"Stand up paddle (SUP) among thousands of jellyfish" Tomales Bay State Park Warnings Or Dangers Tip by karenincalifornia

  Aurelia Jellyfish in Tomales Bay
by karenincalifornia
 
 

I have never seen so many jellyfish in one place as I did when I was stand up paddling in Tomales Bay. There must be hundreds of thousands of Aurelia jellyfish (moon jellies) in Tomales Bay, if not millions. These things are as big as as a dinner plate, mind you. At first, I thought they were rather pretty, with their floating and whatnot. But after a while they were somewhat annoying, especially when in a single square yard I would come across maybe 10 or 12. It bothered me to put my paddle into a whole swarm of them. What was particularly annoying was when my SUP fin caught one of those critters. Think of what it is like when you are snow skiing in April and you hit a patch of slush. That's what it feels like when you are paddling and your fin catches a jellyfish.

I read mixed reports on the internet about just how painful it would be to be stung by these species of jellyfish. Some reports say they are harmless. Others say you need to go to the hospital. I don't know whether that means that a single sting is no big deal, but what happens if you are in the water with about 60 - 80 of those things swimming around you? Is it the same thing as the difference between one bee sting and getting stung by an entire hive? Needless to say, I am not about to fall into a huge swarm of these creatures to test it out. But if I accidentally do, I'll update this warning tip and let you know just how dangerous it is. If I survive, that is.

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  • Updated Feb 17, 2011
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