Completed Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

More lessons on finding food when out on one's own in Falyndar

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

Postby Tazrae on November 30th, 2021, 2:44 am

Timestamp: 20th of Fall, 521 A.V.

Continued From: Finding Food In The Jungle II
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“So Tazrae, what do I want you to take away from this lesson?” Randal said as he brushed the plants off his hands and rose up. They were walking again then, back towards the beach. Taz figured by the direction they were going; they would come out of the jungle somewhere near Randal’s lofted bungalow. His question made her thoughtful though, as she pulled out her machete and began cutting some of the thick foliage back so both of them could walk easier. Randal drew his as well, almost at the same time, and the pair of them did a decent job of cutting trail back towards the coast.

“I’m taking away many things from this. First and foremost, never leave my Plant Tester at home.” She gave him a lopsided grin and laughed when he grimaced. “No seriously, think on how much time and effort having one around will save me?” She said, picking up the pace as they swung their machetes and traveled at a rapid pace through the endless green. The jungle was thick here in the fringe lands of The Maw where it spilled down to the bay and surrounding areas that the Sykan’s had managed to tame a bit.

She moved as Randal did, standing opposite of him, using her machete in the hand opposite he was using. She liked this sort of dance motion through the verdant and mottled light beneath the guardian trees that made up the canopy. It made her feel small, unimportant and easily overlooked. Taz could relax in the ways of society here and stricken herself up in the feral ways of the jungle. She didn’t mind the constant sweat, the high humidity, and the continuous onslaught of bugs. They would all vanish soon enough in the salt air as they came out in the habitable lands of the world.

“But you also have an ulterior motive for this. It was something you told me a while ago, in one of our first training sessions. You told me that boredom was a killer. If you have time to sit around and think about your situation, you can lose common sense, get scared, and make stupid mistakes. But if you occupy yourself with little projects while you are trying to survive, then you are winning a game you have playing out in your head. The universal edibility test is just one of those things you’ve come up with to occupy your mind. Its purpose-driven and yet occupying at the same time. It’s really brilliant.” Taz finished, giving Randal a nod of approval.

Randal laughed even as they stepped out of the edge of the jungle and onto his property in the immediate surroundings of his lofted bungalow. He paused at the stairs leading up, then began stripping off his gear, leaving his weapons and almost everything behind. He even pulled his boots until he was dressed in nothing more than a loose pair of Isuas swimming trunks. He grabbed a paddleboard, an oar, and nodded at another stored neatly beneath the steps.

Taz grinned, stripped off her gear, and peeled off her clothing down to a crochet bikini she generally wore beneath her jungle clothing. Grabbing up a board that was far longer than she was, the young Innkeeper picked up a matching oar and trotted beside Randal down the path that led to his beach. The waters were calm off Randal’s place, and so the pair were easily able to wade out and launch their paddleboards. When they were in deep enough, Taz thrust herself out of the water and up on the bard awkwardly, still getting used to actually using one of the devices.

Once she was upright, she used the oar to balance and gently propel her paddleboard forward. They were going to skim along the beach here where there were mangroves and no waves, it seemed, which was fine with Taz. The water was cool after the humidity of the jungle and the sun wasn’t so brutal as to be punishing since it was still early.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 4:26 pm

She was a novice on the board, but loved the recreation. She just hadn’t had much of a chance to expand her knowledge much past getting on one and getting a paddleboard moving. The potential was there though… with a thousand other uses the boards might have… from getting her into deeper lobster grounds to set traps to taking her places in place of walking at a much more sedate and relaxing pace.

As they paddled out a bit, Taz found herself surrounded by seaweed kissing the top of the water. It flowed just beneath them like a green jungle that no one from shore could see or suspect was there. Suddenly curious, Taz tilted her head at Randal and asked abruptly. “Is Seaweed edible?” If so, someone lost on the beach or right near shore need never be hungry with the sheer amount of seaweed available.

Still paddling, Randal reached down and dipped his oar deeply into the water, circled it a few times as if tangling it in seaweed, and pulled upwards drawing the stuff up into the actual air out of the water. He tore a great green hunk of it off and laid it on the flat deck of his board.

Taz shifted, compensating for the waves he made that rocked her board and caused her to spread her legs and work on her balance a bit as she listened for the answer of his question. On a whim, she tried to copy his move and found it fairly easy to ensnare some of the seaweed and drag it upwards, though it took the knife still strapped to her calf to free it from the sea rather than brute force as Randal had displayed. It was far to tough to tear or she was not strong enough to rip it off its main stalk all on her own.

