Sunday, May 10, 2009

Razor Clams part 2: Danger on Ice

Razor Clams are specialized for two things: 1) quickly digging downwards to escape being eaten, and 2) being eaten. We, personally, love this second part. Anyhoo, here's how one goes about using a clam gun:

So, briefly, we found a clam sign, placed the clam gun over the clam sign, angled it slightly away from the ocean, and started to dig. The important thing here that you can't see in the video is a small hole in the handle of the clam gun. Uncovering the hole allows air to escape when pressing the gun into the sand. Covering the hole allows you to strain your back as you try to break the suction while lifting a 5in diameter, 12in long core sample of wet sand. If you're lucky, the vibrations will only have scared the clam and started him digging down. If you're unlucky, he pulls out his straight razor.

How easy this is a complicated function of: how low the tide is, how wet the sand is, how big the clam is, how long it was since someone last walked near the spot (Razor Clams can smell fear), how you hold your mouth, and whether or not you're lined up with a toilet. It also helps to have a good poker face, and not to count your chips at the table.

The limit is 15 clams person-1 day-1 and you have to keep the first 15 you dig, regardless of size or condition.