swim season

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2016/06/04

Unlike my fellow waterlovers, the Coney Island Polar Bears, I cannot jump into cold water. I must go in very slowly.

The waters of Gardiner’s Bay have been warming up perceptibly, and I have finally been able to swim without my face numbing.

Today at high tide, while standing and waiting to adjust in waist-high water, something bit my heel.

In the Sound during hot months, little 2″ / 5cm long white fish gently nibble and exfoliate my legs. This was not that. This was a bite. And the next bite was on my toe. And the bite after that was even harder. I peered in and saw this:


It looked like a rock, about 7″ / 17.8cm long and triangular pyramid shape. I kicked at it. It came right back, biting harder. And I was mad I had to swim earlier than I was ready.

But once I was in, it was all good.

I think it was a lumpfish, but I am not sure. A “football with warts” is how it was described. And I will add: attacks toes.


14 Responses

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  1. GP Cox said, on 2016/06/04 at 13:08

    It’s shaped like a flounder, but I’ve never heard of them being aggressive. One of the pictures I saw on that Wiki page, we used to call blow fish (when I grew up, way back when) on the island.

    • bowsprite said, on 2016/06/04 at 13:16

      a pushy New York type, I think.

      • GP Cox said, on 2016/06/04 at 13:25

        You must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time….. haha

  2. ws said, on 2016/06/04 at 13:10

    The best swimming, After Labor Day!

  3. o docker said, on 2016/06/04 at 13:22

    Did you notice any lines in the sand on the bay bottom? Most New York native species will aggressively defend a parking space.

  4. tugster said, on 2016/06/04 at 17:39

    No wonder it bit you, since you call it a lumpfish. If you call me a lump anything, I’ll bite you too. Address it as cycloptera lumpus next time…

    • bowsprite said, on 2016/06/04 at 17:45

      I didn’t call it ‘lumpfish’ to its bizarre rocky face. I think I called it “you little freakish piece of poop%$&&#@!”

  5. said, on 2016/06/04 at 21:08

    Great story, Christina! I’ve never encountered one of those. I’ll tell you a story sometime (not suitable for publication, and it would be hard to draw, too) about an adventure I had with a small barracuda while babysitting an anchored barge off Trinidad… it nearly changed my life! But like Ishmael, I lived to tell the tale.

    • bowsprite said, on 2016/06/04 at 21:12

      oh Reid, you must tell me, yes please! I cannot wait to hear!

  6. drdann said, on 2016/06/05 at 08:28

    Lumps from the lumpfish, eh, Christina?! I hope it is now singing a different tune, since you flattered it with such a lovely little rendering!

  7. Rembert said, on 2016/06/05 at 15:23

    Once again „Rock am Ring“ near Bonn swept away by rain and Rhine. Anthony Kiedis still missing. Ozzy Osbourne last seen clinging to an empty bottle.

    The internet is full of strange theories. Why not add another, which is not very particular about velocity of ocean currents?

  8. mageb said, on 2016/06/07 at 16:43

    Your toes and ankle must have been beyond alluring. What an unusual fish.

  9. Becky said, on 2016/06/18 at 14:40

    I went to your fab artist craft fair 2 (3?) years ago on the Lilac, and I wondered if you’d be doing something like that again?
    I love the moon phases, and good luck with the toe nibbler??

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