WHEN it comes to harvesting sea moss, Barry Charles, also known as De Original Sea Moss Man knows what he's about.
He doesn't harvest from the shoreline, but instead takes the risk to get his sea moss on the rocks. He said the best time to harvest is on the day of the new moon and full moon. He gathers an average of 100 pounds per harvest day.
“You have to know how to swim and how to defend yourself with the tide," the 54-year-old Toco resident told Newsday.
"First you have to test the current. If the current is against you, you leave it alone and come back another day. When you test the current, you’ll know what to do if you get into trouble. I wouldn’t recommend trying to harvest sea moss if you haven't swum in a long time. You are sure to get cramps...
"I would swim out about 100 metres with a bag to gather the sea moss. I would stand on the rock, time the waves when it goes out and quickly go pick it. Twice before I got into difficulties but quickly rectified it.”
Charles is also a fish vendor and spends his day at the Toco Beach Facility, from 8 am-8 pm, selling raw and bottled sea moss, and fish.