Alister’s Early Life Memoires
Digging toheroas can be either very easy or very difficult [“digging” is by hand, not by shovel]. The best time is at half tide when the holes show up quite readily and the sand is relatively soft and the toheroas easy to get at. BUT, when the sand is hard it is dreadful trying to dig them. The sand can be rock hard and digging in the sand is like trying to dig concrete and one loses fingernails that are worn down by the sand. If the toheroa beds are crowded then trying to get to the toheroas without breaking nails is a real achievement. If the water is over the beds, and the sand is soft, the toheroas, as soon as they feel threatened, dig deeper into the sand and they use their long tongues as a cork screw and hold very fast; at these times they are quite a challenge.
For many years now it is an offence to use any instrument to dig with. In our early married times at the beach we would take narrow spades to dig with, but as toheroas became ever more popular these were banned. There was a short season when one could legitimately dig for toheroas and today there is not even a season but one can apply for a permit to gather them. Many years ago there was a canning factory on the beach that canned soup. This enterprise was short lived as the toheroas became too scarce. We love this delicacy and when at the beach – it is 40 miles long – we usually manage to “pinch” enough to make fritters or soup.
And thus ends Jock’s narrative and Mary’s follow-up.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]