Posted by: octogirl7 | March 9, 2013

Thanks, God! and I’m not Harry!

What a fantastic weekend!  Especially since I started it on Friday…no work, play at the HIM (Hawaiian Island Ministries) conference. A great way to start off the weekend…

So of course, snorkeling on Friday, first.  Then today too! 5 octopus on Friday, 15 today. The water was beautiful: calm, not windy, few waves.  The animals were happy and so was I.

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see the octopus has a chunk out of the front part of its body.  Don’t know how, but I have heard they can regenerate legs, so it’s probably only a matter of time before the injury is healed. The ringtail surgeon fish didn’t seem to care too much; in fact, it seemed that it hardly notice the octopus!

I did have a great spotting of another octopus.  I was slowly swimming when a thought entered my head to speed up.  I was on the quieter side of the Bay, so I sped up and was rewarded by a completely out of its den octopus.  It flew a bit for me and showed off its legs.  A treat!

Another octopus showed how unhappy it was that i was there: it blew a puff of water at me.  Always makes me laugh.

Once I’ve gotten all the pictures organized, there might be another photo or maybe another video:  I found an octopus that was so still, so well hidden that at first I blew past it, thinking it was just seaweed.  The eyes gave it away, but only after a few minutes of close scrutiny.  It stayed very still.  This isn’t the usual modus operandi: octopuses usually change color to show they are mad at me.  Perhaps this one, being hidden in a rock with nowhere to hide that I could discern, felt stillness would save it.  And of course, I did swim away, so it worked.  When I came back a few minutes later, it changed to its angry red color.

I also found a cute little flounder that performed for me for a few minutes.  Actually, it was probably running away from me, so I stopped following it.

This weekend so far, I saw a pair of lined butterfly fish.  This are a treat, as they are more rare than other butterfly fish.  As big as a dinner plate, I have heard them described.  Very pretty.

And speaking of pretty, yesterday was so clam and just the right time of tide that I was able to go outside the reef for a bit.  I know I won’t see as many octopus out there (the depth of the water prevents me from getting as close to rocky areas as I can inside the reef), but I did manage to see hugs groups of ringtail surgeon, manini (convict tangs) and other neat fish.  Including a lone pinktail trigger fish.  That fish is absolutely gorgeous!  Pink tail, dorsal and ventral fins that are clear, with a slender black line along the edges.  And then side fins that are yellow!  The body of the fish is black.  Quite a striking beauty.

As I was filming the octopus that flew, I was reminded how easy it is to lose track of your surroundings when you are filming.  I ended up following the octopus without really watching what was going on around me.  Before I enter the water, I do pray for protection.  However, God doesn’t tell me to be stupid! This is a cautionary tale, to always check your surroundings occasionally.  Especially since I saw a lengthy eel, well hidden inside a coral head.  I saw only a total of 4 inches, inside a hole in the rock.  Had it wanted to, it could have come out to see if I was edible.

At one point during the swim, I found the black piece that goes inside fins to keep them from squashing down when in the package.  It’s about 5 x 7 inches and I was loath to hold onto it for the rest of my dive.

So I was heartened, when swimming toward the shore, to see one of the nice gentlemen who routinely collect trash along the beach.  I swam close and asked him if he could take the trash from me, saving me from having to get out and then in again.

His comment was: “Oh I thought you were Harry!”  I replied, Not usually! ha

We have an older gentleman who likes to swim,  Unfortunately, he also usually swims with a pole that he puts on the ocean floor to drag himself along.  The octopuses and I are not fond of this procedure.  I was just surprised that I looked like an old guy!

It also rained hard on me while i was swimming.  But as long as there’s no thunder and lightning (which is kinda rare here), it doesn’t make me get out.  I figure I’m wet anyway, what’s a little more water from above?

I did catch some video of it, which I”ll download.

One of the 15 octopus today was found by seeing bare sand near a rock.  When I investigated, I saw a reddish octopus (meaning, it saw me first) and it proceeded to move sand from underneath itself, in an attempt to hide.  I have noted several of them doing this.  These octopus don’t seem to have a regular den, at least not when I spot them.  It is a neat behavior.





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