Trio brave stormy seas

Dinner tonight?
Dinner tonight?

A Blenheim woman has braved stormy seas to fetch scallops on the first day of the season even though she does not eat seafood.

Despite the severe winds and rain, Holly Neal joined her husband, Shaun Neal, and brother-in-law Kelly Neal as they travelled towards Cook Strait from Ocean Bay in Port Underwood for their traditional day out to collect the trio's quota of 50 scallops each on Sunday morning.

Commercial skipper Shaun Neal has dived for scallops on the first day of the season, which runs from July 15 to February 14, every year for at least the past 13 years.

"We've always got to go out on the first day of the scallop season, no matter what," Mrs Neal said.

"I'm the good luck charm but I don't eat seafood, I just go for the fun of it."

The bad weather, which flooded State Highway 6 near Canvastown and the Rai Valley, did not worry Mrs Neal.

"I've been out on fishing boats with Shaun before, and we've seen some crazy weather, but he knows what he's doing - I trust him."

The stormy weather cleared by about 3pm and Mr Neal collected the scallops while the others kept watch on the boat.

"Once we got out of the east arm of Port Underwood, it was beautiful sunny weather at the other end.

"We cooked a few last night and I'll probably cook a few more tonight.

"We'll be out pretty much every weekend for the rest of the season."

The Marlborough Express