Portuguese-Men-of-War Are Still Bothering Swimmers to the East
From Westerly in Rhode Island to Nantucket in Massachusetts, the summer has seen an unusual number of Portuguese men-of-war off southern New England. Scientists say a change in the pattern of the Gulf Stream, warmer waters, a northern wind and recent storms are probably all to blame.
Rhode Island state officials said the creatures had been seen at beaches in Jamestown, Newport, South Kingstown, Narragansett, Block Island, Charlestown and Westerly this summer.
Needless to say, that does not make those of us who will soon spend inordinate sums renting on Block Island happy. Men-of-war are essentially large plankton -- they float where the currents take them, rather than swimming where they want to go -- and so maybe the winds will change and blow them out beyond Cape Cod.
I don’t quite have the attitude though of Julie Coburn, a Massachusetts woman who told a reporter: “They’re not supposed to be here. We are.”