Connecting People to Places

Captain Puddle Ducks’ Steamer Pots: It’s a Family Affair

Holiday issue 2013
By Gael Hawkins 

I’ve been having one of those “why didn’t I think of this?” moments. Fresh, locally harvested seafood and fixings delivered to your cot­tage or motel-either cooked or ready to steam-an hour after a phone call to Captain Puddle Ducks’ Steamer Pots. What a great idea! Now in its third season, this local family busi­ness has perfected the ultimate Ocracoke seafood experience for a picnic, a large crowd or a laid-back family dinner after a day at the beach. Commer­cial fisherman Fletcher O’Neal and his wife Heather, who works at the Ocracoke School, offer their made-to-order feasts from May until the end of January. Fletcher and his son Hunter catch the major­ity of seafood from the Pam­lico Sound-shrimp: blue crabs, clams, and stone crab claws. Lobster, snow crab legs, mus­sels and dungeness crabs are deliv­ered fresh to Captain Puddle Ducks three times a week.

Heather does the prepara­tion and cooking. The corn and potatoes that she adds to the steamer pots are all sourced from NC farms. During the first season, food prep and cooking were done in a bor­rowed commercial kitchen. Now, the O’Neals have their own certified kitchen facili­ties which has streamlined their operation. Five different steamer pots that will feed from 2-6 people are available plus the design is your own option. Andouille sausage can be added to any steamer, too. When the steamer pot ar­rives, it includes everything you will need including cook­ing instructions if you choose to do the steaming yourself. Son Ethan is the delivery guy who will answer any ques­tions you might have about the food. The other two O’Neal sons play an important role in this business-they watch over their baby sister Maranda so that mom Heather can keep the pots rolling in the kitchen. Check out Captain Puddle Ducks’ Steamer Pots website, www.puddleducksteamers.com, for all the details. And don’t forget that come November, oysters will be available.