Hard at work on Orcas Island

Deer Harbor, Orcas Island blog

After meetings all day long Monday and Tuesday, we left with our partner to head for his place on Orcas Island.  We drove for an hour and a half then took a ferry for an hour to get there where his wife, who had gone up the day before, was patiently waiting.  We went to dinner and headed to the house.  We got there long after dark and crashed.  I always love to wake up in the morning in a place that I haven’t yet really seen because I arrived under the cover of darkness the night before.

Our partner’s house has a phenomenal view overlooking the sound and is nestled in among the Douglas firs, many of which are at least four feet in diameter.  It is really a forest primeval and a great place to vacation. Unfortunately, we had come to work.

After a breakfast of eggs and bacon, we set to.  MD was working inside on our traveling laptop while I sat outside on the deck and made calls.  In the photo below, our partner is on the phone to London and I’m on the phone to God only knows, since I had about a dozen calls I made while he made only the one.

Hard at work blog

As you can see, it’s not too shabby a place to work.  And work we did.  We got a lot accomplished before we took a break to set out the crab traps to get our dinner for that night.

We rowed out to the boat, unhooked from the mooring ball and headed out to our partner’s secret crabbing spot a couple of miles away.  It was so secret that we could locate it only by the dozens of other crab traps there.

MD tethers boat blogBaiting trap blog

After setting out the trap, we came back, worked a little more, then broke for lunch.  We went into the tiny town of Eastsound and ate at Roses, a lovely little restaurant, serving all natural or organic food.  Our friends needed to run by the hardware store, where I found the item pictured below.  It is a testament to America today (and the whole world, I fear,) when manufacturers can make money producing products like this one.  Thirty years ago there would not have been enough demand to justify mass producing these chairs.  But today I wouldn’t be surprised if it weren’t one of their biggest sellers (no pun intended).  As you can see from the photo, it is named The Big Boy, which implies a large, football-lineman-like physique, but which is really a euphemism for The Obese Boy (or girl).  As I’ve written before, these things make my blood boil, because so many people have been victimized by doing what the ‘authorities’ recommended they do.

We went back to the house, worked for the rest of the afternoon until it was Jameson time.  We walked to the beach (about 50 yards from the house) and sat in the sun waiting for the tide to get right so we could head for our crab trap. In due course, we rowed back to the boat, MD unhooked us again, and we were off to the traps.  On the way there we saw a commotion ahead in the water.  At first I thought it was dolphins, but as we got closer we realized it was two seals (not sea lions) fighting.  They were going at it hammer and tongs.  They would surface with one latched on to the other’s neck with its teeth, then both would submerge.  I thought they might just be playing until I noticed the blood everywhere.  The fight continued as we circled around watching.  I had my camera, but couldn’t get a decent photo because every time I clicked the shutter, the seals went back under during the lag between clicking and the shutter opening.  At last one seal gave up and swam away.  So we went on our way to the crabbing spot.

Once there I got the joy of pulling up the trap from about 80 feet of depth.  As it neared the surface, we could see a few Dungeness crabs within, so we knew we had dinner.

The catch blog

When we got back to shore, we set about cleaning the crabs, an activity fraught with a little peril.  The crabs are not particularly happy about being dragged from their briny lairs and are especially not happy to be handled.  They are extremely quick and have large, strong pincer claws in the front; they should be dealt with with care if you value your fingers.  I’ve never been pinched, but others who have say it hurts like the devil, and that they’re hard to dislodge once they’ve got a grip.

The cleaning is a grisly process.  You grab the crabs with both hands with one had holding all the claws on one side and the other hand holding all the claws on the other.  Grabbing them thusly is the difficult part, because they are strong and quick.  Once you’ve got them, you bang them down on their middles on some kind of an edge.  In this case, the edge of the aluminum row boat worked fine.  As the shells break, you pull hard on the handfuls of legs on both sides, which separate, and you end up with all the edible crab in either hand.

After you’ve got the legs apart, you then have to pick the gills out of the meat, which doesn’t take long, and then you’re ready to cook.

To cook, you simply put the legs into boiling salt water (water that we took from the ocean) for 8 to 10 minutes.  When you’re finished and plate them up, here’s what you have.  And they are delicious…if you like fresh Dungeness crab dipped in butter.

Cooked crabs blog

After dinner and cleaning up, we watched the gorgeous sunset over the sound.  We stayed up talking until about midnight, then hit the sack, got up and started a new day that was a repeat of the first.  Same people, same work, different clothes and different crabs, but basically the same day.  We repeated it a couple of times, then reversed our trek via the ferry and the drive to Seattle where we caught our plane home.

