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Sea Lice?

ottawa . ontario...
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Sea Lice?

Sea lice are generally only present during certain months of the year, depending on the location, so finding out when the sea lice season is can help you avoid them during peak times. In the Caribbean, for example, sea lice season runs from March to August, with the peak times during April to July.

Is this Statement Correct for Roatan? Or should I pick up a Body suit from the dive shop?

Going down the end of January.

Thanks For Your Help!


Menlo Park...
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1. Re: Sea Lice?

I've never encountered these in Roatan, only in Bonaire in the spring. I understand that they tend to bite at the edge of your clothing, so a wet suit would not protect your neck anyway. In fact I have never even seen any jellyfish in R. I'd suggest you not worry about it unless you hear otherwise at the shop.

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2. Re: Sea Lice?

I don't know anything abut sea lice...

but I'm startled that somebody with as much snorkeling time as dhauk hasn't seen jellyfish. I wonder if you are exceptionally lucky, I'm unlucky, or it is the timing...

In 2010 we had them two days in a row in February in Half Moon Bay... just the litte tiny ones in large numbers... then for a couple of days I saw the large (beautiful) ones...


and in 2012 we had nasty stinging ones outside the reef on a day in March - of course it had to be the day Nomadic joined us!

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3. Re: Sea Lice?

"Sea lice" are larval jellies that are so small they can't be easily seen. . Sometimes, jellies come in with the tides during certain times of the month, as their swimming motion is mainly to draw food sources up into their tentacles, so they're really at the mercy of tides and currents.

I'm not familiar with Roatan's jelly cycles, but I can attest that they are there. We were on West Bay for two weeks in Feb/Mar, and the same day that the Idiots and Nomadic were stung was my last snorkel trip before leaving on the plane. As I leisurely swum toward the reef I found myself avoiding first one, then another, and finally 5 jellies. They were the very transparent ones, and I wasn't certain they had a sting, but I didn't want to find out. So, after avoiding a cluster of several, I decided my last snorkel was going to be verrrry short! The funny thing is that the afternoon before, we went on the Glass Bottom Boat in West Bay, which was highly recommended by some divers who stayed next door to us, and which we very much enjoyed. On that trip I saw scads of jellies, which surprised me because I hadn't seen any snorkeling prior to this (although my husband had heard reports the week before of jellies near the "Big Rock" in West Bay). I thought maybe the current kept them away from shore......nope.....they were there in droves when I snorkeled the next morning. I had heard they are there in April, and were there earlier in 2012 because of the warmer spring, but I have no evidence to support that.

Trophy Club, Texas
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for Cayman Islands
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4. Re: Sea Lice?

I spent 6-8 hours a day snorkeling for a week last February and did encounter plenty of jellyfish swarms; but all the swarms were from non-stinging species (no thimble jellyfish encountered). I still did my best to avoid them. However, I did get stung by one sea wasp across my forehead, right as I was getting out of the water from snorkeling. Was able to get vinegar on the sting within minutes so it wasn't too bad.

Also, I did has some type of tiny or juvenile isopod, or possible a baby slipper lobster (that's what In initially thought it to be), attach itself to my side when snorkeling. I brushed at it and it detached and swam away. I would call that a sea louse.

Edited: 23 December 2012, 02:53
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5. Re: Sea Lice?

We have found that the sea lice tend to appear when the water is very warm, March and April. They are nefarious little beasts that can't be seen but boy oh boy they are painful. There is a body lotion that can be applied prior to entering the water but I'm sorry I can't remember the brand name. Some long distance swimmers use it here.

Still worth getting in the water regardless ;)