Inside Off-Grid Houseboat Life - Camp in Louisiana Swamp

Inside Off-Grid Houseboat Life - Camp in Louisiana Swamp

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(peaceful guitar music) (boat motor chugging) (peaceful music continues) - Gonna do a little swamp tour, huh? You good with that? - [Peter] I'm so good with that. (Keith laughing) - I grew up in this town. - [Peter] This town? - My grandparents' house was right there, like right here. - [Peter] Right here? - Yes. This is all generations of families, like my stepmom's family, that street is where her family, she grew up, her parents grew up, her grandparents lived there.

Some of their houses are still there. - [Peter] So this is sort of the end of it right here, huh? - [Tara] That is the end of the road. - [Peter] The end of the road, so everything else is via boat? - [Tara] Yeah. (boat motor humming) You could put two of ours on there. (chuckles) - [Keith] That's ours over there, the little one. (laughs) - [Peter] With the man on the porch.

- With the man on the porch. - [Keith] That's her dad. - [Peter] Oh wow. - That's my dad. - [Peter] How old is he? - He is 82.

- [Peter] Hey, so you got a few neighbors out here. - [Keith] You don't see 'em much, though. A lot of these people only come out maybe during hunting season and all, and it's usually just us.

(boat motor chugging) - [Tara] Who are you, and what are you doing on our houseboat? - I'm the boogie man. (Tara and Carlis chuckling) - [Peter] How you doing, sir? - I'm doing. - This is Peter. - [Peter] Peter. - Thank you, Carlis Goday.

- [Peter] Carlis Goday. - The man without a car, carless. (Tara laughing) (Peter chuckling) - [Carlis] Last name's Goday.

If you can't go nights, you go days. - [Peter] He's dropping the good father humor. (Keith chuckling) I like it.

- So... This is it. This is our kitchen. Our little propane stove. - [Peter] Okay, you have a grill going too? - Yes, we normally put this out on the front porch.

Keith does all the outside cooking. - [Peter] Okay. - I do the inside cooking, he does the outside cooking. We usually haul this out just to give us more room in here. This is a futon. - [Peter] Yep.

- [Tara] That we use for a bed, bunk beds, a little storage area here. - [Peter] TV? - Yep, we always have to use a hotspot over here, somebody's hotspot to, you know, be able to watch TV or whatever. - [Peter] You got a restroom.

- [Tara] Got a restroom. - [Peter] With a shower. - No, shower's out here. - [Peter] Okay. - This is our shower, we have a shower curtain we hang up here. - [Peter] Okay, yeah. - We have a on demand hot water heater, and we shower with bayou water. - [Peter] And how's the bayou water these days? You wouldn't drink it, but you can shower with it.

- [Tara] Oh yeah. - No, it's filtered before we clean our stuff, but it does come out the bayou. - [Peter] And you got the AC for summertime? - [Tara] Yes. - Yeah, we bring a generator out here when it gets really hot, but most of the time we just come out here with- - [Tara] Just sleep with the windows open. - We got solar power.

- Neither one of us like the cold, but we do hunting and stuff like that in the winter, and in the summer, this lake is very popular for skiing, HydroSliding, wakeboarding, swimming, you know? We have a spot that we really love to go swimming at, even though there's alligators everywheres around here. - [Keith] I know people give us a lot of cr*p about that. - What, about the alligators? - They see us swimming in the lakes and stuff, and actually in some of the videos, you can see some of the gators.

- [Peter] Do you think we'll see some gators today? - Yeah, absolutely. - You can't not see 'em. - They're everywhere. - [Peter] Are they shy? - It depends, the bigger ones are usually shy.

The smaller ones you can get a little closer to, but they won't mess with people. I mean, I think a lot of people have a different point of view on alligators. They think of alligators like being a crocodile or something. They will not come after you, and I think they had maybe, I think two deaths in Louisiana since, I don't know, hundreds of years. - [Peter] Really? Okay, so it's not happening. - No. - No it's not.

- [Peter] Are they really smart animals, alligators, or not really? - They're surviving pretty good. - The larger ones. - They're thriving. - Are a lot smarter than the small ones.

The smaller ones will come right up to you. - [Tara] Especially if we cleaning fish or frogs. - [Peter] They just come right outta the water? - [Tara] Yeah, they come waiting for some food, some easy food. - [Keith] We just caught these off the porch.

- [Tara] You. - [Keith] Or I caught 'em off the porch, but yeah, picked up two of 'em a while ago. - [Peter] I'm gonna say you got your own little country out here. - [Tara] Yeah.

- [Peter] My short time in Louisiana. - Yeah, and I mean, a lot of people, when they think Louisiana, they automatically think New Orleans, Bourbon Street, stuff like that, you know? And we have a whole 'nother world out here that we enjoy. - [Peter] Oh yeah. - As opposed to the city. - Yeah, in New Orleans, I drove from it this morning, hour and a half to downtown.