Suset on Orcas blog

Good news!  Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this post, I received an email from our publisher informing me that they had actual printed books in hand and would be sending a couple our way.  This really does mean that they will be available before the publication date of September 8.  They will probably be in stores within a couple of weeks and, I would imagine, be available on Amazon and other online retailers soon.

If you plan to purchase the book it would really help if you pre-ordered it from Amazon.  The name of the game in book writing is to get on the NY Times list, and that involves selling a lot of books within a given week.  So, if we have a ton of pre-orders, they will all go out at once, and be recorded by those who set up the Times list.  Thanks in advance.

I will speak to the publisher tomorrow to see if I can post a lengthy excerpt soon.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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27 thoughts on “Hard at work on Orcas Island

  1. Hi Dr. Mike, just pre-ordered the new book, can’t wait to read it. I have a question for you.. I’ve just learned about zonulin, and am interested in your thoughts on this substance. If you can point me to any good sources of information about it, I’d be grateful. Oh, and thanks for the great pix of Orcas Island.. I have now added it to my list of places to visit.

    I’m certainly not an expert on zonulin, which is a protein involved in the tight junctions between intestinal cells. The tight junction prevents undigested protein fragments from making their way through the tight junctions into the bloodstream intact and causing autoimmune disorders. One of the toxins from the cholera bacteria attacks zonulin, making the tight junctions break down and causing GI havoc. Since coeliac disease and even type I diabetes are thought by some to be autoimmune disorders, the integrity of the zonulin may be involved. That’s about all I know.

  2. Wow, I just have to say how wonderful the photos are! Imagine being able to do some work in a place like that! :-)

    Meanwhile, I get to work in my windowless cubicle in downtown Newark, NJ. LOL.

  3. I’ll order the book today after posting the comment. Just in case you didn’t know, which I’m sure you do, the best way with normal digital cameras to catch the “action” is to hold the button halfway down while focusing on the area its expected to happen and then depress all the way when it does. That way you’re not waiting on the auto focus, etc. Still not as quick as an SLR, but I’m guessing you would need one of the higher end cameras for that.

    Yes, I did that, but it still wasn’t fast enough to get the seals locked in combat. I love the little pocket-sized digital cameras, but hate the lens lag.

  4. Too funny! I’m sure you’re still in the doghouse for posting that pic of MD! Gee, Doc. Very flattering!

    You probably hate all these off-topic questions, but here’s another. I was doing some research recently regarding Bromelain for arthritis. Some retail sites mention its use for arthritis, but most tout its efficacy in helping to digest protein.

    I was under the impression that protein digests well and quickly. You once wrote about that surgeon who kept a patient with a gut wound open so that he could see how quickly/slowly different foods digested. He found that veggies, etc., stay in there a good long time and a lot of gas is formed, but that protein was digested quickly and fully with little or no gas.

    Maybe my memory is wrong.

    Why would anyone (in good health) need help in digesting protein?

    Thanks!

    PS: I’ve pre-ordered your book (back in August 2008) and am eagerly awaiting it, as well as your confirmation that I’m in the study (nudge, nudge), the new web site, and your super secret project!

    ~ BawdyWench

    A functioning GI tract shouldn’t require help in digesting protein. Thanks for the book order. We appreciate it. We’re still poring through all the submissions – it takes a lot of time to evaluate over 300 emails. We should have it finished today or tomorrow and be letting everyone know.

  5. hi dr eades,

    beautiful photos, thanks for posting…dungeness crabs with fresh squeezed lemon juice are my very favorite summer meal! quick question…i have a very difficult time digesting supplements, i’ve taken expensive ones and cheap ones, with food and without etc etc etc and i still get nauseated for several hours. are they really necessary? if one is eating a good diet, can supplements be bypassed?

    thanks…

    If you are really eating a good diet, you probably can get by without supplements. People did for thousands of years. Supplements provide insurance against inadequacies. I would recommend, however, that you do take a vitamin D supplement. If you don’t want to do that, then spend a lot of time in the sun. It’s doubtful that you will get enough vitamin D from diet alone.

    An experiment you can do to see what specific supplements cause you problems is to take them one at a time, as in a vitamin A supp, a vitamin B6 supp, etc., etc. I suspect it is the B vitamins causing your problem. If you find that each individual supplement gives you trouble, I suspect the problem is psychosomatic.

