Home' Afloat : AFLOAT November 2015 Contents 58 AFLOAT.com.au November 2015
1kg black mussels, scrubbed, beards
120gms sourdough bread, crusts removed
1 cup parsley leaves
1 tablespoon crushed garlic,
100gms butter, melted
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place a large saucepan over medium-high
heat, add mussels, cover and steam for 3
minutes or until mussels just open. Drain
mussels and cool. Remove and discard top
shell of mussels.
Cut bread into small pieces and place in
a food processor and process into coarse
breadcrumbs; add parsley and garlic and
process until mixture is well combined.
Season to taste with sea salt and freshly
ground black pepper.
Preheat grill on high. Place mussels on
an oven tray, spoon over breadcrumb
mixture and drizzle with melted butter.
Grill for 2 minutes or until golden. Ser ve
with Captain Chaos
the Portuguese man o’ war
✇ Central Coast NSW
✇ Slipway to 40ft / 30ft
✇ Qualified Shipwrights
and Marine Tradesmen
✇ Mercruiser and Tohatsu
✇ Berths and Moorings
02 4360 1231
I’ve just come from the beach where I found
hundreds of blue bottles scattered on the
sand at the high tide mark ... normally a
consequence of summer northerly winds.
Many years ago, Little Person and I with
our two sons Chris and Ben used to drive
down the south coast to Central Tilba to
visit an old friend Richard. He had built a
house just west of the town and he always
had seafood and trout available ... something
to do with his work I believe.
We had been there for a couple of days
when the boys started to get restless.
“Come on Chaos! You promised we could
go body surfing at Narooma.”
I finally capitulated and waved to Richard
asking him was there anything I could get
while I was out.
“No thanks. See you when you get back.”
We drove down to the beach and stopped
to look at the tourist boat heading out to the
“ I’m told it’s a great place to see Sea
Lions,” they chorused.
“ If anything big and black heads towards
you, head for the shore ... quickly!”
“ Stop worrying. We’ll walk on water!”
The two boys headed into the sea. There
was good surf running and they were soon
catching some nice waves. Little Person was
walking along the beach looking for shells.
Suddenly I saw her look out to sea then
turn and come running back to me.
“Chaos! You’d better try and warn the
boys there’s a huge pile of blue bottles just
along from where they are.”
I looked out and could see a blue mass
just in from the break.
“ Bloody hell! There must be hundreds
of ’em .”
I raced down the beach and waded out
through the waves yelling. Ben heard me and
started to swim over to me, but Chris had
caught a good wave. The only problem was
he was heading for the blue bottles. I was
screaming and waving my arms but Chris
couldn’t hear me because of the noise of
“ What’s the matter Chaos? ” asked Ben.
“Chris is heading for a large patch of
blue bottles, come on we have to get to him.”
Ben and I moved through the water as
fast as we could, but we could only watch
as Chris went head first into the mass. The
next thing he was standing up covered from
the top of his head to his knees with blue
bottles. Their strings of translucent tentacles
had left whip-like, red welts on his body. By
the time we got to him he was screaming
and trying to pull them off.
I’d read it somewhere ... stings from
the Portuguese man o’ war can have
serious effects, including fever, shock, and
interference with heart and lung function.
Stings may also cause death!
“Chris, come and lie on the beach. I’ll rub
sand over you, that’s the only way to get rid
of the stingers.”
Chris staggered to the shore and Ben
and I started to heap lots of wet sand over
him. When we had got all the stingers off
him we carried him up to the surf club where
they hosed him down with hot water. His
whole body including his face had large
angry welts all over him. He was crying so
hard he nearly passed out. We had to force
him take a breath.
I bundled us all in the car and headed
for the main street to find a chemist so we
could get something to ease the pain and
maybe help with the welts.
I stopped and raced into the chemist. The
only thing they had were tubes of anti-itch
and insect bite cream. I bought a dozen of
them and with the help of Little Person we
covered Chris from head to toe. It took the
whole drive back before the cream started to
work and Chris could talk coherently.
“ I ’ve never felt so much pain in my whole
life. I hope I never will again.”
When we got back to the house I found
Richard with a bag of mussels someone had
dropped in. h
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