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Old 05-18-2007, 09:55 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,691
Default Jellyfish!


Are there jelly fish around down there at this time of year? my brother and I got stung pretty bad by the bright blue floaty ones last year and were thinking about wearing a wetsuit for protection just in case. Figured I'd check with a local before lugging it down there.

By the way, what do you do to avoid them?

I received this PM on kiteforum and thought it was a good question and wanted to answer it here. I believe he is talking about kiting in Miami, perhaps in the area of Crandon and Matheson.

You were hit by a Portuguese Man-O-War, blue bottle to folks out of the UK. The good news is that they are generally absent or fairly rare outside of the cooler months (say Sept. to April) and N to NE to a lesser extent E winds. They are more common in the open ocean and beaches bordering the ocean although you will see them at Crandon and Matheson at times.

The tentacles release a neurotoxin that can leave temporary welts, hurt like hell and even cause anaphylactic shock even in small doses. A rider racing from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini, well out in the front of the pack too, had minor contacts with his exposed ankle. This sent him into a fairly serious case of shock requiring a rushed trip to the hospital by boat back to Miami.

More including first aid at:

You need to watch the tentacles which can stream a good distance up stream or wind of the float or bubble. The longer the float, the longer the tentacles. We get into the habit of looking upwind and around while we're riding to try to avoid them. If they are abundant as is the case sometime, wearing a full wetsuit can improve the odds of not getting stung. I have been nailed more times than I can remember in many decades of ocean time. As a rule you just deal with it and move on. Some do have a particularly susceptibility to the toxin however. I did have my own case of shock after some particularly heavy dosing requiring a trip to the ER. Still, only one case of that in all these years, it is fairly rare. In warmer months, like useable wind unfortunately, they're generally not much of a problem for most people.
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