  6. As if the Huffington Post weren’t bad enough already, it seems that Dean Ornish is going to be scolding us from his new post there as a wellness advisor or some such. I invite other low-carbing political junkies to join me in a collective grimace.

    AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I’m grimacing away.

  7. Dr. Eades,
    I love your blog! I just ordered your new book at Amazon (through your link!) and can’t wait to read it. Thank you for all your hard work!! You are truly helping us all find truth and better health.

    I understand what you mean when you say your blood boils when you see stuff like the Big Boy chairs (so does mine!), but I wanted to tell you that products like these saved my life! Before products like these, there were so many things I just couldn’t even do, because the gear is too flimsy. I have broken chairs at baseball games, church gatherings, etc – those flimsy 150-lb-limit chairs that are everywhere. I weighed almost 300 at my worst, and that is hard enough without destroying the furniture everywhere you go! I just wanted to share another point of view.

    I saw your name on the initial list of guests on Jimmy Moore’s 2010 Low Carb Cruise, but it seems to be gone. Will you be there?

    Ramona Denton

    I truly appreciate your perspective. Thanks.

  8. Hard at work… indeed.

    The only evidence of anyone working was probably staged. Ever really try to conduct business on the phone with someone two feet away doing the same — Impossible. I can see it now… “Honey, can you boys hold your phone to your ear — I’ll take your picture — it will look like we’re here conducting business.” haha.

    Good for you! You are living my dream.

    BTW, if we pre-ordered the book eons ago (your first mention of it) from Amazon will it be delivered; I seem to recall some verbage about orders being canceled with the extension of publishing?

    I can conduct business on the phone next to this guy. Both of us have low voices, and neither of us shouts while on the phone, so we don’t really affect each other. I couldn’t possible work on the phone side by side with MD, who increases the decibel level of her voice by about a factor of three when she talks on the phone.

    You can go into the orders section of your Amazon.com account to see if your order is still open.

  9. Hi Dr. Eades

    Random question I know, but I was wondering what your opinion was regarding a fat only day once a week, obviously this my lame attempt to ‘speed up’ weight loss by avoiding any insuligenic (mispelled I’m sure) macronutrients (carbs obviously, and also protein)

    I was thinking about having a 500 to 600 calories of coconut oil and olive oil. For religious reasons, my family doesn’t eat any meat on this day and I usually just fall face down in a mountain of carbs because I am hungry by the end of the day

    I don’t see a problem with your doing this, although I can’t imagine eating coconut oil or olive oil all by itself. It would definitely be better than being face down in the carbs.

  10. reref Big Boy/victimization identity..did you ever read Wendy Kaminers wonderful I’m dysfunctional you’re dysfunctional ?

    Haven’t yet.

  11. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the great books and blog. I have a suggestion for a blog post. I’d love to know more about which supplements you personally take and why. I’m trying to set up my own supplement regime and that info would be helpful (PPLP is a bit vague about it). I’m now using “The real vitamin and mineral book” as a blueprint, but it disagrees with your regime to some extent.

    From your various comments I gathered that you do the following, but I don’t know why you take some of them and I don’t like to do things without knowing the precise reasons.

    1. Night (daily)
    a. Krill oil
    b. Fish oil
    c. Curcumin
    d. Chelated Magnesium
    e. Vitamin E
    2. BiDaily
    a. Multivitamin
    b. CoQ10
    c. R-lipoic acid
    3. Winter
    a. Vitamin D3 5000 – 10000 daily depending on the amount of sun taken that day

    You’ve pretty much got my own supplement regimen nailed, but it’s beyond the scope of the comments section to go through why I take each and every one. Perhaps I should do a post on it so that the 80 percent of readers who don’t read the comments can profit from my answers to your question.

  12. You might consider Twitpic for photos of your wonderful food on some of your trips, it would only take a few seconds to send with your comment in the subject line, it will post to Twitter.

    I’m signed up for Twitpic, but I haven’t jumped in and figured out exactly how to use it yet.

  13. This is off topic but I just had to share this bit of stupidity:

    http://health.yahoo.com/featured/29/top-diet-myths-exposed

    Myth 1: Potatoes and bread are fattening.
    Actually: It’s just the opposite. Starchy vegetables and bread (whole-grain bread, that is) are quality carbs needed to fuel every part of you, from your brain to your muscles. What gets you into trouble is how you eat them: Smear butter on a slice of whole-wheat bread or deep-fry potatoes and you can double, triple, or quadruple the calories.

