Thursday, August 8, 2013

This is why I hate close encounters with jellyfish! | Japan Update

One fine August morning in Okinawa I drove down to the Sunabe Seawall to the swimming spot with the steps down to the ocean. The ocean looked gorgeous; the sea was flat, calm, and blue. As I approached the last slippery step I jumped with abandon into the ocean.  Immediately there was PAIN, BURNING, and STINGING all across my arm. I quickly jumped back out of the ocean onto the concrete steps.  A fisherman saw my agony and announced “Kurage”, which is the Japanese word for jellyfish.

This was not the first time I have been stung by a jellyfish. I have had so many encounters with jellyfish in my life that I consider myself something of an expert. Once I was stung square in the middle of my back while I was surfing. This jellyfish sting immediately made my ears start to ring, my lymph nodes began to tighten up so much I could barely paddle, and my heart began to beat in a rapid, panicked flutter. I completely understood how people swimming could die from a jellyfish sting. Thank God I was on a surfboard for buoyancy.

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