We here at FishOn have always fared better when we've lived along a coast somewhere. It probably started at birth (San Diego. Go Padres). But to this day, we get more than 50 miles inland and the whole world seems to be closing in like a fallen tent.
Still, every now and then we come across an item that makes us reconsider the attraction. Let's go to Sorrento, Australia, for the most recent example.
According to a stomach-churning story in the New York Times, a stretch of the southeastern Australian coastline around Sorrento has become ground zero for a species of flesh-eating bacteria called the Buruli ulcer.
"Buruli ulcer has been reported in 33 countries, primarily in Africa, where a lack of access to health care can mean cases go on for months, sometimes resulting in disfigurement and disability," the piece stated. "In Australia, where cases of the ulcer have been reported since the 1940s, the recent increase in infections has brought new attention to the neglected disease. That, along with a growing global interest in infectious diseases, has raised hopes that scientists might finally have the resources to crack its code."
Excellent. CSI Buruli is on the case.
A gentleman by the name of Rob Courtney had what looked like a sunburn on his right foot, right up until it split open and began oozing.
"The ulcer left the flesh on his foot corroded and gangrenous," the Times piece stated. "Eventually, doctors prescribed the same powerful antibiotics used to treat leprosy and tuberculosis. The drugs made him feel nauseated and fatigued, and turned his sweat and tears orange. He spent nearly 50 days in the hospital."
You know you're in trouble if they start you on the leprosy drugs. And orange tears. Yikes. Where are Question Mark & the Mysterians when you need them?
FishOn baseball quiz question
On April 11, 1966, the last active major leaguer to play for the St. Louis Browns was released by the Baltimore Orioles. Who is he? The answer is down below.
A river of flies runs through it
Here's a little item for your social calendar: The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4 to the cognoscenti) is coming to Massachusetts on April 8.
Quick question: Are the flies the ones doing the fishing? Or are anglers really fishing for flies? As one of our unimpressed readers — Biff or something like that — pointed out in his potty-mouth email last week, we really don't know anything about fishing. Or journalism. Or apparently anything else. But in our defense, we have to say, we're fine lunch companions.
Back to the festival: The Greater Boston Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting the festival (virtually, of course) that will include 10 films of varying lengths (six to 16 minutes) "from all corners of the globe showcasing the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly fishing."
The admission price is $15 — 50% of ticket sales will go to the Boston chapter of Trout Unlimited to support conservation efforts — and the festival offerings can be found at https://bit.ly/2Pn4O6t. Viewers may log on to the site within 48 hours of the 7 p.m. screening. Once logged on, access to the films will be granted for seven days. The total run time of the festival is 115 minutes
Among the films being screened are: "Turbo Giants," which takes the viewers to the Seychelles in search of the giant trevally; "The Art of Fly Fishing" (the film profiles artist Brook Belohavek's passion for fly fishing, painting and auto repair); "The Wanderer (fly fishing in the Rocky Mountains, which are named for our favorite squirrel); "Tuna Fuerte" (fly fishers head to Colombia in search of tuna, whimsy ensues); "Raising Ghosts" (a steelhead odyssey in three-quarters time); "Baltics" (tangling with Baltic salmon); and "Raised on Rainbows" (a fly fishing family navigates early parenthood).
Those requiring more information may get it at flyfilmfest.com.
Horseshoe crabs by moonlight
Here's something you probably don't know. And if you did know, would it have killed you to let the rest of us in on it? Just sayin'.
Each spring, to help promote conservation, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries shuts down the state's commercial horseshoe crab fishery with five-day spawning closures that are scheduled by the — wait for it — lunar cycle.
"These closures occur for five-day periods coinciding with each new and full moon occurring between April 16 and June 30," DMF explained. "Closure periods begin at 12 a.m. two days prior to each full or new moon and end at 11:59 p.m. two days after each new or full moon."
In case you don't have your lunar calendar handy, that will be April 24-28; May 9-13 and May 24-28; and June 8-12 and June 22-26.
Now we know why they're called horseshoe carbs. It's because they're always getting lucky.
FishOn baseball quiz answer
Don Larsen is most famous for throwing the only perfect game in the history of the World Series when he whitewashed the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. But the righthanded pitcher was also the last active alumnus of the woebegone Browns to step between the white lines. As a 23-year-old in 1953, Larsen went 7-12, 4.16 for the Browns in their last season in St. Louis. The Brownies moved to Baltimore the next year and became the Orioles. In 1954, Larsen led the majors with 21 losses. He ended his career with three games with the Cubs in 1967.
As always no fish were harmed in the making of this column.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT