Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dangers in Paradise

Many people know of the various annoyances and bigger dangers that can be found at the beach: sand fleas, jellyfish, stingrays, and if you're super-unlucky, sharks. Well, I have another danger to add to that list.

One of the appealing things about Brewer's Bay is the lush vegetation that lines the beach. Coconut palms are interspersed with huge sea grapes and a variety of other trees, offering shady spots to relax or stash your gear. As pleasant as the foliage is for humans, it is doubly as pleasing for gnats and no-see-ums, which can become rather annoying if you're trying to cool off in the shade.

So whenever HB and I go to the beach, we take a can of OFF with us. I don't usually use it, as I frequently stand in the sun rather than sit under the trees. But yesterday, the gnats were so oppressive, that I went ahead and sprayed myself with OFF.

Five minutes later, I had a bright-red rash all over my stomach and chest, and wherever the OFF had managed to get on my skin. Apparently over the last few months, I've managed to develop an allergy to OFF (or perhaps to DEET), and using it now causes me to break out in bumpy, red rash, a danger I never expected to encounter at the beach.

We might have to start going to a beach with less foliage, since I will no longer be able to fend off the bugs with bug spray.

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