Banzai Razor Clams

Skyla has been wanting to dig razor clams all spring, but due to various other commitments–mostly volleyball and basketball–none of our free time matched up with the late-winter evening tides. But Sunday there was a reasonable mid-morning tide and both kids were stoked to go. Which meant up early to hit the road and a long drive to the coast. It rained most of the way there, but we hit the beach under bluebird skies.

The digging was incredible. We walked straight down from the car and hit pay dirt immediately, with clams showing all around us. We filled our limits in 20 minutes, without ever leaving a 30-square-foot patch of sand.

It seemed almost too good. We rinsed our gear, chased Halo around on the beach a bit, and piled back into the car for the haul home. And I kind of wished it had been at least a little more challenging to give us more time on the beach. But we weren’t complaining.

To cap off Halo’s best day ever so far (car-ride napping with family, beach, ocean, etc) we stopped for a burger on the way home and Weston treated her to some ice cream.

Then the real work started. With razor clams, finding and digging is the easy part. At home, we had sand and salt to clean off the gear, clothes, car and dog, and a serious clam-cleaning session. I couldn’t help but tally it all up in my mind: Drive for three hours, dig for 20 minutes, drive for 3 hours and clean for 3 hours. Later, when I related this to our friend Kate, wondering it it was all worth it, she came back with the perfect answer: “Memories for infinity.” Not to mention all the mouth-watering meals ahead.

A Night On The Beach


A brief lull in the weather, a decent minus tide and a razor clam opener on the Washington coast.   What better way to spend a December evening than chasing clams and kids around a windswept surf line in the dark? Especially with great friends. Too much fun.

The lull in the weather was key. When morning rain gave way to clearing skies and slackening breeze, Sweeney and I grabbed our kids and ran for the beach. That the Sweeney girls would take a break from teen-age activities and hang out grubbing around in wet sand with the smaller kids, me and her old man gives me hope for the future. The Sweeney/Tomine Razor Crew above, armed and dangerous.

High surf and tide earlier in the day had the clams deep and a little more challenging to find, but we stuck it out and filled our bags with what has to be the most delicious bivalve in the world. On the long drive home, the girls chattered, Weston slept (of course) and we all looked forward to a warm dinner. There were piles of wet, sandy gear to deal with and clams to clean, but I think we would all agree it was more than worth it.