You call it downtown there, the center? - [Carlis] Yeah. - French Quarter? - [Carlis] French Quarter. - Yeah. - All right.

- I was raised in the French Quarter in my younger years during the wartime. - [Peter] Wow, do you speak French? - Yeah, Cajun French. - [Peter] Can you drop some for us? (Carlis speaking Cajun French) - What you want to know? (Tara laughs) - [Peter] Tell me how the season is looking for fishing, and what are your thoughts about the weather this summer? (Carlis speaking Cajun French) - [Peter] That is so- - I caught a couple of words. - [Peter] That is so cool. - [Tara] Fish, good. - [Peter] 40% where we just came from? - Yeah.

- [Peter] Speak Cajun French? - Yeah. - [Peter] Oh, wow. - In fact, like my mother-in-law, she passed away a couple years back, it was hard for her to even talk English. She didn't, you know? - [Peter] So with some of your old buddies out there, you're speaking French.?

- All of 'em, all the people my age speak French. - [Tara] All his siblings. - I'm a little bit over 50 years old. (Tara laughing) - [Peter] You're 51 and a half, I got it. (birds chirping) - [Carlis] It was a slow, easy life. You know, while I was a boy.

I mean, nobody had a care in the world, and if we had an old bicycle, we was happy. (laughs) - I was gonna say, most people were poor around here. - [Carlis] Well, yeah. I remember when we first had electricity, my grandma used to live with us. All we had was three light bulbs.

That first night we had electricity, I watched her for 15 minutes trying to blow that light bulb out. (all laughing) - [Tara] Daddy! (all laughing) - [Peter] But life like this is, other than a few of the conveniences, it's pretty much the same out here, right? - Pretty much the same out here, yeah. We have rainwater, big cistern in the back, bring a cup, open the faucet underneath. You'd have all them little bivalves, you know? - [Tara] Swimming. (Tara laughs) - Swimming around in it.

It was a good life. - [Peter] What do you think it'll be like in 20 years out here? You think it'll stay the same, 20 years? - No, no, things are changing too much. Too much erosion, everything's going. You take places right here along the lake where we used to camp out years ago, there's no land anymore. Everything's washing away. This was built when they put in some oil rigs back here.

- [Peter] Oil rigs? - Yeah. - [Peter] Back here? - Yeah, up in the location that he had the location. - Most of the manmade canals were from the oil companies.

- [Carlis] Yeah, from the oil companies. - [Peter] That's the big industry out here, right? - Yeah, oil and gas. - [Peter] Don't you work in oil? - We both do. - [Peter] You both do? - Yes. - Yeah.

- [Peter] What do you do in oil? - I work for a major oil company, and I actually work in the maintenance department at our facility, so we support all the offshore platforms for our company. - [Peter] So you're out on sea a lot? - No, I'm not out on the sea. I take care of all the material that has to go out to the platforms, and she's a material coordinator for the one offshore. - I support an offshore platform. - [Peter] Okay. - One offshore platform. - [Peter] Okay, so when you work for an oil company like BP, every platform has its own crew, its own thing going on? - Yes, and they rotate shifts, like 14 and 14 I think is what they do right now.

During COVID, they were doing 21 and 21, like they were out there for 21 days. I work from home. - Lucky you. - Yeah. - [Peter] When are you gonna work from houseboat? - Oh.

- We're working on it. - I probably could work from houseboat with my hotspot. I told him to go check if that moccasin is still under that log that him and Drake had, they saw the last time.

- [Peter] You got a lot of snakes, Keith? - Yes, we have our share of snakes, and they got a bad rap. A lot of people say a good snake is a dead snake, and that's not how I feel about it. A good snake is a live snake to me. - [Peter] You feel super connected to nature out here? - Oh, absolutely, I love it. I mean, that's why we're out here as much as possible.

Man, how can you not be? Look... (peaceful guitar music) (boat motors humming) (peaceful guitar music continues) (peaceful guitar music continues) (birds chirping) - [Tara] You got it? - [Peter] So your dad's just been doing this ever since he was a kid, huh? - Yep. (water splashing) - [Keith] Ooh! - [Peter] Oh, wow, quite a few.

Is that a good catch, Carlis? - [Carlis] It's not good. Usually I catch four times that amount. - [Peter] How does it work with that? Like there's just enough space where everyone sort of has respect for everyone's line, no one comes in and pulls your line or anything like that? - Never had any problems with anybody out here, and everybody knows everybody. - I don't think anybody worries about somebody messing with their lines or anything over here. - [Peter] There's not much crime in these parts, huh? - [Tara] No.

