It had to happen sooner or later..

I got stung by a jelly fish. A bluebottle to be precise. And yes it is as painful as people say. I really only have my self to blame, there were bluebottles on the shore at Manly. The surf was pretty small but I got some really cool left handers in the morning, there were loads of people out but no one seemed to be catching any of the waves, so I took them all! I rode one of my best waves in the morning, a long ride on an unbroken left hander, and I have Andy as a witness.

Here is a bluebottle, dead now that it is on the beach (hahaha) –


(Copyright Damien Du Toit) – digicam.co.za

In the afternoon I started to see bluebottles in the water but did not worry too much as there weren’t very many (I didn’t think) and I had a rash vest on. So I paddle towards a nice looking wave that is coming in and then, pain! I looked at my right arm and about 16 lumps on it some with little blue dots in the centre (the poison). The pain didn’t seem that bad when it was underwater in the sea but my arm started to feel a little numb so I went back to shore. When I got on the beach and was out of the water the stings really felt painful. They feel a lot like a bee sting at first but not so ‘under the skin’ as they feel. I asked one of the Manly surf rescue people what I should do and they told me get the blue dots out with the end of your fingers and then wash it in fresh water. So I did that. The pain from my arm was now less than the pain from my arm pit. The poison had entered my lymphatic system and was making my armpit hurt like hell! I sat on the beach and read a couple of pages of 1984 to try and take the pain away, no position felt comfortable to sit in so I just moaned at Andy who laughed at me, “you come to australia this is the price you pay” he said with malicious satisfcation.

Now I am left with a sensitive arm that is beginning to get itchy. Here they are –

Reference: Physalia Physalis – G2007

Gary Brewer

Gary Brewer