Day Four In The Shack – The Cold Ocean

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Dear world,claiming1 Today our job was clamming. We had to be up and ready to go in time for low tide which is prime clammin’ time. So we awoke at 2am, which is when I often go to bed at home in Canada. It was fairly cold – so cold in fact that three of the clammers we were to work with got scared off and didn’t show up. So we ended up waiting for an hour and a half for the rest of the clamming crew to show up. I wasn’t complaining because it meant more sleep in the van. We finally got down to the beach around 5am with the boss man and his two remaining workers. We were told to get out into the cold and trade our pants and sweaters for shorts, shirts and barefeet. Once we were suited up with our clamming gear, which consisted of a clam net tied around the waist and a trident (pitch fork), we went out into the freezing cold ocean claiming2 water to search for some clams. After about half an hour you lose all feeling in your legs and the cold doesn’t bother you as much.Clammers are paid 35 pesos for every dozen clams they bring in so we figured that between the six of us, each pair would need to collect 40 clams to reach our goal of 300 pesos for the day. Emily and I had no problem reaching that goal and we all went in to call it a day as the tide was coming in and the increasingly growing waves were making it difficult to continue. However when we showed our chores around the house bounty to the boss we were shocked to discover that over half of everyones’ clams were not large enough to keep and had to be thrown back into the ocean. We did not come close to our goal in the end and didn’t have enough money to survive the rest of the day. So later in the afternoon we did some extra house and yard work to make up for the rest instead of going back out with the clamming crew for the afternoon low tide.I personally really enjoyed our clamming experience, though most of my other counterparts do not share my joy due to the cold. If I were a Mexican in need of a job I could see myself doing this for a source of income. Though us rookies didn’t bring in a sizeable haul, the two full-time clammers we worked with each brought in about five dozen clams in the three hours we were there and I am told that on a good day clammers can make between 500-800 pesos a day. And that sure beats working in the fields.Written by Josh McClelland, School of Leadership student

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: February 26th, 2011