    We are better off eating the butter, sour cream, or high fat schmear by itself!

    Ooooooooooohhh the humanity!

    Hey LC, always feel free to share stupidity here. :-) Sadly, there is plenty to go around.

  14. Hey Doc,

    Another great post… just a little FYI for you: Some point-and-shoot cameras have a function called burst mode (or just a picture of a bunch of squares overlapped, depending on the make and model) that allows you to take continuous shots while holding down the shutter button. I was whale watching in Nova Scotia and found myself in the same situation as you when trying to get good shots of the elusive pilot whales– they kept going under the surface at the exact wrong moment. I currently have a canon and prevoiusly owned a sony brand and both were equipped with this feature.

    Happy shooting!

    I was using a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900. I tried to find ‘burst mode’ in the manual that came with it, but, alas, it has no index so I couldn’t find it without flipping through every page. The camera does have the ability to record short movies, so if I had had enough sense that’s what I should have done. But I didn’t. Thanks for the tip – I’ll keep looking to see if the burst mode is a feature on my camera.

  15. Hey Doc,

    Back when I was a teenage commercial fisherman we didn’t bother with all that ceremonial breaking the crabs in half stuff. Nope, we just plopped ’em right into the boiling water. Easy to dissect later.

    Hey, I want to pre-order 6WC but want to do it via Amazon.ca (being in Canada and all). Is there a way for you to get the click-through commissions from that? A question for the Amazon affiliate folks methinks.

    I appreciate the pre-order. I’m not sure about Amazon.ca as far as commissions go – I’ll check it out to see.

  16. Great pics, I’ve been to Deer Harbor many times. Very beautiful. I’ve also done lots of crabbing in the San Juans, no better meal on earth.

    Sounds like a cool experience with the seals, nature red in tooth and claw, etc. I was there for about 20 summers and only saw Orcas up close and personal maybe 2 or 3 times but that was very cool too.

    For your camera, don’t bother flipping through the manual. Download it to your laptop, then you can use the search function in Adobe Reader. Here’s the link to the manual for your camera:

    http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DSCT90_handbook.pdf

    Burst mode is on page 81.

    Thanks for the info and the manual. It never occurred to me to download it. I guess I’m from another era and haven’t managed to drag myself completely into this one. But I’m working on it.

  17. Just realized my last comment was confusing. When I said I only saw Orcas 2 or 3 times, I meant Orca whales – AKA killer whales (actually not whales but dolphins). That name came from:

    “The name Orca (plural Orcas) was originally given to these animals by the ancient Romans, possibly borrowed from the Greek word ὄρυξ, which (among other things) referred to a species of whale. The term orc (or its variant ork) has been used to describe a large fish, whale or sea-monster. It is now considered an obsolete equivalent for Orca.”

    I didn’t mean Orcas Island which was named:

    “The name “Orcas” (pronounced /ˈɔrkəs/, like Orcus, not */ˈɔrkəz/ like the plural of orca) is a shortened form of Horcasitas, or Juan Vicente de Güemes Padilla Horcasitas y Aguayo, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, the Viceroy of Mexico who sent an exploration expedition under Francisco de Eliza to the Pacific Northwest in 1791.”

    Just thought it was funny you could see Orcas at Orcas Island and the names are completely unrelated.

    Thanks for the education. I just figured Orcas Island was named after the animal.

  18. Golooraam,

    Rather than eating olive or coconut oil by itself, why not boil a bunch of cruciferous vegetables, such as a head of broccoli or cabbage, and pour the oil overtop. You could do this a few times during the day. The carb count of the veg will be miniscule, given the deduction of fibre. Makes more sense to me than eating, or rather, drinking, oil. And, far more palatable.

    Luca,

    Not to sound condescending, but I think PPLP goes into good detail about the importance of different supplements. Also, Dr. Mike has, in this blog, explained previously the importance of most, if not all, of the supplements you listed. I suggest surfing through the blog using the search function.

  19. dr. eades,

    just had to say thank you! i so appreciate the advice on supplements…i’ve always taken multis, never took separate supplements…will now try to take them individually and see what happens. and in my 49 years you are the first doctor to suggest this….!

    Good luck. Hope you discover the culprit that’s causing your nausea. It’s a sort of expensive and time consuming process, but it should pay dividends in the long run. Start off testing magnesium and potassium, because those are important supplements that you should be taking if you can.

  20. Mike: thanks for your reply. I agree that comments aren’t the right format for describing your supplement regime. A blog post would be great.

