All over in the world there are jellyfish at some time of the year in the ocean. There have been jelly fish recently in Banderas Bay. Some are big and some are almost microscopic. Before one jumps in the water they should stop, look and observe to see if there are any at the time and what else is happening in the water, tides, currents etc.
Even if they are present at that time of year jellyfish are on the beach when the tide is coming in and are not on the beach when it is going out. Sometimes when one is snorkeling out away from the beach you will encounter schools of them and you need to use caution to stay away from them. If you happen to get bit by one, immediate application of vinegar or meat tenderizer are great antidotes. You may want to visit a doctor. Do not let your experience turn negative. Be cautious and observe before you dive in.
Swimming with the Jellyfish by Jerry Durham
I arrived in Puerto Vallarta two weeks ago from Saigon. I came to test PV as a retirement option. Last Friday, I finally got around to a swim at Los Muertos Beach. I like going for a walk in the morning before the sun gets high in the sky and thought I might alternate a walk with a swim.
So, down to the beach I went, pulled on my goggles, waded out from shore and swam out to deeper water. In no time at all my body was covered in what felt like tiny electric shocks. It wasn’t painful until I got a zap on the tip of my nose. That got my attention in a hurry.
Out of the water and standing on the beach I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. No itching and no sting marks. There were a few locals in the water, but no-one was out as far as I had been swimming, about 20-30 meters off shore, on the south side of the pier. No hablo Espanol, so I didn’t ask, but they all looked happy.
I went home, showered and went on with my day, not thinking much more about the swim. That evening though, red bumps/welts began to appear. In no time at all they were all over my arms, body and ankles. Very much like mosquito bites, although some turned into large, red, angry blotches and very itchy. A couple eventually blistered. The neighborhood pharmacist didn’t know what to suggest, but gave me a cortisone cream for the itch.
Next day, the welts got worse, so I visited a doctor at the hospital. Not much help there. The doctor said he hadn’t seen anything like it before. Thought it looked like an allergic reaction to something. He charged me 200 pesos and gave me several free sample antihistamine tablets from a bottom drawer. Well, on my own I guess. Talked to more locals, police, shop keepers etc and a couple of life-guards – medusas senor – “try vinegar and hot water”. I did and it helped a little. The vinegar reduces the itch. Four days later, I’m still applying it, but less frequently.
I hadn’t seen any jellyfish. I didn’t have a localized sting. I was covered in red, itchy bumps and blotches. Other folks suggested mosquitoes and bed-bugs!
My sister told me to sleep with socks on filled with onions to draw the poison out. I told her it was 30 degrees and humid and that I didn’t sleep with anything on, never mind socks. I told her “suppose I die in the night and they find my nude body the next morning covered in red welts and wearing socks filled with onions”? Other experts suggested applying urine. Like that’s going to happen!
To make this long story short, I came across some helpful information on Tripadvisor. Here’s a link I was given: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98540 (http://abcnews NULL.go NULL.com/Technology/story?id=98540)
Jellyfish larvae get my vote. It’s like “swimming through an electric fence” was one person’s accurate description.
Four days later I’m much improved. Another couple of days and I should be like new again. Although a couple of blisters have now burst so I’ll need to watch for infection. What about swimming? And now the rains have begun and the Cuale is running very brown with sediment.
Be careful out there folks.