Wednesday, August 6, 2014
This week Back Creek was invaded by jellyfish. They are amazingly beautiful creatures that have a nasty sting at times, and some species even have a deadly sting. Thank goodness our species in the Bay are not that bad, yes they sting but the hurt is gone fairly quickly. A fellow sailor who anchors out and goes swimming tells me that there are none in the Bay, but that the creeks are teaming with them. I really wonder if it is because of the waves and the choppiness of the water, temperature or nutrients in the water.
The first time I really ran into jellyfish was as a child. I grew up in the Caribbean, and one day my brother and I were sailing with my father. I was around ten and my brother is three and a half years younger. My brother and I were hanging on a line that we had thrown overboard and the sailboat with our father in it was pulling us along. I was the last one on the line and all the sudden I got stung by jellyfish and I yelled “kwal”, the Dutch word for jellyfish. My brother starts screaming and crying and pulls himself to the boat as quickly as possible and my father pulled him out. I was right behind him. I had some beautiful lashes on my body, while my brother had nothing. I remember it was stinging a lot and immediately fascinated by the urban legend that the pain would go away when you urinate on it (no I did not try it). But it was just one of those incidences I will never forget. I got stung, and my younger brother was not, made more commotion than I. I’m sure that’s what happens in a lot of families, just interesting and fun to reminisce about.
Anyway the Dutch word “kwal” has two definitions. For one it is a jellyfish, but it also means a yucky, slimy, difficult person (another thing that just popped up in my mind). Probably not far off the mark when we look at this picture I shot of the once floating by my boat in the marina. They look pretty slimy.