Matt Bowtell gets some help trying to clean the disgusting whale blubber from his shoes.


By Michael Giles with Mat Bowtell

AS PREDICTED, the dead sperm whale which came to rest on Forrest Caves Beach last weekend has started to break down rapidly and is absolutely putrid.

In fact, it’s so terribly smelly, verging on toxic surely, that locals have advised everyone, especially parents with kids, not to go there at all.

Founder of ‘Free 3D Hands’ prosthetics, Mat Bowtell, a well-known Cowes business operator and philanthropist, made the mistake of visiting the beach, after all of the weekend hype, to see the whale, and oh dear, does he regret doing so.

“Stay the hell away,” he told the Sentinel-Times today.

“Even 150 metres away is too close. And don’t go on the beach,” he said.

“Because the whale has been washing in and out with the tide, there’s putrid blubber all over the place, hundreds of metres up the beach and right up to the high tide mark.

“When you step on to the sand, apart from the gross smell, your feet slide on these big chunks of fat that you can’t get off.

“People were seen dry-reaching and I couldn’t get the smell out of my mouth and my nostrils.

“I couldn’t taste my food for the stench and taste of it and I could couldn’t finish a beer for the taste either.

“It’s horrible.

“I’ve had to throw away my shoes. You can’t get it off. Don’t go there,” says Mat.

Facebook feedback

Mat Bowtell poasted his thoughts on Facebook last night and got an avalanche in response.

“We thought it would be a nice idea to go and see the majestic sperm whale washed up on the beach. The wind wasn’t that strong, so we thought, how bad can it be?

“Oh how wrong was I… This was no dead seal. It was no rotten egg fart smell either… The only smell I can relate it to was when I once cleaned out the rancid grease tray from under my refrigerator.

“A thick, lung penetrating mist of blubber gas that enters your body but does not leave. As I got within 100m of the majestic beast, I felt my shoes getting heavier. I looked down to notice that my blue suede Jordans were now covered in rotting whale blubber that had washed out to sea and back in, further down the beach.

“I tried to shake it off, scrub it off with sea grass, wash it off with the tide, but all it did was smear the rancid margarine like substance deeper into the suede. When we got back, I had a sniff of the shoes, and dry-reached like I never have before.

Lol, I couldn’t even go near them. Thank God for Peta… She was kind enough to hose the blubber out of the soles but it was no good. Ready to give up on my shoes, I chucked them in the mop bucket, filled it with a cocktail of whatever disinfectant I could find and left them soaking.

The smell won’t leave my nose. I ate some chocolate to cleanse the palate, but all I could taste was rancid flesh. I’m tainted… I’m not sure if I can still smell it, whether my airways are coated in oil, or whether it is a figment of my own imagination.

I hope I can manage to eat something today. Lol. If you are going to go and see the whale, stay on the stairs, see it from a distance what whatever you do and don’t forget to wear a mask.”

Lija: I don’t need any more convincing to stay the hell away. Great job taking one for the team Peta!

Miyamoto: Man, there is gonna be some huge sharks just offshore there for a while. Just blow it up like the Brits did!

Cheryle: Ha ha. I was going Matt but I now know the stairs or photos will do… thanks for the heads-up.

Christina: And here I was thinking I was reading the modern version of Moby Dick. You must write a novel.

The moral of this story is DON’T GO!!

P.S. Emergency Victoria has re=posted its advice about the likelihood of sharks feeding in the area of the beached whale.