Posted by: octogirl7 | March 16, 2013

What came first: the tako or the trigger?

So I was swimming this morning (YES!!!!) and halfway thru the swim, I again noticed the little trigger fishes. 

So cute.  About 2 inches long.  They spy me, run away and dive into a hole in the rock.

Which left me wondering: how do the holes get there?  I know some boring urchins (not because they are boring, but because they BORE holes in the rocks) will drill into rock.  Which is certainly likely.  And then I thought: I wonder if octopus ever take up residence in these holes?  Do they have to fight the triggers for the space?

Not sure who would win that battle. Pretty sure the trigger would triumph, as they are faster and have more teeth.

There is no lack of holes for the octo-dens, however.  I saw 8 today and quite happy about it.

The water was like GLASS.  Flat as a piece of paper!  As I walked down the hill, I told two visitors that they had chosen a very good day to get into the water.  Not that there’s a BAD day. ha

The first few octopus were good hiders.  They were unimpressed with my need to film them, and remained stubbornly in their holes.

Number 6 however, didn’t seem at all perturbed that I was snooping and filming.  Quite accommodating, I thought!  But s/he didn’t come out of the relative safety of the den in the middle of the rock on the right side, just this side of the reef.

Quite tempting, too, to go outside, with conditions so pristine. But I didn’t.  Going outside usually doesn’t increase my octo-viewing (it being deeper outside, there’s less likelihood in my experience, that I will see them.), so I opted to stay inside.

And I was glad I did.

Octopus 7 put on quite a show.  I think s/he couldn’t decide if I was a threat or something to be ignored.  I tried to be as unobtrusive as I could be, but when you are over 5 feet tall and in a wetsuit, you can look quite threatening. I don’t try to be, but just the sheer size of me is bigger than the octopus.

So I tried to hang back, to see what the octopus would do.  And was not disappointed. It sat on top of a rock for a bit.  Then flew to a rock about 4 yards away, “toes” curled up against predators. Then at one point, it started hunting: spreading its legs around a rock so I could see the webbing between.  But then it saw me again.  Who knew it could be so sensitive while hunting?

Eventually I had to let it fly off.  I don’t want to set a bad precedent and have other swimmers start following all the livestock.

I noticed a big patch of sandy water.  Popped up and saw 3 divers WALKING on the bottom! I asked them if it were possible to swim instead of walking.  I told them they were walking on habitat.  The girl argued with me, saying that they weren’t walking on coral!  I wanted to say How can you tell, when your head is out of the water?  But what I said was that if she would put her face in the water, she would see the huge cloud of sand they were kicking up.

No joy.  She announced that she had broken her fin and I could go ahead with what I was doing.

Duh.  Had she not been walking, she probably wouldn’t have harmed her fin…after all, they are made for swimming, not walking on the bottom.  To further prove her idiocy, she and her group eventually continued on their traverse out through the channel.  Wouldn’t catch ME swimming out there without a fully functioning set of fins!

I saw a bunch of fish “running” away from something, so looked behind me and spotted a Giant Trevally.  These dudes get huge!  This one was probably about 2 feet long, just guessing.  He definitely had authority on the reef. I turned on the camera and started happily filming, only to find out that it was still on standby!  So I quickly changed to video, but only caught a brief bit of trevally. 

Also a very brief viewing of a barracuda.  It was probably only a foot long, but definitely made its presence known on the reef too.  I wouldn’t mess with one!

Only one octopus objected to my presence enough to blow water at me.  I can see when they are thinking about it and then blam!  Here comes the water.  It doesn’t really impact me, but it does feel kinda funny on my masked face.

I felt badly after lecturing the divers.  Well, bad in that my tone was less than kind.  I didn’t feel badly about the info I gave them; just that my tone probably made them mad, so they weren’t listening.  I always make the mistake of thinking divers will know better and be more aware of how to handle themselves in the water.  Of course, it’s other divers to touch octopuses too!

And I learned my lesson: when I saw another lady totally standing on the coral in front of me, I asked her very nicely to please not do that.  If she could.

Two clumpy nudibranchs also appeared today.  One on the bottom and one on a rock.  They aren’t very pretty, but they are interesting.  Video is of a very slowly moving animal, of a buff/pale yellow color.  With its “lungs” on the back.  An artistic design.

So, when you’re in the water, swim don’t walk! and learn to be kind, even when irritated…thanks


giant trevally




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