I had long planned to go clamming this morning. We got people coming over tonight, and nothing beats fresh clams, except maybe fresh tomatoes, and we got those, too.
My trusty paper tide charts (courtesy of Jim's Bait and Tackle), confirmed online, predicted that the sweetest clam bed south of Newfoundland will lay open mid-morning today.The kayaks are loaded, my clam bucket sits on the back stoop, and my rake is repaired and ready.
Alas, it rained last night. Rain flushes out the street sewers, which hold pretty much anything and everything the ground holds--cigarette butts, squirrel poop, herbicides, human spittle and other fluids, and all kinds of other matter subject to the law of gravity. A cherry stone will filter about 10 or so gallons of baywater a day, and I figure a chowder might do double that.
I have a general policy similar to a few states (though New Jersey, land of the free-to-ingest-whatever, is not one of them)--if it rains a decent amount the day before clamming, best not clam.
A decent amount for me means 1 inch, from the Latin uncia, 1/12th. Why a twelfth? Why a foot? What science is behind my tolerance? Well, very little. I surveyed the internets again, saw that Maryland closes beds for 1" rainfall, Massachussetts uses 1" in the winter, but only 0.6" in the summer (more squirrel poop around, I guess), and NJ, well, last time any bed got closed for rain was a year ago April so maybe we're not paying real close attention.
We got dumped on last night. How much? Well, I could wander outside and peek into a bucket, all of 15 feet away, but then I'd need to find my measuring tape, last used to measure the fluke I cannot keep, which means finding my fishing bag, which I think I left in the car, and, well, it's easier to look at a screen than get up and walk. Besides, it might be muddy outside. Not to mention the squirrel poo....
According to the internets, our local airport, only a couple of miles away, got 1.89 inches of rain last night. (Imagine that, we're measuring to the hundredths of twelths of some ancient foot standard...a freaking fifth of a millimeter for our more enlightened global neighbors....and which just happens to be the length of your run of the mill Paramecium caudatus.)
Here's a picture of a P. caudatus, just in case we go to that as a standard: