The beach and I

A beach in Bata
A beach in Bata

As you can see from the picture, I went to this extremely crowded beach in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Africa.  The water was a little brown, but about 50 meters out it was beautiful blue.  The water was a bit cooler than I expected it to be for being this close to the equator, about 76 degrees F.

I “frolicked” in the water by myself for about an hour.  I picked a few sea shells for the kids and went out fairly deep.  I have been watching too much Animal Planet or Discovery lately because I kept finding myself thinking about Bull and Tiger sharks.  Then my thoughts wondered to that opening scene in “Jaws” were that girl was swimming all by her self (just like me).  Nobody would hear me scream, albeit in a manly voice I’m sure.  Then I thought, wait, nobody knows where I am and it would be just like Jaws!

So, with my frolicking mood now morphing into escape mode, I start making my way to the beach.  I get to waste deep water and that’s when it happens.  Something wrapped around my ankle and now there is an intense burning sensation, INTENSE!

In the span of .5 seconds my thoughts go from shark to jelly fish.  I take a step and the pain intensifies and I think “is he still on my foot?”  I move faster and finally get my foot out of the water and don’t see anything but a red band around my ankle.

I grab my clothes and start making my way to the truck.  I get back to the house, which is only about a 5 minute drive and take some ibuprofen and Benadryl.  I take a shower, grab a water and sit down to take a look at the damage.

Jelly Fish sting
Jelly Fish sting

As you can see, there is some swelling and some raised red bumps.  The pain lasted for several hours, but by the time I took this picture (maybe an hour after it happened), the pain wasn’t intense and the redness had dissipated a bit.  I could still feel a slight stinging sensation roughly 4-5 hours later.

All in all, it wasn’t so bad.  I heard that you can pee on the sting and it will immediately begin to feel better, but I wanted to tough it out a bit.  However, now that I know what this experience is like, I’ll pee on it next time.

**(Let me explain something.  My toes were expertly painted by my wife.  Each kid and her, picked out a color and that way every time I look at my toes, I’m reminded of my beautiful family.  My wife picked red, Claire (the oldest) picked yellow and on down the list.  Then on the other foot, it was reversed.)