Ner (djner) wrote,

The quest for clams and fish, another entry in the midnight sun saga

Let's try this again.

Whenever I get started reading I either get slimed by a little kid or can't send my stupid entries. I'm not going to do a day by day, just5 go over the highlights of what we've been doing lately which is clamming mostly. How does clamming work you say? Well, here we go with a description of a typical clamming day.

First, you go and look into a tide book to see if you have what's called a "clam tide". This means there's lots of water movement, exposing the usually water covered clams. Then, you go to a place that has a lot of clams living there. I'm not sure exactly what makes a place good for clams to live but whatever. We went two times to aplace called Clam Gulch. On Saturday it was the best clam tide of the year, mostly because it was a good tide and the beach wasn't frozen. We could each collect 60 clams, and on Saturday for example, they were checking very closely both for licenses and also to make sure people weren't getting to greedy. Anyway, on Saturday, tide was at 10, so we had to get up at like 6 a.. load up the four wheelers and shovels and all that kidn of crap, and head for the beach, that is after loading the kids and all their clothes etc. Course, I had clothes too :). When there's a very low tide, you have to drive a ways on the beach, and because my brother's a local, he knows where all the clams are where there aren't billions of people to contend with So we drove about three miles in, then took the four wheelers out and drove some more. Then we start the digging, and that, is a very difficult process sometimes.

It's a game of sorts. Some people suck at it (me in cluded) but it's good to have someone seasoned like my brother to dig for you. The object of the game is to find these little dimples in the sand. The clams use these to breathe from. You take your shivel and dig like hell. I'm not exactly sure that clams have any brains, there wasn't any brain there that I could see from the hundreds that I cleaned, but they notice that you're disturbing the sand, so they use a really strong digger foot and dig away from you. If you're good, you can throw enough sand around to get the clam, grab it by its head, and drag it out. Even experienced clam diggers lose a few along the way. If you suck, you can sometiems get the clam but also, you might break the clam's shell which sucks because it makes cleaning really hard. You do this for a while till you reach your limitor the kids whining gets too annoying then you go back and clean.

Digging the clams is cool and fun, cleaning takes ten times as long and sucks to a degree. We got all of our stuff together, trekked back to the truck, and took off for home. YOu get amazingly dirty while clamming. Sand's everywhere on the beach, and it's like you seem to take half the beach with you when you get back either in your caked on your mouth or somewhere in your clothes. After washing the trucks and four wheelers (you have to do this before they rust ouut completely because of the saltwater), you go straight home and spend a while washing your clothes so as to not get crap spread throughout the house.

We went clamming yesterday, catching about 288 clams, accoring to Sean. We came back here and cleaned them, quite quickly I might add compared to Saturday which too four hours rather than the two that it took us yesterday. First of all, I had cleaning down to an art because it gets kind of natural after a while. YOU can't eat the whole clam, but you have to cut out the "gut sack" and put all the edible clam meat away for freezing. It's very "surgical" because if you screw up, you have to basically throw away the clam because if you cut the guts open it contaminates the clean clam meat with disgusting clam guts and mud. Grossness. My brother was amazed that I could accomplish this Surgical process after he tried to clean a clam with his eyes closed. Let's just say that Sean wouldn't do too well if he were blind and had to clean a clam. We probably wouldn'te ven have any clam meat left with him around. That too is a muddy process but it's fun because it's more of a social process or should be. Yesterday I had a great time bsing with my brother and his friend Shane. Beer must accompany clam cleaning fr sure, and when the mom isn't around, swearing must happen. It dulls the boringness.

Oh yeah, I forgot, I got to drive the four wheeler by myself acrss the beach yesterday. Yeah I almost got it burried in the mud but hey, I had fun while doing that. I don't know if he'll let me do it again though, blind dudes aren't supposed to drive cars much less four wheelers. Just remind me not to go on the open road any time soon.

That's about all I can come up to say about clamming. I think two times is enough for me but it warranted mentioning because it's such an odd process, something not many people do very often.

My Cousin Faye came from Phoenix Tuesday, so suffice it to say we have a full house over here. It's great to have family around though, and I'm going to dread leavingon next Tuesday.

We might go fishing tonight as the red salmon are supposedly running, I need to catch some salmon, absolutely need to. USually when I go home from my brother's I bring home about 50 lbs of fish and clams. I'm a bit behind, but I think we'll start tonight on the quest for fish. We'll see.

More later from the midnight sun. My cousin did take some pictures with a digital camera so I'll post some maybe later this afternoon when I can connect her camera to my computer for those of you who can see them. I even have one of me driving, that, is a sight to see let me tell you.

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