Late this afternoon I went out to check on the kids who were heading out to the sea for a swim. Nicole and I discovered a good place to swim earlier this week. It's chest high, with a rocky mostly weed free bottom. I stood at the water's edge and quickly saw them where I expected, but they had company. One of our neighbours has been swimming out there with her two other ladies. They spotted me, gave me a wave and called me to come.
Turns out the ladies were using pool noodles and their German friend was giving an aquatic exercise class to the other two. Pretty soon I had a borrowed noodle and was pushing and pulling it through the water with the others who were counting in Turkish and English for my benefit. It was good fun, but tiring, which I guess was the point. When they went in they left me with the noodle. I borrowed Nicole's mask and snorkel for a bit, then spent some time encouraging Sam to practice swimming. The girls used the noodle and then we all headed for shore. I paddled along towards shore and then put my hand down on the bottom to stand up. It came up covered in black sea urchin spines along the side of the palm. I was able to dislodge many of them with a scrape of my finger nails. This is a sea urchin:
I paddled back to deeper water, stood up and walked from there over the slimy bolders to shore. We returned the noodle to our neighbour. She invited me to tomorrow afternoon's class.
Nicole and I tried to use tweezers and a needle to remove the remaining spines. When digging didn't appear to work on the last ones, I did an internet search and found a site which recommended a vinegar soak. Evidently the spines left in the skin will disappear over time. Digging them out is not recommended. I would agree. It hurts!