We beleive the stinging ones are a lovely creature known as the artic lions mane jellyfish... just when you thought you were safe. THey only appear occasionally though so we should be safe next year.
So why do I do it. Well there was beucase I couldn't run anymore and so turned to swimmign and foudn the cold water helped so then I liked having cold water goals that gave me more than "so I don't have pain" as a reason to get out every day. It got to be mroe than that though. To see if I coudl go there, to show others you coudl do it and not die (in the case of Sitka). To see new creatures and people and places. So now its as bad a habit as the tri habit. I have always loved maps and staring at things on them and wondering what they will be like, Marine charts are even mroe intriguing and to see if you can go where you saw on the chart is exciting. I'm pretty sure there's some extra endorphins from swimming in cold water.
I'm putting up some photos on picasa when I get done, I can get you all to tell me how to put a link to there! I'm slow, I need a new comptuer and I'm recovering harder than I might have expected. It did not help to run aroudn seeing everythign as soon as I got done and then jetting home to a heat wave!