- Not like big city crime. - Like we don't even have a fast food restaurant. We don't even have a stoplight. We have a couple of caution lights, but that's it. (boat motor chugging) - [Keith] See, that's one in that grass right there.

See him? - [Peter] That's a gator, yeah. - [Tara] It's a little one. (chugging continues) - [Peter] Oh, they're beautiful. (chugging continues) (water splashing) - It used to be that the alligators hibernated during the winter. They don't like the cold, but the last few years, you see 'em all year long. They're out in the middle of winter.

30 degree weather, we saw gators. - [Peter] What's that now, about 65 maybe? - Cold. (laughing) Yeah, it's cold. - Too cold. (chuckles)

- [Peter] You guys need a jacket in that. - Look, people clown us, we wear a jacket all the time. - I've got a jacket on. (laughs) (boat motor chugging) - [Tara] I've got something on this one. - [Keith] You do? - Yeah.

(birds chirping) - [Keith] Oh! - [Peter] Big one. (water splashing) - [Keith] Look at Tara go. - [Tara] Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. (water splashing) You taking him off? - [Keith] I'll come save the day for you. (Tara laughing) - [Peter] I got the camera here. (laughs)

- I don't take off catfish either. I think it's actually safer to take the big ones off the hook than the smaller ones. - Beautiful catfish, that's a blue cat. - [Peter] Tara, stand up there.

- I did a great job. (Keith chuckling) Sometimes you catch alligators on your catfish lines. - [Peter] And what do you do then? You say, "Keith, come here." - [Keith] Cut the line. - You cut the line or you let the alligator break your line, something just so you can save your jug, your noodle.

(Tara chuckling) - [Keith] Nice, huh? - [Peter] Oh, yeah. - [Tara] Tell me this is not better than a city. This is God's country. - [Keith] That's why we spend so much time out here.

- [Peter] So what about you were talking a bit about hurricanes before. What happened last time, Ida came through, right? - Yeah, Ida came, hit a direct hit on us over in Houma, and it was pretty crazy. We probably wouldn't spend another, like I think that was- - Category five at home.

- [Keith] Yeah, they say it was a four, but. - [Peter] You sat it out? - We rode it out, and it was probably, it was anywhere from 140 to 160 mile an hour sustained winds for probably- - [Tara] Like eight hours. - Huh? - [Tara] Like eight hours.

- Like eight hours. - So what's that like? Like hour six, you're in your home, this thing's not stopping, what's going through your head? - [Tara] We should have left. (Tara laughing) - We think we might have messed up on this one, because we rode a few hurricanes out before, but that one was on another level of crazy, but.

- So is your house just shaking or what, windows are flexing or? - Just you hear the house is moving. We had a lot of stuff. - [Tara] The shop doors were- - We had people's- - [Tara] exploding - Pieces of roofs of other people just hitting our houses. You can hear it. We had our shop doors flew out, our cars were getting trashed.

I mean, it's just a lot going on. It was kind of freaky. - [Peter] So did it come back pretty quickly here, or did a lot of people have to leave town and rebuild? - So this part didn't really get affected by Hurricane Ida much here. I mean, I don't think they got much of anything, huh, Tara? - [Tara] No, some trees down. - But an hour from here

in Houma, and believe me you, a lot of down like Dulac. - [Tara] Was devastated. - (indistinct), those people got devastated, and a lot of 'em places didn't come back, I mean, some of them houses just got completely wiped off the map. You know, it was amazing. It was something to see after the storm hit to go and see that.

- [Tara] It was terrible. - It was horrible, so. - They still have some people living in campers, FEMA trailers, we call 'em, the government supplied campers, they still have people living in 'em. - [Peter] And how many years ago was it? - [Keith] '21 - It was in, yeah.

- [Peter] It was '21, okay. Here's another guy, he's got the speedboat, huh? (Carlis speaking Cajun French) - Oh, no. (Carlis laughing) I know you.

- You gotta be 70... - 82. - Oh, you look good for your age for 82. - Yeah. - (speaking in Cajun French) - [Tara] He was born and raised in Pierre Part. - Oh, yeah. - [Peter] Okay.

- [Tara] Is Pierre Part a good place to live? - Well, man, come on, till I went out to work, I didn't know they had a better place than Pierre Part. - [Peter] You didn't go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans with Keith last year? - Not a Mardi Gras guy, (Tara laughs) never was. - [Peter] You got that, Tara got my joke. - I can count times I stepped in New Orleans, partner, especially these days. - [Tara] He feels the same way about New Orleans that Keith does. - You'd never catch me in New Orleans.

I had a bunch of friends- - We're on the same page, I promise. - [Peter] You guys are all scared of New Orleans, huh? - We're not scared, we're just smarter. - We're not scared, we're not scared at all. (all laughing) - [Tara] That's a good one, Daddy. - [Keith] We didn't lose anything over that, and we don't want to. - I never was into that, man, never.

