Postcard: Red flag flying

There was no one in the sea on this bright day, despite some good surfing waves, and the lifeguards were patrolling the beach warning people to stay out of the water. At first we thought it was because of the very strong winds, but after discovering a Portuguese man-of-war on the sand we realised why the red flag was flying. During September and October hundreds of these poisonous siphonophores have washed up on both the north and south coast of Cornwall and although not life-threatening to most people those purple-blue tentacles can give a nasty sting. We found more on Trevaunance Cove near St Agnes about a week later.


  1. restlessjo says:

    Ugh! I hate jellyfish. But this is a beauty of an image. Happy Saturday Jude! Off to Tavira Island now I’ve fed those darn cats xx

    1. BeckyB says:

      ah I won’t be asking you to cat sit or jelly fish then!!!

    2. Heyjude says:

      If they were feral cats they can probably care for themselves quite well.

      1. restlessjo says:

        I expect so but I’ve said I would. Just hope there aren’t more kittens on the horizon. Marie is really soft but she’s on her own and I can understand it. We get use of Wifi as a trade off 🙂 And just about to watch Strictly!

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’m not a Strictly person, so I’m going to make dinner 😉

    3. Heyjude says:

      Enjoy Tavira Island. We are going nowhere – Brian visiting and it’s a bit wild outside!

      1. restlessjo says:

        26C and a lovely laid back day 🙂 🙂

  2. BeckyB says:

    What glorious views . . . . . in northern Australia you cannot go in the sea unless you were a wetsuit for weeks if not months because of jelly fish. They’ve created inland beaches just off the main beach so people can cope!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Box jelly fish I think. They are not nice. Portuguese man-of-war are not jelly fish though. Those tentacles are some kind of organism and they cause the nasty stings.

      1. BeckyB says:

        Things I learn on a Saturday!

      2. Yes, ours are box jellyfish and they are deadly. These days they’re common all year round, and even in winter in the north people are advised to wear stinger suits to avoid being stung. If just a small bit of tentacle breaks off it can still be deadly. Ghastly creatures.

  3. beetleypete says:

    I used to be fascinated by jellyfish as a child. Then I picked on up from the shallows (in Cornwall) and got a nasty shock when it hurt. I had a red mark like a rope burn across my hand. My Mum put calamine lotion on it. She seemed to use that for everything!
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes the stings can be quite painful and cause red welts, sometimes leading to scarring if deep enough. (Gosh, very much like my hand, but no jelly fish lurking in Donny. I still have a faint scar along my wrist). Calamine lotion was a good all-rounder. I still keep a tube in my bathroom cabinet.

  4. Sue says:

    Calamine lotion! That takes me back instantly to childhood summers!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, the smell!

      1. Sue says:


  5. Sue says:

    Lovely shot, Jude

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Sue. We were just leaving and I turned round to have one last look. Saw the patrol vehicle and the flag and thought, “that would make an interesting shot”.

      1. Sue says:

        And it did

        1. Heyjude says:

          Thank you 🙂

  6. Ruth says:

    Jellyfish seem the most unusual creatures, amazing and creepy simultaneously.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are pretty odd, and often very pretty!

  7. One thing I don’t like about the sea: any kind of jellyfish. I’ve never encountered a Portuguese-man-of-war, and I hope I never do. Great shot though! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Worse in warmer waters, we don’t usually have many turning up here.

  8. thisgirlsdad says:

    Lovely photo. Seen a few man of war on the beach before and after a surf a bit further along at Sandy Acres a couple of weeks ago. Maybe shouldn’t have risked it 🤔

    1. Heyjude says:

      My sons and several others went into the sea (without wetsuits) at Trevaunance, but were fine.

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ooh horrid things!
    The three points in this photo draw the eye in really well Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Did you get any your way? Or was it just in Cornwall?

      1. Lucid Gypsy says:

        I think I read of one in Torbay but I haven’t been to the beach for a couple of weeks. How are you? Is it wet and windy down there?

        1. Heyjude says:

          Been very windy all day, rain on and off. Got the wood burner lit now as it is quite chilly in the evening at the moment.

        2. Lucid Gypsy says:

          That sounds nice and cosy, no heat needed here yet!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I was fascinated with those as a kid when they infrequently washed up on our coast.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Apparently they are very tempting for kids to pick up as the ‘sail’ looks like a deflated balloon.

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