Although Bluebottles (Physalia utriculus) are well known for their fearsome sting few Victorians swimmers will have met one. They have been recorded on southern Tasmanian and Victorian coasts (even a couple in Port Phillip Bay) but mostly occur in warmer waters off Queensland, northern New South Wales and and Western Australia. Bluebottles have a raised ‘sail’ on top of a gas-filled sac that floats on the ocean surface. So their dispersal into southern waters is likely due to the East Australian current (off Qld and NSW) and the Leeuwin current (off WA) coinciding with prevailing winds.
The Atlas of Living Australia website lists 199 records of Physalia utriculus. Of these, the 8 records from Victoria and Tasmania occurred in summer and early autumn. On that basis, the arrival of a few Bluebottles at Point Leo in August (recorded by Ron Vandenberg on August 15) is especially uncommon, perhaps indicating changing ocean conditions.