Boy, they got some people. My oldest boy, he's into that stuff. Well, most people down here, this Coonass here ain't. - [Keith] They got Mardis Gras... - [Peter] Okay, so when you say Coonass, let me understand that.

You can call each other Coonass, but if I said Coonass to you, that's not cool, right? - Well, the reason for that is- - [Peter] What is it? I'm hearing different information on that. - [Tara] You can call me a Coonass all day long. - The reason for that is- - My people, you can call 'em that.

- [Tara] That's not offensive to us. - I don't know where the saying Coonass came from. - [Peter] But who does it refer to, Cajuns? - It refers to a Cajun. - [Tara] Yes. - Yeah.

- Cajun Coonass. - [Peter] So you're a Coonass? - We're all Cajun Coonasses. (overlapping speech) - No true Cajun is offended by being called a Coonass. Call me a Coonass all day long. - Okay, but I was told non-Coonass can't call a Coonass a Coonass.

- No, no, no. - Everyone's got a different opinion. - I don't know anybody that would be offended by that. - [Peter] No one takes it personally? - No. - No one. - [Peter] All right. (overlapping speech) - States man, the southern states, not just the southern states, plenty, me and all my brothers, and for my daddy, now you can ask this man right here, and bruh, every place I worked, they loved us.

They loved the way we talk. They liked the way we help our people. Look at the eagles. Boy, you never used to see this. - [Tara] That's what I was telling him, they have so many.

- [Peter] The bald eagles. - Yes, you hear it? - [Peter] Those are bald eagles? - Mm-hmm. - (Carlis and friend conversing) - [Keith] Look, that's the eagle nest right there. See it on top of that tree? - [Tara] Oh, yeah.

- [Peter] Oh, way out there? - [Friend] Yeah, one time now, bruh. - [Peter] Way out there. - He's probably eyeing us. (Carlis and friend speaking Cajun French) - It's like a fly zone right there. They fly from Bayou Corne, and they pass every day over, and they come in Lake Barre, they go fish. Look in the bayou there.

You, know, my grandma called it "bare". And all of us sit down this porch in the morning. You could see 'em, it's like clockwork, the big eagles.

They come, they scoop up their fish. - [Peter] How big are the wingspans of these bald eagles? - I heard five foot. - [Keith] Oh, bigger than that probably. - [Tara] I think they're bigger than that. - I would think they're about at least six. I'm not 100% sure on that.

- It's big, you don't notice that, but you get close to that son of a gun. - [Peter] So when did they start coming back? - I got you. - [Peter] When did they start coming back? (boat motor chugging) - I don't know. - It's been years.

They've been having on a good comeback for years now, but it's amazing how many they have around here. (boat motor roaring) - [Peter] Do you know why the trees do this, like these little spines coming up? - That's their roots, that's the roots of the tree, the cypress knees. - Or in Cajun language, they call "boscoyos". (boat motor chugging) - [Tara] Look, snake. (chugging continues) - Snake? Oh yeah, I see him. - [Tara] Yeah, we were frogging Friday night, and I saw a snake, so he proceeded to catch it.

(boat motor cranking) - [Tara] That's the gator right there, ha? - [Peter] Oh, the gator's right there. - [Keith] Oh, I didn't even see him. - I think he's cute.

(Peter chuckles) - [Peter] They are cool creatures. - [Tara] Mm-hmm. - [Keith] He's not scared at all, huh? - [Tara] Look how cute. - Oh, I was trying to get the snake. I just wanted to show him to you.

- [Tara] He's the snake guy at work. - Everybody calls me at work when they find a snake at work, 'cause they know I know how to deal with 'em, and I don't like to harm 'em, so I usually go find a place to put 'em out in the woods or something, get 'em off the property, you know? But I don't like people killing 'em. - [Peter] You got any poisonous snakes out here? - They have plenty.

Your water moccasins are your common snake around here. Cottonmouth, water moccasin's same thing, but- - [Peter] A lot of venom in them or? - They got a good bit. That's not the ones that probably wouldn't die. I'm sure some people have died from 'em before, but they'll make you very, very sick.

I don't usually catch the water moccasins by hand. Even though I have done it before, it's pretty frowned upon. (Tara and Keith laughing) - What's frowned upon is when you don't kill 'em after. - Yeah, people always want me to kill 'em, and it's like, it's just, I don't know. I mean, they have just as much right to be out here, if not more than I do, right? This is their place.

(boat motor chugging) - I'm gonna catch it. (chugging continues) Not really. (laughing) (chugging continues) I'll catch the little ones. I'll catch a snake. That don't bother, snake don't bother. Roaches bother me.

