Physalia Physalis

Big surfing day planned at Palmie (Palm Beach aka Summy Bay) today. We got there and the waves were pretty cool! I was parallel to a breaking wave at one stage and got to see down the tube that is created as the wave breaks, it’s really cool!! Dan, Henry, Lyly and myself went for the surf. Here is surfer chick Lyly with her long board –

However, surfing had to end prematurely. Which was ashame because it was just getting good and the waves were becoming easier to ride. The reason we had to stop is because hundred of Blue Bottles (Physalia Physalis) appeared on the beach –

Blue Bottles are not one organism but a number of organisms. The blue wire coming off the back of them can wrap around your hands, feet, neck or face and will give you hundreds of stings “similar to a bee” (according to Dan, who is on the left of the picture above and got stung by one once) the tentacle can get upto 10 metres long!! We moved down from Palmie to Whale Beach where there weren’t so many, just as we were about to go in they also started to appear again and the life guards put up the ‘caution blue bottles’ sign. There were plenty of surfers out there so we were going to push on and go in anyway. Then we saw someone get stung, have it removed by the life guards, then wrapped in the silver blanket you get put in when in shock and eventually put onto a stretcher and carried off into an ambulance!!! That completely put us all off going in!! This is from the Blue Bottle factfile “Blue Bottles can deliver a painful sting even when washed up dead on the beach. If stung, remove any part of the animal still sticking to the skin with tweezers or a gloved hand. Apply a cold pack to relieve the pain. Do not rub with sand or a towel, nor wash with alcohol or vinegar, as this will only make the pain worse. In extreme cases resuscitation may be needed and medical attention should be sought.”
RESUSCITATION!!!! Did anyone say this country had dangerous creatures?!?!

So instead we just sat on the beach and played musical instruments, there are four musical instruments in this picture, can you see them all? –

We were also luckly enough to see some dolphins surfing at whale beach. It is ashame that the blue bottles were there as we were planning on going out right where the dolphins were, that would have been crazy surfing with them!!

Off to a BBQ now, its the ozzie way…..

Gary Brewer

Gary Brewer