“On a good day, Taz, seaweed is some of the best stuff around to eat. Even if you aren’t trying to survive but are just looking for things to cook in and around Syka, seaweed should be one of the things you add to your menu. Many people dry it in the sun or crisp it over an open fire. It tastes amazing as a soup base if you can boil it in water. Just don’t eat a lot of it on an empty stomach. It’s a diuretic and can lead to severe diarrhea on its own. You must mix it with other things. And in a pinch, you can feed it fresh or dried to livestock. Its one of the things we supplement the milk cows in and around Syka’s diet with.” Randal added.

“Well, that’s good to know. It washes up on the beach by the ton too.” Taz commented, thinking it was nice that all that flotsam was useful.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
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Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 4:28 pm

“No Taz, not that stuff. Don’t ever use the stuff that’s washed up on the beach. Those fronds of seaweed have died long before they’ve ever gotten tossed on the shore. There is no telling how old or how rotting they are which means you are once again endangering your life if you try to eat them.” He added. “With all the varieties, some are fixed to the seafloor, and some just float around living perfectly healthy lives detached. You’ll have to try a bunch, see what you like, and learn its habits. It’s a good way to practice your paddleboarding.” He added, giving her a grin.

Tazae nodded. “Good point. I hadn’t thought of that.” She said, shifting her weight on the paddleboard and redistributing it so she could switch hands with the paddle and giving her right arm a break pulling her through the water. The sea was beautiful today, inviting, without a predator in sight or a cloud in the sky. The Innkeeper loved being out on the water. She loved the sea and the sun, even the taste of salt now on her lips. Living by the sea was one thing, but Taz truly lived by the sea… it gave her food, shelter, and was an endless source of resources for Syka. She just didn’t enjoy her seaside real estate.

“I have yet to find a variety of seaweed off Syka’s coast that isn’t edible. And they are all highly nutritious. I’ve found over a hundred species so far, though that count will probably go up. Medicinally they can be a laxative like I’ve pointed out, but they go beautifully when paired with other foods. And the good news is most all sea life is not only edible but very healthy to eat. And when I mean sea life, I must include fish, birds, plants, and those that are aquatic.” Randal said, gesturing around himself.

“Everything out here you can eat or use to eat. And even that which the big whales eat. I’m going to teach you how to harvest that.” He said, laughing lightly as he turned on his board, kneeled without capsizing – which impressed Tazrae – and unfastened a small pack strapped there. He pulled out a net that was as fine as cheesecloth.

“Believe it or not, those huge whales off the coast eat something called plankton. We can eat it too. They are tiny shrimp that are almost too small to see. The whales don’t have teeth, but mouths full of long fine hairs and they open their mouths, swim through schools of plankton, and close their mouths… forcing the water out of their mouth through those hairs they have in place of teeth. The plankton gets caught on the hair and then whales then swallow the miniature shrimp by the gallon.” He explained, then showed Tazrae how the net worked.

He unfolded it, until revealing it was a circle with a line traced around its edges attached to a rope. The net was weighted. He gave it a funny bounce, then sent it spinning out into a clear spot of water, and kept ahold of the rope. When the let fell gently on the water, he let it sink, then quickly pulled on the rope gathering up the net and pulling it back in towards him. “See how this works, Taz? Now try it…” He said, once the net had reached him and he’d gathered it back up. They maneuvered their boards together and Randal handed her the net – a trade for her oar – while she did some practice throws.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 4:30 pm

Taz copied his actions and grinned though both nets she tossed, like his, came in empty. “I see how this works… hopefully I can pick one up a the Mercantile, but … we aren’t catching anything?” She asked, curiously, hauling in the net, awkwardly refolding it up, and then unfurling it out and trying to toss it again. It took her multiple tries, but she eventually got the hang of throwing the thing out and gathering it up.

“Well, for one thing, plankton isn’t found in every water and usually isn’t found during the day unless it's out in very deep water. Plankton schools are closer to shore and in the intertidal zones at night where they come close to the surface. They don’t like light. So while you are practicing this during the day, fish for them at night. Any net will work, so long as it has small holes. You can even drag cloth behind a raft or paddleboard. One of the best materials you can use for plankton is mosquito netting. Tent fabric or even a shirt with the sleeves tied shut will also work in a pinch.” He added, as Tazrae nodded and made another practice throw.

