Sea urchins at Deepwater Bay

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If you're heading to Deepwater Bay at this time of year, you'd better take some waterproof shoes if you plan on paddling or swimming. Otherwise expect to spend the evening digging sea urchin spines out of your feet.

 

Those spines are very sharp. Last year I must have stepped on a couple of different urchins, as I came out of the water with several spines in the sole of my foot. They break off after piercing your skin, leaving several mm behind.

I didn't notice them when they went in, but certainly noticed them once I was out of the water. I had to dig them all out with a pin, so they wouldn't start an infection.

The sea urchin in the video is one of the biggest I've seen at this beach, measuring appx 5cm across. There are lots of smaller ones too, down to around 1cm across. I haven't seen them at other beaches in Hong Kong, and they're not a problem all year round - just at this time of year. The above video was taken on 21 April 2007, and looking back through our photos I can see another picture of a sea urchin at that beach dated 10 April 2005.

Is it like spring break for sea urchins? Or is there some other significance of that beach and this time of year?

MrB