Sunrise at the Hotel Koster
Korshag with his lobster. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
08:39 BREAKING NEWS!
Well there it is - our first lobster of the day - and it's a beauty. And it was me who pulled in the crate, which apparently is lucky. The captain has kissed the lobster and we are moving on.
I didn't get a kiss, for the record.
Not sure if I get a cut of the 11,000 kronor bounty or at least a claw - but I'll take either at this point.
Captain Johan (standing behind me above) is not particularly impressed, though. "I once caught one with claws the size of my hands. A meal in itself," he says.
09:02 Meanwhile in Stockholm, we're all itching to get a piece of the action. It's been said that lobster fishing season is "like Christmas" for western Swedes - only without the herring.
And if fishing sounds fantastic but you'd rather opt for oysters, there's also a shellfish adventure in Lysekil - and you can enjoy the spa as soon as you get back from a day on the sea.
We can just taste it already. A fresh-caught dinner of lobsters with fresh bread, mussels cooked in wine, and plenty of delicious decadence.
09:27 "Kör!" yells captain Johan, which I can only assume means "Do it right now".
On cue, another fisherman casts the empty pot out into the sea.
The crates aren't coming in full and the tension is high. But we have 14 pots in total, still plenty of time to snag the big one.
They're letting us journalists pull in the pots that have been sitting out since yesterday morning, and this one feels heavy.
Daniel, a fisherman and chef, is wearing his lucky headband.
"How heavy does it feel?" he asks me.
I just shrug. About a minute later (the crates are up to 25 metres deep in the waters), a crate surfaces with a familiar orange and black shape inside. The group gathers around to take pictures.
I've pulled in another lobster - a big one.
A Swedish photographer is capturing it all from the roof of the little Pavona II. The captain is smiling.
The lobster looks less impressed, and he's tossed in with the other one, bound for the dinner plate tonight.
On to the next one, ahoy!
09:41 Speaking of the dinner plate - what do you do with a Swedish lobster once you've caught (or bought) one?
Prepare it Swedish style, of course!
Johan Sköld, the head chef at Hotel Koster (where Oliver Gee is staying), has a killer recipe for lobster soup. It's super easy and can be made with frozen lobsters as well. See the recipe, along with step-by-step pictures, at the Swedish Food site here.
09:50 A London-based writer on board isn't too impressed with the haul, but says he's having a blast.
"A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work," he says with a chuckle. He also laughs when he learns that the Swedish word for lobster is hummer.
A Swedish journalist is comparing the day to "The Deadliest Catch" on TV. I'm not sure she's actually seen the show - but she seems happy.
One of the photographers has a real way with words.
"Yesterday I tagged along with some fisherman and we caught some fresh oysters. The experience was so amazing, it was like childbirth - and I should know."
She was being serious. I'll be sure to ask her if today is comparable with childbirth too, just have to wait till she gets off the roof.
10:02 Time to quote Jaws and see what happens.
"Hey Daniel, have you ever caught so many lobsters that you've said, 'We're gonna need another boat'?" I ask.
10:40 Well, that's the last of the crates and we scored a total of two lobsters.
I pulled them both in, if you're keeping score.
No one is too pleased with the catch, but that's fishing. There's probably a good metaphor in here somewhere. Captain Johan seems to be smiling still, however, and Daniel and I are getting into a conversation about the movie Jaws. He turned out to be a film buff.
As Daniel dissects the performance of Richard Dreyfuss, we reach the shore, disembark, and the journalists take selfies with the lobsters - and the bait.
Johan with the bait - salted mackerel that's fermented for 2 months. "Don't get this on your clothes," he says. pic.twitter.com/vpvMvVUEc1— Oliver Gee (@TheUppsalaKoala) September 23, 2014
Someone says the word "Shellfies", which I was ready to name pun of the day, but I'm not certain that it wasn't just an accidental mispronunciation.
Now we're heading back to the hotel again to eat the catch.
Incidentally, the hotel is brilliant. It's sprawled over a hill with seaviews from every corner. My room had 180 degrees of seaview from the bedroom alone. But more on this later, the pot is boiling.
Strömstad, the closest town to the Koster Islands, on Sweden's mainland.
10:50 Well that's it for Oliver's journey on the sea - but the adventure is far from over. How will they dine on the catch, we wonder? And what will he do next?
Stockholm may be Sweden's largest city, but that doesn't mean that's where all the excitement is. There's plenty of fun to be had on the other side of Sweden, so why not go west?
West Sweden boasts a museum entirely devoted to watercolour art, Sweden's largest botantical garden, and a mind-blowing range of outdoor experiences - not all of which are boat-bound, so even the seasick have options.
11:10 ...and now it's time for lunch!
The lobsters go in the pot. They stay till their temperature reaches 64C, says the head chef. That's around 8 mins. pic.twitter.com/CmpTjFf8xF— Oliver Gee (@TheUppsalaKoala) September 23, 2014
And what do you know - they turned red.
- Pulling in the first lobster of the day
- Eating said lobster
- A photographer comparing oyster fishing to childbirth
- Peppering my conversations with Jaws quotes
- The fact that our captain was called captain Jonas