Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jellyfish (8/3/2014)

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.

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