- [Peter] Cockroaches? - Yes. - [Peter] Watch your head. - You know what's crazy about her? She will catch a bullfrog this big, but one of those little peeper frogs gets on her, it's over.

I don't know why she's so scared of those little green frogs. - The little tree frogs, 'cause they jump on you. A bullfrog jumps away from you. (boat motor chugging) - Hey, I give her all the credit in the world. She comes out here and does all this with me, catches- - [Tara] Look at that little baby. - [Peter] Oh, so cool.

How long you guys been together? - [Tara] Eight a half years. - [Peter] Eight and a half years. - Eight and a half years, yeah. (water splashing) - [Peter] And there's a big one. (water splashing) - [Keith] Man, he came out quick, ha? - Hoping to go find a big nutria rat to show you.

- [Peter] Nutria rat? - Nutria, we call it nutria rats, bayou rats. - [Peter] But what is nutria rat? - It's a really big rodent, and they're a very invasive species around here. They tear up a lot of these marshlands around here.

You'll see that they'll eat all the roots of the vegetation. They dig holes in a lot of levee systems we have around here, and a lot of people trap 'em for the tails. Like they'll give you certain times of the year, you can trap the nutrias, and they'll give you $6 a tail if you turn the tails in. - [Tara] It's a government program. - We shoot 'em, we actually shot a few of 'em last weekend and we ate 'em, so. - [Peter] You eat 'em? - We eat 'em, they's actually a very clean meat.

They vegetarian, they only eat vegetation, so it's a very clean animal, just a lot of people don't eat 'em because it looks like a rat. It looks exactly like a rat. - [Peter] How many pounds are they? - Oh, they can get five pounds to probably up to 20 pounds, I would say. - [Peter] They're like midsize dogs? - Yeah, I'm gonna show you some in a few minutes. You're gonna see. - [Peter] Oh my God.

- [Keith] It's like the biggest rat you ever seen. - We have a lot of them. - New York, they don't have anything on us on rats. - [Tara] Don't call 'em a rat. - Don't offend the nutria.

- I'll tell you what, we'll let Peter determine what he wants to call 'em when he sees one. - All right. (boat motor chugging) (Tara laughing) - I feel fairly confident he's gonna think it's a big rat. (chugging continues) If you sneak up on 'em, they hear the motor running, they'll take off running, but a lot of times if you just kind of creep up on 'em, they'll just sit there and they'll sit in the lilies and eat all this grass, or they'll sit in the marsh and eat all the grass. Sometimes you'll see 'em by those cypress trees.

(chugging continues) - [Tara] Saw one? (rifle clicking) (rifle firing) - [Tara] Oh, I heard it. That was a good shot. - [Peter] You got it? (Tara laughs) - [Keith] Yeah.

- [Peter] You got it in one shot? - [Tara] I heard it when it hit. (boat motor cranks) - [Peter] Oh my god. (chuckles) Oh my God, you're a pro. - [Tara] He's a sharp shooter. - [Peter] Oh my God. (boat motor humming) - It's not my first time.

(boat motor chugging) (leaves and sticks crunching) - [Peter] Oh my God! Oh my God, Keith. - [Keith] That's a small one. - [Tara] What is it? - [Peter] Whoa. - [Tara] What is it? - Oh my God.

- [Tara] So what does it look like to you? - [Peter] Those are its front teeth, huh? - Bottom and top. - [Peter] My wife is gonna lose her mind seeing the footage now. (Tara laughing) Oh my god. - What do they call it? My friend calls 'em swamp bunnies. Far from it, but... - [Peter] One shot through all of this, and that's part of the dinner menu tonight, right? - Would you like to try it, a nutria? - [Peter] I mean, if you're doing it.

- We could try frying it. - [Peter] When in Rome. - We could try frying it. - No, do you think? I think a nutria stew would be awesome. - [Peter] You like nutria stew? - I do, I think you would really like it too. - I think so.

One thing I wanna mention also, these guys have their own YouTube channel, where there's a lot of this sort of stuff going on, right? - Yeah, it's Dat Louisiana Life, D-A-T. - [Peter] Yeah. - And I know people ask, but D-A-T is actually my son's initials. That's why I called it Dat Louisiana Life. - [Peter] Not as in "that", but in DAT, your son's initials.

- It's a play on it, yeah. - Yeah, it's a play on it. I mean, everybody says like, "Who dat?" For the sayings and all that stuff, but we call our channel Dat Louisiana Life. - Yeah, that's how I found these guys.

- Yeah. - Because I couldn't resist. - We do a lot of fishing and frogging, and we do a lot of crabbing all around the local area, so that's what we love to do, and that's what we capture on our videos. - So say the grid goes down, right? Everything stops, no cell phone coverage. You guys are fine out here? - [Tara] Yeah. - We're gonna be fantastic.

