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Corky Carroll: You wanted more tips for summer? You got ’em

Last week I presented my annual summer survival guide, with hopefully helpful tips for those of you who are not used to spending time on the beach and in the sun here in Orange County.
I wasn’t really planning on doing a “Part 2,” but I got so many emails and messages on Facebook telling me, “Yeah cool, but you forgot to mention this, that or the other thing.” Truth is, I didn’t really forget, it is just that I only have so many words to work with each week and I used up all I had on what I wrote.
So, to help you land at the end of September alive and well, tan and happy, and unscathed, here is some more info:
On the sunblock issue, in the event that the day you go to the beach happens to be overcast, DO NOT think you won’t get burned. You will. Especially at this time of year we get a lot of overcast mornings and the uninformed tend to think they do not need to apply sunblock. Not true. Put it on just as if it were the most sunny and bright day you’ve ever seen. Some people think you can get even more burned on these kinds of days.
Hazards in the water should also be addressed.
First off, we have a lot of rip tides and other currents along our beaches in the summer, especially if there is any kind of swell running. If you are swimming and all of a sudden you see the beach getting farther away and for some reason you can’t get back to it, then you are probably in a rip. Don’t fight it or try to swim against it. Swim sideways out of the rip and then in toward the beach.
And never think it is not OK to yell for help — don’t be embarrassed or think it’s not cool or something. Lifeguards are there to help you and other people in the water can help you.  Obviously, if you need help, call for it.
Then you have your not always friendly sea creatures.
Let’s begin with the stingray. If you step on one of these dudes it will sting you and it will hurt, a lot. To avoid them, shuffle your feet when walking on the bottom or stomp hard to let them know you are coming.
If you kick a stingray, normally it will swim away, but if you step on it, it lashes its tail around and the tail has a barb on it that cuts your skin and has a toxin on it that causes the pain.  It’s one of those pains that make you use bad words and call for your mommy.
If you get stung, the best thing to do is put your foot into a bucket of really hot water and keep the water as hot as you can stand it, where the pain from the hot water is just barely tolerable. It is about a two-hour ordeal from sting to pain gone. If you are 21 or over, I have found tequila shots help too.
Then there are the occasional jellyfish. Stings from these things are irritating, itch and a little painful. Not as bad as a stingray but not a ton of fun either.
What you want to do is get the slime off of you that the tentacles from the jellyfish tend to wipe across your skin. Wet sand does a good job of this. If you are a surfer and have a bar of wax in your pocket, that works really well too. The idea is to get it off of you as fast as you can as it can leave a welt.
I hate those dudes and do my best to avoid them, sometimes not even going in the water when there are lots of them around.
OK, I used up all my words again. I hope this extra information helps to ensure you have a happy and safe summer at the beach.
Ask the expert
Q. Corky, I love your articles in the OC Register. I know you have all the information on the best breaks. I am a big wave surfer who loves to charge! Please help me find a break in the Laguna Beach area that can handle a large south swell. Cotton’s (Point) is getting old for me and I am not a goofy foot. Salt Creek is too crowded. Please respond! Thanks.
Steve Gillett, Laguna Beach
A. In most cases I don’t like to actually name surf spots as there are usually a group of locals there who would quarter me and feed me to the dogs. But in this case, this is far from being any kind of secret spot or anything like that so I will go ahead and say it. The outside reef at Brooks Street is THE big wave spot on huge south swells. I will also say that it is a very unique wave and not all that easy to figure out, and the beach and inside lineup is strewn with huge rocks that would just as soon eat you for breakfast as have you go zooming over or around them. There are other spots but they are more secret and Brooks Street has been well known forever. My word of caution is if you do surf there be considerate of the locals and be careful, it’s a dangerous spot.
Source: Oc Register

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