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I know, I know, razor clamming? Glorified hole digging? How the hell does that make it onto Man Makes Fire? Here is the situation: The wife is leaving town for the weekend, and it’s just me and the boys. Most lazy bored and boring men would revel in the chance to be even lazier, dropping their asses on the couch in front of the idiot box, giving their boys license to sit in front of the babysitter, and calling out for pizza delivery to complete their perfect weekend. Personally, when I have the opportunity to do nothing, I have to do something.
The west coast razor clamming expedition started when I realized I had nothing to do and someone else had plans already. So my nothing became something with the simple sentence:
“We’re in. Me and the boys.”
Self-proclaimed Grampa (the leader of this expedition) kicks into gear and within five minutes, plans are finished and guarantees of limiting out are made.
You’re digging holes in the sand, right, but you’ll still need some gear:
Gramps told me that the limits on razor clams are about 15 a day, so I figured with myself and two boys that would be a good enough load for some serious chowder.
The group meets up and heads out to the razor clamming spot at Long Beach, Washington. It’s a pretty good drive for us but patience is a good lesson for my boys. Once we arrive, we are a little early for the lowest of the tides so after a quick scouting trip, we head back into town for some dinner and wait for the darkness. Apparently low tides in the winter are in the late evenings and in the summer early mornings. Something to do with the conflicting gravitational pulls of the sun and moon.
Finally, the tide is out and we can’t see a thing, even with the newly purchased flashlights from the local gas station. Armed with our clam tags, we hit the beach practically running. Gramps still wears his head lamp, even though the only thing it is good for is to keep him from getting hit by a vehicle. After about 15 minutes of clam-less searching, we finally see our first “showing,” a tiny, barely noticeable symmetrical bump in the sand. Gramps pounces with the speed and agility of a starving tiger, and digging furiously, produces our first clam. In our two-hour time line we will go through this process three more times catching a total of four clams. Pretty close to our group limit of 75, eh? The final clam of the evening was probably the best. Gramps conceded the dig to Mark, who was digging so slowly that gramps started to shake with fear that he might actually lose the clam and admitted later on to almost taking over the dig.
Even though we did not make our limit, we had a great adventure. We tried something new, and my boys now know how to dig razor clams. I can’t wait to try one cooked up in bacon.