I think we'll be good. - [Peter] You would need fuel, that would be the one, fuel and clean water would be the tough one to get. - Yeah, but I mean, there's ways to get clean water, so we'd boil it all day long if we got to, right? - [Tara] Yeah. - I got deer rifles and shotguns and stuff like that. - [Tara] And how many rounds of ammo at the house? - Oh, 18,000 rounds maybe. - [Keith] You're getting ready for something, Keith? - [Tara] Always.

- Well, I mean, they had all them issues with the bullets a while back, where they were driving the prices up, and it was hard to even find bullets, so I was like, well I just, I got enough to last, because when you're doing stuff like this, you like to have a few bullets, you know, I'm not- - [Peter] Yeah, what do you guys feel about the rest of the country right here? Because you're sort of in your own world out here, it feels like. - Yeah. - [Peter] Like do you think about it at all, or you're just- - I mean, we see it, we hear stuff, but honestly- - [Tara] We hear stuff from work. - I watch no news, none.

I hear stuff from other people, but I don't watch any news. - [Tara] We have not watched the news in years. - I used to keep up a little bit with the news, and then it would just upset me so much to see all the stuff going on, so I was like, you know, it's just, I'm a lot happier person, honestly, not keeping up with that stuff, 'cause how much positive stuff do you see in the news? - [Tara] Nothing. - It's not, I don't know, so this is what we do, and we enjoy our lives doing it. If we're not here, like I said, we're doing stuff with our families, or we- - [Peter] How big's your family? - I have a big family, like on my mom's side, she has eight siblings and with all their kids, and we get together a good bit for all the holidays and stuff, so. - [Tara] And your dad has a big family.

- My dad has a big family. For Christmas and stuff, probably looking at 60 to 70 of us. And they do get-togethers once a month, and you'll have, depending on who can make it, you'll have like 20 to 30. People like to get together, so a lot of things we do over here, you do a crab boil or a crawfish boil, and you just tell everybody, and everybody wants to bring a dish, and let me bring something, and everybody gets together and just has a great time, and we cook some good food, you know? And that's, you probably realize that down here is like, we like to cook, we like to enjoy our food, and we like other people to enjoy it with us, you know? So that's how we do it. Every time me and Tara go crabbing or shrimping or whatever it may be, we're calling people. If we catch, "Hey, meet us at the house, we're boiling something," so that's what we do.

(boat motor chugging) - [Peter] This gator just went down. (chugging continues) - [Keith] Oh, look at the limpkins right there. See 'em in the bushes? - [Peter] Oh yeah, what kind of birds are those? - [Keith] Those are limpkins. (birds chirping) - [Peter] They blend in really well. - Yeah, they do. We have another invasive species over here, it's called a apple snail, and those birds came down, I think they came from Florida, is that right Tara? - [Tara] Yeah.

- And they eat the apple snails, so you'll see apple snail shells all over the place. This is what they eat, so this was an apple snail, but he's gone. - [Tara] You know how the north and northwest of the United States has Bigfoot? - [Peter] Yep. - So down here, our swamp creature is rougarou. - [Peter] Rougarou? - We have rougarous out here.

- [Peter] It's like a werewolf? - [Keith] Yeah. - [Peter] I've heard there were some legends here. - Yeah, I suppose.

I think we've actually heard a rougarou out here a couple of times at night, but never seen one. - [Peter] There's some good legends about these, Keith? - People always ask, "Y'all ever see the rougarou out there?" Never seen 'em. (peaceful guitar music) (peaceful guitar music) (boat motor humming) (strumming continues) - [Peter] Oh, he's taking a nap. - [Tara] I think he could probably sleep anywhere. (birds chirping) What's up, sleepy head? - [Carlis] It was time for my nap. (all laughing) - [Tara] We heard you snoring from the beginning of the bayou.

- Yeah, right, my nose is big enough for that. (everyone's laughing) - [Keith] I got you a treat. - Not me, I quit doing that.

- What? (Tara laughing) - Cleaning 'em. - No, I'm gonna clean him. You want some nutria stew? - Don't make no difference to me, I'd eat anything. - Anytime a true Cajun sees a new animal or bird or whatever, what'd they say? What's the first thing that comes to mind? - [Carlis] Wonder if that's good to eat? - [Tara] Yes. (laughing) - That's like those- - Hey, don't I say it? - Hey, them birds that come from Florida. - Limpkins? - Yeah, to eat them snails.

The first thing I said, "Wonder if they're good to eat?" (birds chirping) - Keith and Tara just boated into town to get some spices, some ingredients for the nutria stew. I'm out here with Carlis for a little bit, skinning fish, and just taking this all in. (birds chirping) It feels so removed from everything, so I get why they like this, it's full release. (chirping continues) This is your homemade wine? - Yeah, homemade wine. Muscadine, it's wild muscadine.

