Saturday, October 29, 2011

Portuguese Man o' War

The Western Cape weather for this time of the year is rather strange at the moment. The northwestern that has been blowing for weeks now is about 180 degrees out from what we usually experience this time of the year. In every kite surfing shop you find frustrated kite surfers who feel they are being robbed from time in the water by this strange phenomenon. The kite surfing season should have started already, but seeing kites in the water has been few and far between the last few weeks. The only good thing about this wind is that the water is relatively warm, so it is nice for swimming and surfing, but that's about it. The onshore wind doesn't help much for the waves either, so there is really nothing much good in what is happening at the moment.

This afternoon I took my son to the beach with the hope of getting a few pictures as well. The breeze was rather chilly but not preventing him from getting wet from head to toes. He was really enjoying the water, but I noticed that the constant wind had blown a magnitude of blue bottles (Portuguese Man-of-war) towards the shore, and it wasn't going to be long before he gets tangled in their long tentacles. I took a few pictures of them on the beach. They are quite unique organisms and definitely worth reading up on. After putting my camera away I joined him in the water, guiding him away from the blue bottle without putting too much emphasis on them. One sight and he would've left the water immediately. Then of course it happened. A scream that turned heads as far as the car park. He got stung on his leg. After a huge commotion we eventually calmed him down. It is widely believed that urine makes the burn go away, but I wasn't going to wee on my sons leg in front of 200 plus spectators. With a bit of "Zam-buk" ointment and a promise of an ice cream we eventually managed to save the day.

1 comment:

  1. Nasty critter for sure but one cannot help but admire the deep rich color of this animal...but never pick one up..kick it with a bare foot, step on it...this one can sting you well after it has washed up on shore...but now there is a comprehensive, medically supported first aid kit available..been following the development through a co. name Ocean Care Solutions..saw the kit work first your sunny side up and stay away from the Man o' War..!! ;-)