In the name of Great Barrier Reef conservation, our founder Ben Southall was attempting to help the corals of Luncheon Bay, Hook Island, by removing a few Crown of Thorns starfish from the fringing reef during his recent Kayak the Whitsundays expedition.

However, these destructive coral-eaters have spines as sharp as their bite and, in the process, he got one lodged in his big toe – the start of four days of excruciating pain, an infected foot and an operation in Robina Hospital to remove the feisty little spine that could only be seen with an exploratory x-ray.

So the score is now Great Barrier Reef Nasties 2, Ben 0. Ten years ago he was stung by an Irukandji jellyfish during his Best Job in the World stint on Hamilton Island. Read all about that in the one here in the daily mash, a highly regarded publication (not).

Ben – a note for you – leave the marine life alone. 😖🐡

EXTREME DREAMS: TRI-NATION ARCTIC CHALLENGE
Arctic Circle
12 – 19 January 2022
Level 4: Highly Active