“So, plankton and seaweed. What else is edible out here? I might not have a fishing pole or bait… or even a hook… things like that.” Taz asked, wanting the hard-core do-or-die answer.

“One thing people easily overlook are seabirds. It turns out they are one of the most useful easy to acquire survival food sources. For one thing, they are extremely stupid and greedy universally which often makes them more easily acquired fresh than even fish. You can capture them with baited improvised hooks, by simply grabbing them or by bringing them down with a bow, net, or anything else clever you can think of. Always skin freshly killed birds. Don’t take the time to pluck them. You want to remove the oil glands, which can spoil the meat. You can eat them raw or cooked... and if they have a full gullet, you can use what’s in that packet as a food source or as even bait. You should eat them immediately after killing them or preserve them after cleaning them by smoking or drying them in the sun. Save their viscera, because it makes excellent fish bait along with any bones and inedible parts.” Randal instructed, which made Taz laugh. He sounded so morbid talking about all the killing. It was like a circle of death.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 4:33 pm

“So, killing a seabird will give me viscera which will give me smaller fish from the discards which will be excellent bait for more seabirds. And the cycle goes on and on.” Taz said with a grin. “You’re teaching me cycles, Randal. I can see that clearly.” She said with a chuckle, squatting down and sitting on her board with her legs dangling down either side, tired suddenly. She loved the feel of the board bucking under her, swaying her legs back and forth as they rested in the sea.

She traded the net back to Randal for her oar and balanced it across her thighs.

“I love it here.” She said abruptly, glancing at him. “I really do. I never expected Syka and I’m not certain Syka didn’t expect me. But I so love it.” She lowered her voice, suddenly shy.

Randal nodded. “You were a good fit for the settlement, Tazrae. You carved out a place for yourself here, and now none of us can actually remember what its like without you being here. Good job with that. It’s one of the reasons so many of us are so willing to teach you things. You want to learn and we know what we teach you will be passed on to others.” He said, then bumped his board into hers, lashed the two together with the net, and grabbed the end of the net line. “It’s not deep here. One more tour and we’ll call it a day okay?” Randal asked.

Taz smiled and nodded. They stowed their oars in the lashing that bound Randal’s small bag to the back of his board, then they slipped off the boards with Randal diving – net rope in his hand. He dove down, tied it around a rock to anchor the paddleboards and keep them from drifting away. Then, much to Tazrae’s joy, they spent the rest of the day practicing their swimming and doing short informative dives down to the seafloor that ranged from six to ten feet beneath them. It was shallow enough that Tazrae could practice holding her breath and coming up on her own, yet deep enough Randal could swim back and forth, pointing out all the mollusks, fish, and other edibles she could find deep down below.

It was so freeing for her, being beneath the cerulean waves, among the beauty of the sea, with bits of reef and schools of fish surrounding them. Taz wasn’t a good swimmer, but it was enough for her… always enough… to paddle in place and bob up to the surface for air and pop down to the sandy and reef floor blow to see Randal pry an abalone off a rock outcropping. He showed her clams, mussels, the hiding places of crab and shrimp, and then even warned her off what looked like a big yellow eel. She smiled, nodded, and paid great attention to what he was saying, completely realizing one day it might save her life.

They parted at sunset with hugs and a promise to keep in touch more. She thanked him, as always, for the lesson, and felt wiser walking away towards home after helping him stow away the paddleboards. She was getting better at the sport, and it was fast becoming one she loved.

Words 2725
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Finding Food In The Jungle (and at Sea!) III

Postby Tazrae on January 14th, 2022, 2:43 pm

Grading


Tazrae-

Paddleboarding +5, Logic +1, Wilderness Survival +5, Machete +1, Psychology +1, Body Building +1, Fishing +2, Foraging +1, Biology +1, Hunting +1, Swimming +1, Socialization +5


Lores: WS: Keep Your Mind Busy In A Survival Situation, WS: Seaweed As Food, Cooking: Seaweed Is A Diuretic, WS: Fresh Vs Dead Food Potential, Cooking: Drying Seaweed Vs. Cooking Seaweed, WS: Plankton, Biology: How Whales Eat Plankton, WS: Seabirds as Food, Hunting: How To Hunt Seabirds, Fishing: Using Viscera For Bait
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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