 6 crays and 1 crab. Plenty of food for a crayfish feast!

The catch

The catcher

I took the catch to a friend's house where they were prepared by his wife who knew how to cook them up. It was a matter of cutting through the shell lengthwise (with some special scissors), cutting the body in half with a butchers knife, removing the guts, covering the interior with garlic butter, and throwing them on the grill.

Cutting through the shell

Halved cray with guts still in


The grill

The plate

Pretty great end to a one of those "you can't beat Wellington on a good day" kinda days.


Thoms Rock

Location: Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand


Dive Number:   139
Bottom Time: 36m
Time In: 12:38 p.m.
Tank In:
Max Depth: 68.00 ft
Table Used:
Mix:   Air
Safety Stop: 3m
Time Out: 1:14 p.m.
Tank Out:
Average Depth: 49.00 ft
Start Pressure Group:
Surface Interval:   45m
End Pressure Group:


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Everett Toews
TBT: 216h 37m