Close Encounter with a Spiny Monster

We had the shortest day out at the beach ever a couple of weekends ago. I feel I can write about this now, now that the last spine has been extracted from my husband’s foot. What happened was this. We decided to go a day trip to Santa Clara beach instead of staying overnight due to newish and adorable commitment of Siamese cat. My hubby was kind enough to let me go in for a swim first, which I duly did. The water was perfect and I had a nice little swim with our children.

Then it was his turn to go in. He waded into the water, then came back out almost immediately and sat down clutching his foot. Both feet had blue-black largish dots stippled on the sole and heel. He was super-worried, we knew he had stood on a prickly creature, the question was which. We could rule out the stingrays which have been frequently sighted along this coast…as that would be one large sting, not lots of little ones. 

We heard calls from the sea, I ran down to the water’s edge with the children, only to see a teenage boy bring out this critter:
Sea urchin, Santa Clara beach, Panama Nov 2012

This was definitely the culprit, all the spines, the creepy wiggling around of said spines, yet such beautiful bright colours and markings. This sea urchin seemed to just have one purpose in life – to catch unsuspecting humans and inflict great pain on them. (Yes, I know they are only trying to defend themselves against predators, but really!)

Another cry from the sea, the teenager had found another urchin, which had proceeded to spike him on the hand. (Not entirely unsurprisingly if you ask me, but never mind!)
My daughter with Sea urchin, Santa Clara beach, Panama Nov 2012

When another one then washed up on the beach, we decided our day trip was over… husband hobbled up to the car, and I drove us all home. 

Life is pretty unpredictable, because on the way home, we stopped at this chicken grill place, Chacho’s Grill (awesome, by the way!) we always go to in Coronado, fell in love with a vibrantly coloured painting, met the artist, one Chantal, and bought the painting on the spot! Here he is signing our painting for us:
Chantal signing our new painting at Chacho's Grill, Coronado, Panama

And, to return to urchin-related events, the last prickle in my husband’s foot was removed by the doctor last night and he is now on antibiotics and feeling much better.
Now, should this post be filed under Places to go in and around Panama City or Wildlife and Plants? Hmmmm….


4 thoughts on “Close Encounter with a Spiny Monster

  1. Oh my goodness! I love how you turn an unfortunate event into an exotic, entertaining adventure! Beautiful and gigantic sea urchins…how strange to see them at Santa Clara. There must be an interesting scientific reason…

    1. Thanks so much Debra! We reckoned they must be on some kind of migration up the Pacific coast or something similar. It reminded me of how the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs before disappearing again. Definitely a special event in the sea urchin calendar! 🙂

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