Jellyfish and Other Seashore Sightings
Barnacles (balaño in Spanish) are always something to be aware of when wading in saltwater, though they are not as plentiful on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta as one finds in coastal areas to the north. They are present, however, along with jagged rocks and other jabby things; it is wise to wear water shoes while beachcombing. An old pair of tennis shoes will suffice but there are also solutions for footwear, ranging from snug booties to slipper-like water-shoes, in a varying price range. What we don’t recommend is flip-flops, which are slippery and unstable when wet.
There are a few hazards associated with beachcombing in Puerto Vallarta and surrounding region. Stingrays leave nasty, nasty stings. We’ve seen this injury at different stages, from immediate wound… to days later when the swelling has gone down. Our recommendation it a direct trip to the Emergency Room, especially if this is incurred by a child, a senior, or anyone with health issues. It’s up there with a scorpion sting in our personal manifesto. However, for those willing and able to tough it out, first stay in the water and use the ocean to bathe the wound. Make sure there are no fragments of the stinger left behind and continue to use saltwater to irrigate and cleanse. After getting out of the water, stepping back into a hot water foot bath will help to draw out venom. There are poultices that can be applied from local herbs, as well, but this requires the help of someone adept with the procedure… it’s always wise to ask around; local home remedies are sometimes the best.
Another menace are jellyfish and though there are different types of this species, most do have a sting and should be avoided. Some ocean waters are homes to extremely dangerous jellyfish, but Puerto Vallarta is fortunately not one of those. In the spring and summer months there is a higher likelihood of running into them, literally. Their tendrils can get disconnected in rough water and are still venomous though not attached. Cures run the gamut from vinegar or lime juice to garlic, all available ingredients at most palapas dotting shorelines, but one does end up smelling like an Italian restaurant. Vinegar is probably your best solution but you will need lots and a continual washing, therefore a tub to catch the vinegar so it can reapplied. We’ve witnessed using one’s own urine and even though it sounds horrible, some claim it is the best solution. And we repeat… that’s one’s own urine.
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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