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loves_to_travel Aug 31st, 2004 06:17 PM

Manly Beach in December
Can you swim at Manly Beach in December or are the jellyfish too dangerous?

Neil_Oz Aug 31st, 2004 06:58 PM

You'll find LOTS of people swimming at Manly in December. Occasionally a sort of stinging jellyfish called a bluebottle may start to wash in under certain conditions - more experienced beachgoers should be able to tell you more about that. I wouldn't call them dangerous, exactly - they can be painful but they're not to be confused with the dangerous stingers found in tropical waters. If they turn up, exit the water smartly (i.e., join the rush) and if you're unlucky, have some salve ready - calamine lotion was the preferred remedy when I was a kid, maybe there's something better now.

johhj_au Aug 31st, 2004 06:58 PM

C'mon Loves....

Get the map of australia out...

Find sydney about 2/3rds of the way down the east coast..then go north..up pass Brissy and way up to Far north queensland near Cairns.Thats where the jelly fish are ....hundreds of miles from sydney and Manly.

Swimming at manly beach in the mornings in dec (before the nor easter gets up) is of the aspects that puts Sydney ahead of all the new world cities.

Whats more there will be decent waves compared to the lukewarm millponds of FNQ

occasionally at the end of summer you might get some blue bottles on sydney beaches

remember to swim between the flags and watch the sunburn.

leisa Sep 1st, 2004 06:40 AM

The box jellyfish are in fact present as far south as Gladstone now, not just restricted to FNQ.
But one particular variety is still concentrated around Cairns.

BTW,the correct treatment if you do get stung by a bluebottle is to apply fresh or sea water to help remove any remaining tentacle (with a gloved hand), then apply an icepack. It is commonly thought Vinegar does the trick, but vinegar can actually make a bluebottle sting more painful.

loves_to_travel Sep 1st, 2004 09:55 AM

I was stung (about 100 times) by a Man-O-War several years ago off the coast of South Carolina right after a hurricane. It was probably one of the worst experiences of my life. After about an hour, I was told to use rubbing alcohol. That worked great, so now I keep a bottle in my beach bag. Do you think that would work on this variety, just in case. I refuse to stop going in the water even after what happened to me. I love the beach.

leisa Sep 1st, 2004 10:43 AM

yikes !
well, i'm no expert, but from what i understand in some instances applying alcohol or vinegar may cause a greater release of the toxin in some species of the jelly, therefore greater and prolonged pain. the bluebottle that occurs mostly in aust waters is a different species to the man-o-war ... so what worked for you in SC may not be wise in treating a bluebottle sting.
i guess the sensible thing to do is have a quick chat with lifeguards before you go in the water at manly.
some people swim in a body suit...

Peteralan Sep 1st, 2004 03:50 PM

All this makes swimming at Manly seem far more dangerous than it is. There are occasionaly bluebottles in the water but mostly not and when they are they are it is usually quite obvious.I defy you to be at the beach in Manly in December and not want to throw yourself into the waves! It is remotely possible you will be eaten by a shark too but how likely do you think that is!? Stop worrying and enjoy!

Neil_Oz Sep 1st, 2004 10:06 PM

Agree with Peter - let's keep this minor nuisance in perspective. I've been stung a couple of times, and although a little painful it was hardly unbearable - probably comparable to a wasp or bee sting. And statistically the odds of being stung are pretty low anyway - if as John says, "occasionally at the end of summer you might get some blue bottles", remember that December is early summer. Comparisons with tropical box jellyfish are WAY off beam, and I'd be very surprised if any Sydney surfers are into stinger suits!

leisa Sep 2nd, 2004 03:09 AM

jeepers cripes .... calm down boys.
loves to travel asked a simple question about treating a sting.

MikeD Sep 2nd, 2004 04:58 AM

I live in Manly, and there are at least 7 beaches in the suburb that people regularly swim off - and they are all safe to swim off every day of the year.

The main beach is patrolled, with flagged areas to separate swimmers from surf craft. If there are any vague dangers in the water, e.g Jellyfish, strong currents, etc there will be announcements over the Loudspeakers.
If surfers are getting too close to the swimmers there will be announcements over the Loudspeakers.
If a seagull eats a discarded chip there will be an announcement over the loudspeaker.

On the harbour beach there is a netted off area, so it's almost impossible for anything to get in the water with you.

On the smaller beaches like Shelly beach or Little Manly there are no patrols or flagged areas, but the water is so calm there are little or no dangers.

The biggest danger at the moment is getting hit by a whale - I saw two Southern Right Whales 100metres off the shore last weekend !

loves_to_travel Sep 2nd, 2004 09:39 AM

Wow! That would be really cool to see a whale there. Sorry for all the confusion over my question. The books I have make it sound like the box jellyfish are all over the coast. I just don't want to have another episode like before. Been there-don't want to do it again. Thanks for all the information.

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