Watch out for Blue Bottles

No. It’s not a request for recycling when you are walking on the beach. Blue Bottle jellyfish or Pacific Man-of-War. Not a true jellyfish it is a collection of organisms that work together and are more common in warmer waters but are frequenting the Great Ocean Road beaches more often. They can cause a sting and should be avoided both in the water and on the sand. Even dead ones.
The good news is according to Australian Museum “ Most beachgoers in Australia swim at non-tropical beaches, and so are most likely to come across the more harmless, non-tropical stinger varieties such as the common Bluebottle.For the average person, getting stung by one will present no harmful danger, however, for the very young, elderly, people allergic to them or in extreme cases, they can present further complications.”
If you do get stung the Australian Museum recommends “Find a place to rest with someone who can watch over you.
Don’t rub the stung area.
Wash off any remaining tentacles with saltwater. Rinsing the stung area well with seawater will remove any invisible stinging cells.
Immerse the stung area in hot water at a temperature you can comfortably tolerate. Studies have shown that 40 degrees Celsius will produce relief after 10 minutes. The heat is important as it kills the protein in the venom.
If the symptoms persist or for stings that cover a particularly large area, or across the throat & face call triple zero (in Australia).

    Australian Museum

    It’s nice to see a lot more surfers at Port Fairy

    Having grown up in areas where Torquay was the closest surf beach I have been surprised how few surfers I see at East Beach in Port Fairy.  I don’t remember ever going to Torquay and not seeing surfers trying to catch a break but frequently at East Beach even with good surf the beach can be empty.

    It could be the tyranny of distance as Torquay is close to Geelong and not that far from Melbourne with much bigger populations.  It’s true that Port Fairy is close to Warrnambool but they have great surf as well so why drive another 30 minutes. Asking about it appears it is just much too cold.  Facing out to the open ocean the temperatures plummet during the cooler months and put people off.

    I have been swimming without a wetsuit for about 6 weeks and although it is bloody cold it is still worth the discomfit.  So maybe the waters are warming and have become more inviting. Either way it is nice to see more people enjoying the beach.

    It’s summer but is the water warm enough?

    Let’s be honest the start of summer 2019 along the Great Ocean Road is nothing to write home about.  Cloudy, wet, cold and uninviting. But still? Can you swim? Of course! But only for the brave. I have been swimming on the warmer days since later October.  OK at the start it was more like dive under, come back up and scream from the cold, stupidly dive under then do the same thing again. Looking around I was the only one silly enough to break the surface or go past knee depth.

    But now it’s December and we are full swing into summer so the water is warmer, not a lot, but definitely warmer.  I live around Port Fairy where the water is open ocean and known for it’s cold temperatures. If I can do it so can you.  I don’t wear my wetsuit – more because I am too lazy to put it on – and a week ago the water was so nice I didn’t want to come out.  But then I was the only one in the water so I could be quite mad.

    If you really want a swim and can handle the cold water there is nothing more refreshing and revitalising than surf in the cooler months.  If not most towns have an indoor pool. Port Fairy does but it won’t be the same. Either way water temperatures should start to rise now.