Linda and I got to The Arcadia Bathing Place early for our open sea swim. It use to be The “Ladies Only” Bathing Place. The scene was idyllic as I looked out onto The Skerries. We agreed to swim a little out of our depth, passed the Harbor master’s house and slipway towards what use to be The Blue Pool, and “Gentleman Only” Bathing Place.
I lead but made a quick course correction after Linda made contact with a big jellyfish. A purple jellyfish then closed in on me prompting a second shriek. We swam as quick as sharks back to the shore’s edge, happy to see the bottom of the deep blue sea. We’re not that into the July and August jellyfish. A few ABC veterans looking on thought a rescue might be in order but they resisted. The seemingly idyllic sea-scape and our hysteria confused them !
Even though the sea can appear idyllic there are powerful forces at work moving along our beaches. Jellyfish is one such force. Usually harmless but not always. Rip currents are another force. The RNLI lifeguards have had a number of rescues this year directly caused by people getting caught in Rips.
These forces can appear without warning and turn any beach setting into a scene of chaos and panic. Don’t be fooled or minimize their impact. They disappear as quickly as they appear. They’re masters of camouflage. The majority of beachgoers can’t recognize their danger so each year they claim more lives than all our natural disasters combined.
Cute, interesting and slow moving non human forces come to the Port beaches too. Check out Sammy the Seal below and how far up the beach he has come on Portrush East Strand, on his own. Another master of camouflage. He looks harmless and even playful but he can snap, bite and bark if you get too close!