How to clean a softshell crab
SC Airbnb host honored for top experience in world even if you might get a tiny pinch
By David Travis Bland
November 24, 2018 01:10 PM
Tattooed on Tia Clark’s leg is an Atlantic Blue Crab. It’s the kind of crustacean you might catch if you go her Casual Crabbing with Tia experience.
“I want to take everyone crabbing,” Clark said in a video for Airbnb, the home and room sharing service.
Clark, an Airbnb host, took enough people crabbing who had such a time that Airbnb recently recognized her crabbing adventure as one of the top four experiences offered by a host in the world, according to a story by Mary Scott Hardaway of Charleston City Paper.
In mid November, Airbnb flew Clark out to San Francisco be honored as an exceptional host, Hardaway wrote.
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“It was wild and crazy,” Clark told Charleston City Paper.
Airbnb hosts can offer “Experiences,” activities that the living space sharing provider recommends guests take advantage of. Casual Crabbing with Tia is a two and half hour maritime journey in which Clark provides the gear and know how to catch crabs off a Charleston fishing dock. Clark describes it as “an authentic Charleston experience with a true Charleston native.”
“You’ll meet me at one of my favorite docks on one of our beautiful rivers or creeks where I will teach you how to crab, throw a cast net, set bait, and fish,” Clark describes on her Airbnb Experience site. “Every group I’ve taken out, from families with young kids to bachelorette parties, has enjoyed themselves and made this experience their own.”
The Charleston City paper said that Airbnb recognized Clark and her crabbing experience along side a Japanese host that teaches people how to make handmade paper and an Italian host that lets guests make pasta with his mother as well as a South African host that takes guest on nature tours, allowing them to see endangered African Penguins.
Causal Crabbing with Tia began after a friend started a social media page to post photos of Clark taking her friends out to the dock and whatever other good times she got herself into, Clark wrote about her Experience. People started asking to come along.
“One of the best things about this hobby is that we get to do it surrounded by the Lowcountry’s natural beauty,” Clark wrote on her site. “The soothing scenery of Charleston’s rivers, marsh, and sea have healing powers and have been powerfully therapeutic for me.”
People who traveled along with Clark say they catch more than crustaceans, but also a reaffirming moment.
“I’m fairly certain that any review I leave will not be able to do this experience justice,” a September 2018 review said. “This experience and meeting Tia were the highlight of my stay in Charleston. … This is an experience that transforms you by immersing you in the beauty of nature, getting you out of your comfort zone, and allowing you to step into a day in the life of a truly special human. This is a day and an experience that I won’t ever forget.”
Clark herself said the first time you get a good toss on a net used to catch the sea creatures, “it is so addicting.”
And don’t worry, Clark can teach you how to hold a crab without getting snagged by its pinchers.
David Travis Bland @dtravisbland
Lifelong Lowcountry crabber Ment Nelson shows you the simplest way to catch crabs.
Watch as Tony Mills, host of “Coastal Kingdom,” attempts to handle several of the Lowcountry animals that are featured in the show.
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