The hunting-gathering experience felt both primal and meditative. “It’s a wonderfully mindless activity in a beautiful place Free Web space and make money online,” Valtz said. As gorgeous as Cape Cod Bay clearly is — especially when bathed in morning light — it’s even better with oysters on the half shell.Tools of the trade.
The only equipment needed are rubber gloves (oyster shells are sharp — I have the scars to prove it) Free Web space and make money online, a bucket, a small hammer and sandals/shorts you don’t mind getting wet. After two hours hunched over about a foot of water, I had pulled in roughly two dozen oysters. This, Valtz explained, was a rather paltry sum compared with the previous month’s haul. We were past peak oyster season and at the height of the summer tourist infestation, when pickings are slimmer.Photographs by Alma Gensler Catch of the day.
“This late in the season, the whole game is to move slowly and turn over everything Free Web space and make money online,” advised Beau Valtz, my bivalve sensei and a year-round Cape Codder who has been harvesting shellfish for the past 12 years. Oyster hunting, he says, involves little more than picking up anything that looks like an oyster, detaching the seaweed and assorted sea life and making sure it conforms to size restrictions — oysters must measure at least three inches in length. Beware: there is a shell constabulary who can slap rule breakers with stiff fines.
Oysters, however, are not the only shell game in town: clams or quahogs, which the Wellfleet Township seeds, can be found in a long line parallel to shore. They are harvested with rakes scraped across the seafloor bottom. An older Italian gentleman with a large, elongated shell explained that he had found a scungilli (or whelk). He licked his lips, explaining how he would later boil, slice and sauté the sea snail with olive oil and lemon. Back on shore we came across people kneeling on Indian Neck Beach digging for steamers (soft-shell clams) found beneath air holes pocking the sand.Fruits of labor and the sea.
As an oyster fanatic who for decades has devoured Kumamotos, Malpeques, Blue Points and Wellfleets from the Grand Central Oyster Bar to Blue Ribbon to Pearl Oyster Bar and beyond, I relished the thought of skipping the middleman — and had no idea how easy it would be. In the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Mass., the ancient rite of shellfish gathering (witness the antiquated shell middens found on coasts across the globe) is open to anyone who can plunk down $75 for a seasonal non-residential shell license. (Go to the Wellfleet Shellfish Department for more information.) The permit, available on Town Pier, allows you to harvest a 10-quart bucket of shellfish weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays at low tide.
The best-tasting oyster I will ever consume came at 8 a.m. on a warm late-July Wednesday in the middle of Wellfleet Harbor. I was attempting to remove the mollusk’s various attachments with a small Estwing drywall hammer when its shell accidentally cracked open. With few viable options, I selflessly did the humane thing: I slid it down my gullet. It was delectable — rich, creamy and absurdly fresh — and no more than 30 seconds between sea and belly.Related：