For five straight years they waited for this day. And the rough and unfriendly sea would not get in the way of the Skeetes Bay fishermen who could not wait to get their hands on some exotic sea eggs.
The sea egg season reopened yesterday after a five-year ban with some 400 licenced divers ready for the harvest.
Just after 3 this afternoon, one fisherman who gave his name as Overton and his fellow divers returned from Martins Bay where they had gone in search of the Barbadian delicacy.
They told Barbados TODAY that the sea was rough and unfriendly as a result of the “October breeze”, which made battling the strong waves a challenge.
“The sea was extremely hard today. Most people that came out today to dive went back home because of the rough conditions. This season is going to be one of the roughest seasons ever because of the month it fall in,” Overton said as he carried a net full of eggs and settled in the shade of a coconut tree to break them.
Clearly Overton was not deterred after having to wait five years for his opportunity. And he confessed he was happy with the batch he and his fellow divers brought back to shore following a long day that started around 8:30 a.m.
“The good thing like sea eggs is that they don’t run from you like fish. If you had to buy a container of sea eggs from me today I would charge you hard because of the conditions I had to work under to get them. No cheap sea eggs selling today because I did not have a cheap way of getting them,” he declared.
Sea eggs are usually sold at $60 per pound.
Fisherman of 59 years Michael Clarke has been harvesting sea eggs for many years. From his point of view, today’s trip would have yielded greater benefits if not for the rough seas.
“Most places, you couldn’t get where the sea eggs was because of the hard sea,” Clarke explained.
But it was worth the effort since his catch already had takers even before he left to fight the waves.
“Sea eggs done sell already and them ain’t even a lot,” the veteran fisherman declared.
The season will last until October 30 and the divers told Barbados TODAY they did not expect the harvesting conditions to improve during this period.
“This isn’t really the time we does get smooth seas. I don’t even think I going back in there tomorrow if it is like this. It was a rough, rough day,” Michael Mason exclaimed.
Waiting to assist the men were a few women from the prominent St Phillip fishing village.
Using spoons, the women, along with the men, expertly cracked the sea eggs, took out the urchins, cleaned them and placed them in buckets. And it felt good.
“This is years I doing this. Man I love doing it. I like breaking and putting them in the container to sell. I enjoy eating them too,” one of the women who did not give her name, said.