The crab hunt over Linc moved on to edible mollusks. They were nearly everywhere in the mangrove. Big, juicy mussels hide in the mud and are found in depressions near the mangrove roots.
Edible flora such as young hibiscus and sea almonds abound in the swamp as well.
“Easy living here,” said Linc with a slight smile. “Nobody ever starves.”
We took what we wanted for lunch, but no more. Back in the kitchen at Linc’s parents’ house on Cooya Beach, the family prepared the catch.
Upstairs, on the breezy open verandah, the steaming stew of sweet, seasoned crab, meaty mussels, and the rest was served accompanied with traditional Australian soda bread.
With a glass of tea to wash it all down, this fix of bush tucker was among my most memorable meals.
—William Gurstelle is the author of the bestselling “Backyard Ballistics,” and “The Practical Pyromaniac,” among other books.