Saturday, July 14 was one of the best low tides of the year, and we happened to be in Ninilchik, one of the best places for clamming for razor clams so we had a great couple hours clamming. The weather was perfect--warm enough for short-sleeved t-shirts, which is unusual on the ocean. Of course we overdressed, since it is rarely that warm!
We had the odd, long, skinny clamming shovels and a bucket each. Low tide was at 10:10. We got there at 10:30 (had forgotten to get our fishing license the day before, so had to wait in line!). The shore was wall-to-wall people, and we were a little discouraged until we started digging. We found a spot where no one had dug and no one was digging. I was getting a clam in just about every hole I dug, though it took a little experimentation to avoid breaking them while digging or while grabbing for them. Denver found plenty of clams sitting on the surface by a stream that crossed the beach. Doug dug and Aurora grabbed the clams. It helps to have a long arm and strong hands. The clams wiggle to about arm's length deep upon being disturbed, so once the hole is dug we had to get down on our knees and feel around the bottom of the hole for the clam. The shells are actually delicate, so oftentimes in our gripping we would break the shell. They're still edible, just a little more difficult to clean.
In an hour and a half we got a 5 gallon bucket full. It then took 6 of us 2 hours to clean them all! Aurora cut off necks and cut them open; Doug and I scraped out the guts inside and scraped them off the shell, while Delores did the final cleaning picking off any bad parts we missed. It took another hour to bread them (flour-egg-saltine crackers), and then just a few minutes to eat them! Yum!