Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fishing with sting rays

We had a break in the weather this afternoon so Rosie and I decided to go for a fish. The boat was dry as the tide was just starting to come in so we waded the flats for Trevally and Emperors. We started by fishing no more than 50-60 meters apart. A few minutes into fishing and I had a massive bow wave follow my little popper. Wow, the adrenalin goes from zero to 100% in less than a second. The wave came to with in 5 meters of me and then turns off to leave me wondering and wishing. A couple of casts later and no less than four Barracudas take turns jumping out of the water at my popper but to no avail. By now Rosie has moved on down the flats maybe 300 meters. A few more casts for me but no takers or lookers. As I am moving through the water about waist deep making a few blind casts I feel the unmistakable pain of a sting ray barb entering my ankle and the being removed very quickly. If you have never been stung by a salt water sting ray it is the most intense pain. Some injuries take a few second for you to feel them but not a sting ray. The pain is instant and unrelenting and with the prospect of the long walk back to the beach and then to my house it just got worse. Luckily Rosie saw me limping and decided to see what the matter with me was. We meet on shore where I took my shirt off and tied it around my ankle to stop the bleeding. Rosie took the gear and gave her shoulder for me to lean on, and almost cry on, due to the piercing pain that would not stop. We get back to the house and Rosie immediately puts the water on to boil and gives me a prescription pain killer. The boiling water is because the only thing to kill the poison is hot water or steam. The pain killer is for the pain. Luckily we have access to good pain killers and antibiotic because we live so far from anywhere. The trick with the sting is to keep it in hot water or steam for 90 minutes or until the pain stops. The trick with the pain killer is taking it first. Needless to say our fishing trip was cut very short and we caught squat.

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