Monday, November 21, 2005

Why Do You Have A Soft Head?

If you've ever had the opportunity to go snorkelling around Coral Bay in Western Australia then you'll know how exquisite the coral and marine life can be.

In fact, if you're willing to lose a few litres of blood you can get REAL up close and personal with the wildlife!

I know, because such an incident happened to me many many years ago...

Back in the good ol' days when I was a bopping teenager our family cruised up to Coral Bay for several weeks of R&R. It was an extremely long drive taking over a day and a half to get there, but when we got there our driving pains vanished.

The beach was just magnificent... and the water... oh! My feet are tingling even as I type... it was unreal - it wasn't too cold nor was it too warm: just perfect.

During our holiday we frequently went swimming among the coral reefs. And as fate would have it: on this one particular day I grew tired of using my snorkel so I asked my brother, politely, if he could take the snorkel in.

Not one to be a slave my brother refused such a humble request.

Thinking I knew better I threw the snorkel in his direction demanding that he now take it in... I turned back to the ocean and began swimming out.

My brother picked up the snorkel and screamed, "NO" while flinging the instrument back in my direction.

Next thing I heard was...


I stopped swimming and looked around and saw the snorkel sinking. I grabbed it, stood up in the water and screamed that if he didn't take it back he was going to be very sore when I got out of the water.

This time I threw the snorkel onto the beach and hurriedly dove into the deep water as far away as I could so that any more snorkel throwing wouldn't reach me - and be, therefore, no longer my responsibility.

As I dove into the crisp clear water I was astounded by the sheer beauty and majesty of the coral reefs and colourful marine life.

There was arrayed bright yellow seaweed that ebbed with the smooth soft flow of the undercurrents, strikingly blue spotted fish that darted in and out of holes in the reef, large harmless Port Jackson sharks unfazed by my presence... and then there was this strange red stuff floating nearby!?!?

Was a fish bleeding? I thought.

I turned around to look for this poor fish that was bleeding, but failed to find it, I scratched my head in wonder and when I placed my hand back into the water I noticed it had spots of red on it.

I stopped, placed my hand at the area on my head that was throbbing and looked back at my hand: it was now covered in blood!?!

What the...???

I looked back at where I had dove into the water and saw that I had left a noticeable trail of red followed by a large school of fish wondering following the red brick road.


Just as Jesus did, I pretty much walked on water all the way back to shore!

Unfortunately there was no resident doctor in Coral Bay, nor was there any for miles, so my father did the next best thing and decided to see whether watching all those episodes of E.R. had taught him anything.

First thing he did was shave the area of my head near the cut (so I had this bald patch at the top of my head for weeks!).

Next he grabbed a handful of bandaids and just stuck them all over my head. Very technical. Very medical.

I probably looked Jewish with my bandaid kippot on!

To this day I still don't understand how a plastic snorkel could have done so much damage to my head, my brother must have thrown it precisely at the right angle to have made it cut the way it did.

So this is why in my profile I make mentioned that I've got a soft head.

But I enjoy a good head scratch every now and then by a woman with nails!


PS - there's another similar story of klunks, blood everywhere, bandages (stitches this time), and my head that I'll save for another time.


McGeekan said...

hey isn't it dangerous to have open wounds particularly when swimming in australia? don't you have a lot of sharks?

Ryan said...

Hi Awesome!

Yes - open wounds are dangerous. And yes we have plenty of sharks here (although some parts of Australia, such as South Australia, have more activity than others) - hence the reason why I walked on water out of there!

In fact recently we've had a white pointer swimming around the city beaches terrorising the neighbourhood. There was one white pointer attack some years ago where the shark took the entire lower half of a bloke AS HE WAS GETTING OUT OF THE WATER!

According to eye-witnesses the shark nearly beached itself attacking this guy! Unfortunately the bloke died, and the shark got away, and since then there have been sightings of it as well as attacks on skiffs and small boats, but he has not been hunted or found yet.

It's like our own reality-TV Jaws show here in Perth!!!

If my brother and I ever go out to the beach together I make sure I take the snorkel in myself now.


Jennifer said...

That story makes me say oucheeee!!!

I had a sorta-similar incident several years back ... I was riding in the back seat of a van, and we hit a bump and I apparently hit a seat belt buckle on the wall. Anyhoo, I didn't notice anything until my vision started clouding in one eye and my friend gave me the freakiest look -- I was totally oblivious to the fact that I'd cut my eyelid and blood was pouring out of my eye (in a very scary fashion).

Good times, good times.

Ryan said...


Did you get to wear a patch over your eye, like a pirate??

I reckon I'd look good as a pirate: a patch over one eye, one corked leg, a rugged cut face and a parrot on me shoulder... pretty much nearly how I wake up every morning anyway!!

Just need to improve my pirate-speak.