    Pete: I did go through the blog and read PPLP, that’s how I came up with my list. The blog and PPLP don’t talk about:
    1. Krill oil
    2. Curcumin
    3. R-lipoic acid
    4. Why coQ10 taken occasionally, not daily
    5. Why multi taken occasionally, not daily
    6. Why the appendix on supplements of PPLP is different in content than the product sold on this web site (or Mike’s regime)

    If these are described and I miss it, please correct me. In any case, it would be good for Mike to blog about it, instead of us trying to infer his reasons from scattered comments here and there.

  21. Golooraam,
    Can you eat milk products on these meatless days?
    If you don’t object to dairy fat, and need some extra fat on your meatless days, try this to improve your satiety level: mix a generous 2 TBS each of sour cream and whipped cream cheese. You can add vanilla, a few berries and/or sugar free flavoring. This is a delicious yogurt/pudding-like dessert without all the carbs. I find this to be very satisfying, and it keeps me from wanting to indulge in those deadly carbs! If you like coffee, it is especially good with a cup of coffee – coffee and cheesecake, right?
    Protein powder adds some protein, but changes the texture, so I usually get my protein elsewhere.
    Ramona

  22. Dr. Mike,
    Great post!! Thanks for the review. I’ve just ordered my copy.
    I have been looking for a book like this for a while. I will be very glad to dig in when I get it.
    Ramona Denton

  23. Golooram

    If it’s okay to eat dairy, 2 oz of pure cream cheese, 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, and then, 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts, for a total of 1200 to 1500 calories through out the day, in five small meals. Atkins considered cream cheese and mac nuts the best for conducting a fat fast, which should last no more than 3 to 5 days due to the lack of protein.

    http://www.carbsmart.com/fatfast.html There are a lot more details at this site.

    Ramona

    Thanks for another fab fat fast recipe.

  24. I LOVE YOUR BOOKS, Blog and ideas. I’ve just read ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ and last year I read Taubes’, ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’. I’ve had a year of being more of a reading dervish than normal. I have been eating high fat food for an annum and thinking, observing and teaching BETTER. I made a stunning observation this week. I am around an autistic girl. I have overheard her say (only) these words. “ice cream, snack, lollipop, brownie, orange, french fries, potato chip”. Pre-Eades, Pre-Keith, Pre-Taubes, Pre-Fat Head, I would not have paid any attention to this. I think in this child’s foggy autistic mind and body her cells must be SCREAMING for some FATTY BRAIN FUEL. (I teach biochemistry at a women’s college and I am preaching the high-fat, low carb gospel).

    I suspect you’re right about this child’s need for more fat, although fat doesn’t really penetrate the blood brain barrier. Ketone bodies, however, do. Many autistic children have gluten intolerance, so if her diet is reflected in her language choices, I would suspect she’s getting more than enough grain.

  25. I love our great Puget Sound. Wish I lived out in the islands and had a boat though. Oh well, Mountain dwelling is close enough to heaven for me anyway.

    I’ll have to take a look at the name of the book again (still working on bringing my memory up to par!)

    Love your blog. I wish more professionals were as knowledgeable as you, instead of being brainwashed by non-scientific junk.

    Have a great day!

    Thanks. You, too.

  26. Hello,
    Thanks for your wonderful book (Protein Power). I first saw it when I had visited a friend on Orcas Island, hence this mail! It was funny to see you being there now, like a circle closing!
    Liz, my friend, being a nurse, had got your book from somewhere and she lent it to me. Going back on the ferry I could not put it down. Now I have my own copy and often refer to it. Liz has moved to Anacortes, but we are still good friends so I sent her this link, she will enjoy it.
    I had radiation 1983, chemo 1985 (Hodgkins) and and my thyroid was affected. Have taken medication since then, For many, many years I have had very high cholesterol (299 tops) levels, but when I do protein diet it is always going down. I had just changed thyroid medication and have been doing “the diet”, my cholesterol is now a mere 228 (HDL59, non-HDL 169) ! I eat healthy, move a lot and no family history of high cholesterol, so I refuse to start taking statins! Now I will renew my efforts regarding diet and read your book again. Unfortunately the new medication I started in March is not available now (Armour) so just changed again, to Syntroid and Cytomel), will be interesting to see how that goes. Thank so much, Sincerely Eivor Baillie in Sacramento

    I’m glad you got the book no matter how you got it. I’m writing these very words as I sit overlooking the sound on Orcas Island, so it has come even more full circle.