Cruising allows you to visit incredible places for free, which means you can travel the world on a very small budget. One thing that even poor cruisers like to do is eat, especially eat delicious meals!
Limpets are small snails that live on hard rocks in the tidal zone. Limpets are also delicious and expensive!
Mainland Portugal is blessed with sandy beaches that contain large rocks that are encrusted with limpets. Do check with local fishing laws to make sure you are not fishing illegally! In Portugal, you can fish for shellfish between certain hours of the day, around from 10am to 2pm where we are right now, and this time happens to coincide with their low tide; and they have a 12 foot tide!
At low tide, you simply stroll out on the sandy beach and walk over to one of these large rocks. On the rock, you will find all of these limpets clutching to the stone as they await the return of the incoming tide.
To remove a limpet, you can either strike it with a stone at a low angle or pry it off with a knife. You get one try at it and you have to do it fast otherwise they will express water and clamp down onto the rock so tightly that you can not remove it without breaking the shell! If you fail, try the next one.
Keep them in a bucket of water while you fish and change the water frequently to keep them alive. You can add extra salt to the water to encourage them to expel any sand that might be in them.
Once you have all you want to eat, simply set them alive and on a tray shell down and put a lot of garlic butter on each one. The butter will keep them tender while they grill. You want to grill them just to the point where they pop off their shell, any more and they will get rubbery.
On my first time, I over cooked them and some were like rubber bands while the ones that got less fire time were AMAZING! The best part of this meal is that it is free! You can comb the beach at low tide and spend the rest of the day preparing your delicious treat for later.