More nature-nuttiness

Colin’s kitesurfing trip was cancelled due to lack of wind, so he took the long way home and had a tour of the west side of the island. We swam out to the reef near our house and did some snorkling there. The corals are covered with brown goo, but there are an amazing assortment of fish out there – just hundreds of colourful little guys that look like they belong in a fish tank. We also spotted some large crabs that looked more or less like Colin’s lunch yesterday, and I spent ages watching one of the little prawngoby’s prawns excavate their hole.

It was like the Day Of The Jellyfish out there again today. For two or three days there has been a band of densly packed jellyfish near the shore, varying from thumb-sized to fist-sized. I think there are two species: brown spotted ones with stubby short tentacles, and larger blue ones with chubby big tentacles trailing almost invisible long tentacle-strands. Something has been stinging us occasionally out there since day one, but it probably isn’t these little guys. They’ve been bumping into us and winding their tentacles around our legs to no effect so far, although Colin thinks he felt one of the blue ones sting him on the upper lip today. My theory about the stinging we’ve been experiencing is it’s little bits of broken-off tentacles from bigger guys. Whatever it is, it’s too small to see and the stings are mild and wear off in a couple minutes.

I tried to find these guys online but had no luck. Why isn’t there a site devoted to jellyfish identification yet??

Luckily I did manage to identify the shells I stole from a couple prawngoby holes, with our tropical shells book. I think it would be nice to have a beachcomber’s reference that included more of the random stuff that washes up around here. Our beach is peppered with cuttlebones that totally had me mystified until Colin shed some light on them. And all those neat little boyant nuts that shorline trees must produce in the hopes of floating them to some other beach or island.


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