Never mess with rattlesnakes. That was the advice given to me by a Mexican friend as we waded through some woods on the way to the beach in Baja del Sur a few years back. Being the village idiot I decided to ignore said advice and went looking for the wee killer armed only with a camera, a hangover and precious little else.
Luckily for me the one I found was content to just rattle at me as I took some stills (see below) whereas one unlucky surfer got the nip of a lifetime on Sunday whilst checking out the waves at Trestles. Talk about harsh luck.
Jim Miller, the surfer in question, managed to call 911 and make it to hospital before the venom did some real damage. “At the hospital, the nurse asked me twice if my affairs were in order and if I had a will.”
Now that’s not what you’d want to hear having set off in the morning for some nice sets. I can’t help but feel that surfers are persecuted by nature. If it’s not sharks, boxed jellyfish, sea urchins or groms then it’s rattlesnakes and vacuous celebs.
Yes I know it’s their domain and we’re invading it, etc, etc, but surely we can all sign some kind of peace treaty amongst the species or have I been listening to Karl Pilkington for too long?
If you are surfing in the area the conservation advice is to watch out through the months of March and April as the deadly forked tongue ones are hungry having hibernated all winter. Maybe wear cowboy boots into the water for the time being?