diggin deep

We started off the morning a little scattered.

The night before had been my unofficial birthday celebration, a lobster feast fortuitously timed to ring in another year of my short life but really the result of Eric the Fisherman's availability in schedule to provide. I swam both before and after dinner. Perfectly calm salty Northumberland strait providing for me as it so often does. This along with the beach fire that Rita arranged and I wanted for nothing.

The next morning we woke early and sure enough, Ernie was up for the clam adventure discussed at dinner. We ate toast and drank coffee, plus blueberries and one half of a banana covered in cream. We packed buckets, shovels, small umbrellas just in case. Ernie arrived and we were off. I was admittedly tired but the drive seemed to take awhile. We knew we needed to go past Kouchibouguac but after that, where? Rita boldly tracked down a fisherman's number at he marina, our soon to be good friend Nyo who Rita may or may not have bought lobster from the year before. We had missed low tide but a woman assumed to be his wife advised he was still out digging and we might be able to catch him if we tried. She provided his number and the name of the street on which to turn right on two orange sticky post its, with a little patience we finally found out way. The water was hip deep by the time we arrived but we trolled nonetheless, shovels in hand. There were a few clam diggers still out and by now Rita had tracked down Nyo who showed us the ropes, or at least told us about them. Were the water not obscuring our view we would have looked for the telltale holes, stuck a shovel in, shaken the sand off, moved to the next. When the water settles, you rapidly collect. Our method was more along the lines of digging blindly and still, ridiculously, managing to procure ample clam families. His setup and efficiency humbled ours. But he was friendly enough to scatter his own haul and let us scramble for it, feeling like we'd done a lot in a very short time. His and his buddy's proper floating wood framed baskets were filled to the brim with a bounty we'd soon purchase two bonus pecks from. All told, two overflowing buckets, one surreal morning activity in Canada, bags and bags of frozen clams, and one steaming plateful shared with friends old and new. This really is the life.