I have lived in Washington most of my life ( going on 20+ years) and I have vaguely heard about clam digging in my young years, but have never tried it. WELL. Its kind of a BiG deal around here, as I found out this last weekend when I went on my first ever razor clam dig. 🙂 I mean, how DARE I call my self a Washingtonian all these years and never know the adventure of a clam dig!!
(our journey from Tacoma to the coast in purple)
(Copalis Beach is where we had our dig)
I totally see and get the appeal now and I can’t WAIT for next season to start. I think I had the ultimate experience as a beginner. It was the last day of the season (sadly) but the dig started early in the morning ( but not TOO early), the sun was out and the clams were showing well.
After I reached my limit of fifteen, I found out the season starts back up in Sept/Oct and most of the digs are in the middle of the night, to correspond with the tide schedules. So…. to recap, when I go again, it will be in the fall ( cold) and at night ( hard to see unless you have a headlamp)….. Now I am really glad I went this last weekend when all conditions were at their best, because I am TOTALLY hooked.
(our little group heading out to the waves)
(my momma and me)
The best part of it all was I got to go and spend some QT with my momma. 😉 At the beginning of the dig I tried my darnest to stay mostly dry even though I had rain boots on. But after I was on my first clam I had spotted on my own, the waves came rolling in and I had to sit there mid thigh deep, and wait till they went back out to pull my gun up. ( sigh) So much for staying dry. After the first full boot of water, I was over it. Might as well had jumped into the Pacific for a swim…
After all in the group we were with had reached their limits, we piled back into the cars and headed back to camp, were I then learned how to properly cut and clean my clams. Everyone pitched in with the cleaning, I mean we had an assembly line going-boil, cut, gut, clean- and it was so nice when someone thought to make us all breakfast. Cause let me let you what, you’ll work up an appetite cleaning those suckers.
Ok, so I have to share…. while out on the beach learning how to spot them, and by ” them”, I mean their little spout holes so we could dig them up, I noticed some little baby sand dollars. Those little guys were so little and cute, I pointed them out to my mom and she thought the same. In the mean time I was having the dangest time trying to find those blow holes that show where there is a clam underneath. Finally, a friend of my mom, ms. D, pointed out, ” Look there’s a clam! Go dig it up!”
I said, ” What?! NO. That’s a baby sand dollar. You sure it’s a clam?”
“Yeah, that’s a clam. That is the top of the neck and you are seeing the siphon. Its called necking, and it means they are really close to the surface.”
“WHHHHHHAT?! I passed up, like, five of those bad boys, thinking they were cute baby sand dollars!”
Lesson learned. If you see ” baby sand dollars”, diggem up!
(your anatomy lesson of the day. Parts of the razor clam, and I’m tell ya, that little siphon on top looks like a little sand dollar!)
(This is what you look for in the sand as the waves pull back out. That little “V” in the water along with a hole)
And this, my friends is how we ended our day…. with warm sunshine above us and warm soft sand between our toes. 😉