View Full Version : Clam Digging in a Cub

Alex Clark
06-17-2004, 05:54 PM
Clam digging in a Cub

My partner Jeff and I, once had a thought.
We would fly down Cook Inlet, in the yellow Cub that I?d bought.

We needed a believable excuse, to go out for some flying.
So we dreamed up a plan to, have a major Clam bake or fry-in.

I flew to Lake Hood and picked up my Buddy.
All the stuff that he brought, made weight and balance a calculus study.

Finally we were airborne, in the old yellow Forty-One J-5.
The Lycoming engine roared, as we headed to bearing two-thirtyfive.

The down the Cook Inlet, to beautiful Tuxedni Bay.
It was a blue and warm, early summers day.

The beach was exposed, due to the minus tide.
But I saw a sight, that challenged my pride.

Out in the Bay, a mile from land,
Stood four fingers of gravel and mud, plus some of it sand.

?What do you think?? I called over my shoulder.
Jeff said ?Doesn?t look too bad.? That made me grow bolder.

So a side slip and slow-flight, plus a little R.P.M.
Next thing we knew, we were rolling on the big tires again.

We unpacked our gear and started to dig.
After an hour, we had three sacks of clams, that were really too big.

That?s when we noticed, that we had wandered away.
From the only thing, that could get us home again that day.

Three fingers over, with the sea tide coming in fast.
Sat the yellow J-5, with salt-water streaming past.

We waded on over and turned her around.
We had about 200 feet of sand, that was all to be found.

I fire walled the engine, while Jeff clutched the clams to his chest.
If we were going to die early, Jeff would be taking the clams to his permanent rest.

The water hit the big tires, just as we started to lift.
I told Jeff to hold the clams forward, so hopefully our weight would shift.

The Cub screamed over the water , at a steady sixty-five.
The Lycoming was the only thing, keeping us dry and alive.

Over the mile of seawater we flew, just past Neptune?s reach.
Then landed where we should have been, on the safe sandy beach.

We rinsed off the clams, with fresh water from little Polly Creek.
Then poured some on the Cub?s bottom and under the seat.

We might have cheated the Sea God , when he snatched at the Cub?s rudder.
But Neptune won in the end, since those clams fried up like rubber.

Alex Clark Homer Alaska June 2004

06-17-2004, 06:01 PM
This poem makes it obvious who wrote your webpage... Very good, thanx...

Alex Clark
06-17-2004, 06:15 PM
I still have some of the pictures that Jeff took out the door as the water closed in on the tires.

Jeff was holding three burlap bags full of the big gooey duck clams.

We weighted a little too much to get more than a few feet above the water that day.

Jeff held the bags so tight that he cracked about half the clams. So we cleaned them over at Polly Creek and reduced the weight by removing the shells. Plus we gave a bunch to another pilot who had landed too late for the tide.

I have a couple of collapsable Swiss army canvas buckets I bought out of Sportsmans Guide. They work great for hauling fresh water and they fold up for airplane use. They also work for berry picking.

Let me point out that this was years ago, and I no longer push my luck when anyone else is in the plane. Especially with Iron Inge my lovely bride. She has that well known German sense of humor. So she whacks me upside the head incase I head for anything too rough or short for her taste. And I don't push it much when I am by myself either.

06-19-2004, 12:04 AM
J5...? must be a A model...what engine do you have...? I have a 43 J5C...just got it last year...rebuilt one wing and I am still learning...200' is very impressive...I have a 0-235C...sure wish it had more ponies...but I am very happy with it no the less...

Copper Center Alaska

Alex Clark
06-19-2004, 03:45 PM
That plane was a 1941 J-5A that was converted with PA-12 wings, PA-18 fuel tanks. PA-18 tail, trim and landing gear. It weighed 1000 pounds with battery, lights, alt and starter. During that period I had the power stuff yanked out. She had droop tips and a 0-290-D engine. She was 3 airplanes ago. She belongs to a guy up in Anchorage now.