Unprovocated attack by malicious seaweed!

In the Greek summer the afternoon temperature often rises to over 30c. The great advantage of being at a swinging mooring or at anchor is that you can take a swim any time to cool down. With all the fenders hanging over the side I always have something to grab hold of in case of cramp or if the boat suddenly swings away in a gust of wind.
Yesterday as I swam around the bow of the boat for the 2nd time I accidentally bumped into the mooring line with my legs. There was no danger of being entangled as it was only a single, thick length of rope. I kicked myself away but at the same time noticed a burning sensation on my thighs. The pain quickly got worse so I swam to the bathing ladder and got out of the water. I thought I might have been stung by a jelly fish which could have been caught on the mooring line but I didn't see one. Even though I showered in fresh water and applied Calamine lotion to the reddening rash, nothing helped. The pain was excruciating! 
I quickly got myself down into the dinghy and went ashore to a Cafe where there are friends I could ask for help if the situation got worse. By that time I had difficulty walking because of the pain in my legs. When Dimitri, the proprietor of Cafe Fresco, saw me and understood the situation he dropped everything, let the customers look after themselves and took his quadbike to the nearest pharmacy for help. He came back with a cortisone cream and very strong pain killers. (Where else in the world but Greece would you find help like that?)
Apparently it was a special sort of seaweed called Lyngbya I was stung by and although the pain can be almost unbearable it is not deadly dangerous.
Gradually the pain subsided and after about 9 hours it disappeared.


  1. Hope you keep feeling better. Love your blog and your Youtube videos. My husband and I are retiring in 5 years and plan to move onto a sailboat and sail the Caribbean. I am also an artist, although of a different variety. Your work is beautiful. I so admire you for continuing on with your adventure after the death of your husband. It seems incredibly brave to me.

  2. Ouch! Don't like the sound of that :)

  3. Hi Elizabeth,

    I never knew there was such a seaweed, thanks for the info and pictures.
    Just found your blog, great stuff, keep it up.