…as I was driving to our school to talk with one of the teachers, I came up behind a pick-up truck about a half mile from our house, pulling this bird-dog, loaded with clams. While this is not a great pictures, I am nevertheless posting it to express my fascination with and admiration for our clamers. This boat is loaded with clams which they must have pulled at the crack of dawn, and now they are headed to off load them and process them. As I have mentioned before, when clamming first got going around here, during the later half of the 90’s, the fishermen did what they had always done, they pulled up to a dock and offloaded their clams. Then somebody figured out that if they just simply pulled their boat out of the water and drove to where they needed to off-load the clams, they could save themselves a lot of work, plus they would not need access to a dock. At the same time somebody also figured out that if they took off the boat’s transom, it would be a lot easier to load the bags of clams into the boat when they were out in the Gulf, pulling bags full of them off the bottom. The winch at the stern is another little innovation to make pulling up bags easier. Not all boats have them, only the bigger ones. Then of course the boat itself, the bird-dog, is a totally designed to adapt to local conditions. With the outboard up front and a well running the length of the boat’s bottom, the craft can operate in shallow waters and the ‘driver’, standing up front can much better see what is going on in the water ahead of the boat.
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