They say that back in the day along the Pacific Coastline, there were so many razor clams that they would practically jump out of the sand right into your mouth. And even today, they’re so plentiful that you can get your limit in only half an hour. At least that’s what one of my husband’s coworkers said. Then he offered to take us clam digging.
That was all the motivation we needed, razor clams make for some really good eating. The husband procured the licenses, and the next day we rolled out of bed at three o’clock in the morning, painfully early. It’s a three hour drive, and we had to get there by dawn in time for low tide.
It started raining as soon as we got there. Everything was grey—grey sky, grey rain, grey waves, just like a watercolor painting. It seemed peaceful and serene, except for the steady stream of cars driving on the sand and all of the people.
The beach was swarming with clam diggers, all excited about the first clam dig of the spring season.
As soon as it was light enough to see, we began combing the beach, looking for the telltale hole of the razor clam. Once you find the hole, you dig straight down for the clam. The razor clam will feel you coming and burrow straight down to get away, so you have to dig faster than he does. It’s easy work with a clam gun, which is essentially a tube that brings up a core sample of sand, and the clam comes along for the ride.
What I would’ve given for a pair of galoshes, I wanted to go out into the surf too. The razor clams live farther out than I realized, and I spent more time running away as the waves rolled in than digging.
So do you want to know about our impressive haul? We ended up with several bootfuls of sand and exactly zero razor clams. It was a complete bust, no beginner’s luck here. The tide didn’t go out far enough, so no breaded and pan-fried razor clams for dinner. But there’s another clam dig scheduled for April, and they’re promising an even lower low tide then. Until we meet again, razor clams!