Jellyfish Beach

This weekend was marvelous. We packed up the car and the kids, and headed for the ferries, destination Comox. I wanted to introduce Leif and Kate to Nana (Nana’s opinion was that he seemed like a ‘nice young man’, and that Kate seemed shy). But I also wanted to share a big part of my childhood and Cameron’s with them. Comox is filled with warm and happy memories for me. The beaches and parks were places I explored and played in as a kid, and where I’ve taken Cameron many times.

So when I saw that high tide was at 3pm … and it’d be noon soon … I wanted to scurry to Point Holmes.

The tide was indeed pretty close to high by the time we got there – too high to find the really cool stuff, like sea anemones and sea stars. The kids didn’t seem to mind, though. They rolled rocks over to see the explosion of clicking crabs sheltered beneath, and picked up pretty shells. We peered into tide pools, and Cameron now knows what a limpet is (we’ve been reading the How to Train Your Dragon series … and limpets  are mentioned in there).

It wasn’t long after we got there that the first was spotted. Purply-reddish brown and gelatinous, it was dinner-plate sized and draped over beach rocks. I told the kids that it was either a big jelly fish, or a sick giant had sneezed here.

Then we found another.

And another.

And another.

Number ten was enormous!

I stopped counting at sixteen, and we saw plenty more after that.  We didn’t keep track, but I think we saw at least one for every ten or twenty steps we took.

The kids were disgusted when we touched the tops of them. So was I for one, which had started to decompose I think. Yuck. The other I was more careful about touching, and chose a still obviously intact area.  It felt like a jellyfish that’d been out of the water a while, of course. Think Jell-o jiggler that’s sat out a bit. Kinda gooey, but kinda rubbery.

These, for the record, were probably Lions Mane Jellyfish, which it turns out can deliver a painful sting. These were pretty dehydrated after being out of the water a good six or more hours, and we carefully only touched the tops. Also, dinner plate sized is apparently kinda small for these ones, they get huge!

We headed off the beach to go see Nana, collections of white shells clutched in small hands, and Cameron announced the renaming of the beach. “From now on,” he said, “This isn’t called Point Holmes Beach. It’s Jellyfish Beach. I’m gonna call it that from now on.”

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