- [Peter] Out here? - Yeah. (wine flowing) Ah. (birds chirping) (Carlis speaking Cajun French) (Carlis laughing) (chirping continues) - [Peter] You feel the Cajun culture's under threat at all, or not at all? - [Carlis] Oh no, it's under threat. - [Peter] It's under threat? - We're losing it. Back when I was little, just this area here, I'd say 100% of the kids spoke French. Nowadays, you're lucky if you get 25 to 30%.

(birds chirping) That's like my grandkids, they understand it, but they never wanted to talk it. (chirping continues) - [Peter] But you spoke it 'cause your parents made you speak it, right? - They didn't make me, that's all we had. - [Peter] English isn't your first language? - No, French was my first language.

Now, in school, they made us quit talking French. - It was looked down upon to speak French? - Yes. - Okay, so the US school system didn't want any French being spoken at all? - No, didn't want any French. - Okay. - And then just lately, the last few years, they started with French immersion, you know, teaching French. - Yeah. - But before that,

it was looked down upon. - Yeah. - English, you know, started talking more and more English.

- Okay. - And now English is way ahead of the French. - It's like a tidal wave, it's hard to go against. - English is way ahead of the French now. - Okay. - Like I said, it's getting to be a lost culture.

At my age, I got one foot in the grave and the other one on solid ground, I don't know which way to feel. (both laughing) (boat motor chugging) - What's up, everybody? - [Carlis] What took you so long? (chugging continues) (Tara laughing) - [Peter] You guys were quick. - I thought I was pretty quick. We went to (indistinct) instead of Pierre Part store.

(chugging continues) - [Peter] So what do you got here? - All I bought was onions and rice. I'm gonna cook in this black iron pot. When'd you retire, Daddy, what year was it? - No, well, I was 65 when, that's what I'm saying. - [Tara] Yeah. - I retired, I worked till I was 65. - [Peter] What did you do exactly? - Ironworker.

- [Peter] How was that? - Bridges and towers, It was good, yeah, iron work's a good profession. You see what you do. We'd look at how many pieces we put in, or guess at how much weight we put in. It wasn't no standing around, we had to work all day. That's what I liked about it.

- [Keith] Tara, can you bring me that gut bucket in the back, that white one we found earlier? - [Peter] He says the gut bucket. - [Tara] I know that sounds so gross, huh? - Hey. - [Peter] No. - What you want me to do, put the debris in it, huh? - [Tara] Yeah. - Okay, well, we'll put it in my bucket, then I'm gonna go throw it away. I'll get it. - I'm gonna bring it, Daddy, you stay talking with Peter.

- [Keith] I got it, I got that bucket I used last time. Sorry, Peter. - [Peter] Don't worry about it, man, I'm capturing it all. - It ain't the first time people hear that.

(knife chopping) (water pump buzzing) - Wasn't the cleanest shot I had. (buzzing continues) Look at the the nutria meat all cleaned up. - [Tara] Yeah.

- [Peter] It looks like chicken breast. - Yeah, ready for Tara to get her cook on. - Well, I'mma go to the end of the bayou there and go feed the alligators.

(birds chirping) Hey. - [Tara] I got a cutting board down there and a knife. - I told him I was an iron worker, and then they gonna watch me walking this? They're gonna say, "He lied." (all laughing) (birds chirping) (stew bubbling) Wish you had smell-o-vision. - [Peter] Smell-o-vision? (Tara laughing) - It looks like a piece of chicken or something right there, hmm? (bubbling continues) Can't get fresher than that.

(spoon tapping) Last weekend, they had a nutria rodeo, cook off of different recipes, and they try to promote the nutria meat. I mean, they have a lot of hungry people in the world. Why not eat it if it's out there? - [Peter] Good point. - [Keith] 'Cause it looks like a rat. - It's all how we're conditioned since children, right? - Yeah. - Because chicken's okay or beef's okay, then we're good with it. - Why not nutria?

- But nutria, we're all freaked out 'cause it has a tail like a rat, right? - Yeah. If the government is paying people to kill these nutria 'cause they're invasive, why not have a market for that meat? Clean it, freeze it, and ship it to, you know, poor counties or whatever where people are struggling for food. - [Drake] I'm gonna head out there real quick. - My son getting off of school.

You had a good day at school? - Yes sir. I'm looking for a fishing pole. - [Peter] Drake's got a quiver of poles, huh? - Yeah, he has a lot to choose from. I did take a few to the camp. - [Drake] Dad, can I use this pole? - With the spinner bait? - [Drake] Yeah. - [Keith] Yep, you can use it.

