In search of live crabs fresh off the boat, I called the Harbormaster in Monterey to see if any crabbers were selling at the docks. None in Monterey, but he referred me to Santa Cruz or Moss Landing.
The Harbormaster in Moss Landing confirmed that the "sign in the parking lot says live crabs are available", so off we headed. The boat Beticia was docked in the first slip across from the Moss Landing Community Park (near the parking lot, just before you go over the one lane bridge). Crabs were running 2 to 2.5 lbs. and priced at $8 each. They were very lively and kicking, and when steamed at home later, quite sweet and delicious. Not as much of a bargain as we might hope for, but given that there was a line of people waiting to purchase them, a fair deal. We bought 4 and had brought our own plastic tub and ice packs to transport them.
To check on availability, you can call Beticia's owner, Dempsey,(831) 633-6391, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Afterwards we checked out Phil's Fish Market and Eatery. Live or cooked crabs were $3.99/lb here and looked equally fresh and lively. At 3pm in the afternoon, the place was packed with diners.