Stay Away From the Water in SoHum
Well, its tourist time again. Lots of tourists will be looking for a place to go swimming with the family. Some of them will attempt to find such a spot in So Hum. For most of them, it will end tragically.
According to media reports, damn near everyone who gets in the water around here ends up dead. The Chinese exchange student, Claudia Pedreros’ daughter, the guy who wanted to see the tsunami, the guy who jumped in the river to evade police, all lost their lives in recent days, just because they got in the water. Once in a while the Coast Guard will pull someone out of the water alive, but not usually.
Water is dangerous here. Its all too cold, especially the ocean. We have loud, violent beaches with incredible undertow and vicious rip tides. You don’t even have to get in the water to die. Sneaker waves will reach up and grab you right off the beach if you get too close.
In the rivers, in the Winter and Spring, the white water rapids will sweep you away and spit you out dead. In the Summer and Fall warm pools of stagnant water choked with toxic blue green algae and “swimmers itch” worms prove equally lethal.
I can’t begin to count the number of dogs that die every summer from toxic algae poisoning after swimming in the river. Every year dozens of tourists watch their previously healthy pets die in their arms after swimming in the river. That’s really got to make a vacation. They always tell us we should put up warning signs. What for? Dogs can’t read. Sometimes kids die too, but most of them can’t read either.
“Swimmers Itch” worms. These skin burrowing parasites live in stagnant water waiting for someone to burrow into. The little tunnels they make in your skin, itch worse than poison oak. Thanks to these little guys, after any swimming party in SoHum, the living may well envy the dead.
You will see people driving around with surfboards on top of their cars. They even call themselves “surfers”, but you will not see them get in the water unless they are dressed like Jacques Cousteau.
Surfers wear board shorts or swim suits. SCUBA divers wear wetsuits. We have SCUBA divers with surfboards here, and unless you’re one of them, you won’t get out of the water alive. So, stay away.