Friday, December 2, 2011


This Friday's beachcomb revealed lots of By-the-wind Sailors (Velella velella) cast up on Fish Hoek Beach. Each one is actually a colony of polyps that eat plankton and other microscopic life of the open ocean. They are related to jellyfish and bluebottles; and have stinging cells to catch their prey, but unlike bluebottles, they are harmless to humans. In this photo you can see the transparent sail that propels the little floating colony across the ocean. Absolutely amazing!


  1. All the winds from the last few weeks have really produced quite a few beach treasures to discover.

  2. I'm really enjoying your beach finds from here in land locked Ontario.
    Jane x

  3. I remember popping the dried bluebottles on the beach as a child.

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