- [Drake] Yeah, I'm gonna bring this one. - Yep, no problem. All right, buddy, I'm gonna let you go fishing. - I love how he says, "Yes sir". - Yeah.

- You taught him that, huh? That's a Louisiana thing? - [Carlis] Not at all. - I don't know. I still say yes sir, yes ma'am. - I think that's just- - To my elders. (laughs)

- That's how we grew up, you know? Yes ma'am, yes sir. - [Peter] You're keeping it going. - I think, I mean, that's just...

- [Peter] I like it. - I think it's a good thing. - You can try to keep it going, but I got some little grandkids, whoa. (Tara laughing) - [Peter] What are they calling you, hey, dude? (Tara laughing) - Yeah, exactly. - [Tara] Daddy, you wanna go sit outside and eat? - [Peter] There we go.

- I'm not gonna put a whole lot of nutria for you, just in case you don't like it, okay? - [Peter] Okay. - But I think you're gonna like it. - [Peter] I think so.

- Yeah. I know you like white beans. Who doesn't like white beans? - [Carlis] Well, a lot of people don't like white beans. - Come on, man. Moment of truth.

(Peter and Keith chuckling) Look at that. Lemme get some of the gravy for you on there. There you go. - [Peter] Thank you, Keith. - [Keith] You're welcome. - [Peter] Appreciate it.

- [Keith] I'm coming out with you. Good? - Yeah, yeah. There we go, that's good, yeah. All right, my first nutria. (birds chirping) Not bad, not bad. - [Tara] Keith, is this your first nutria? - This is not my first nutria, and I'm sure it won't be my last. (chuckles)

- It's got a lot of flavor. It's got some kick to it, right? The texture is different. I don't know what it's like. It's like nothing I've had before, to be honest. Texture's like, gummy. - I'd to describe it closer to a rabbit texture, but.

- Good balance of onions in there, Tara. - [Tara] Yeah. - So all in all, what you think of the meat itself? You find it has a strong flavor to it at all or? - Not crazy strong, no.

- But you can tell you're eating something. - [Tara] Not chicken. (laughs) - I feel like there's a lot of nutrients going on here.

- [Tara] In that organic meat. - It's very healthy. - [Tara] Yeah. - Big question is, would you eat it again? - If I was out here, yeah. (Tara and Keith laughing) - But our home, our main home is in Houma. - Yeah, so you wouldn't wanna live out, say okay, say you didn't have to work, neither of you had to work. Would you do this full time? Tara's shaking her head up and down.

- [Tara] I don't even need to think about that. I know I would. - I think we'd do it, we would do it full time, but it'd be a few little different things we'd have to do. A little more solar power, we do have solar power, but we'd upscale on the solar power for sure. - Okay. - [Tara] Indoor shower.

- So I think a lot of people find this stuff interesting because you seem very free out here. I mean, is that the feeling you get, is that the big draw? - Yes. - [Keith] How awesome is it that you can go out, catch you a fish, shoot a nutria, come back to your camp, cook it, I mean- - [Tara] And see all of the wildlife that we saw. - Yeah, it's just, it's very fulfilling for us to be able to catch our own food or, you know, harvest our own food. - Right.

No crime, no police. - [Tara] No sirens. - [Peter] No sirens. - Don't worry about what the world's doing.

- No. - [Peter] Okay. - It's a whole different vibe out here, so chill. - [Keith] Yeah. - Very chill.

Thank you for coming. - [Carlis] Yeah. - I love you. - Love you too. Okay. - [Tara] Be careful. - Learn French next time when you come. (all laughing) - [Tara] That would have to go for me too.

- [Carlis] Okay, Keith. - Thanks for coming to hang out with us. - [Carlis] All right. (boat motor humming) (birds chirping) - [Tara] Bye.

(boat motor roaring) - [Peter] You guys, that was awesome today, thank you. - Thanks for coming to hang out with us. - Well, it's a unique perspective, and I'm very fortunate to get it, because there's no way I'd be getting this on my own. - We enjoyed showing you our life out there.

- [Peter] It's cool. - [Keith] Yeah. - A lot of respect for you guys, I think it's very cool, and for all of you wanting more of this, I found them on YouTube, Dat Louisiana Life. - Yeah. - [Peter] Awesome videos about this lifestyle. - Us at our houseboat, us doing crabbing, fishing, and just enjoying the awesome scenery and landscape that we have around South Louisiana, so. - Yeah.

- And the feeling I got today is just, it's just so peaceful. The bayou is more special than I thought it would be. - Got to see some critters too, huh? - Got to see your skills, that was unbelievable. (Tara laughing) All right.

Thanks for coming along, guys. Until the next one. (peaceful guitar music) (peaceful guitar music continues)

2024-04-13 19:35

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