Posted by: octogirl7 | April 26, 2013

Two hours of vacation + 7 octopus = fun!

Decided to take 2 hours of vacation today.  Well worth it!  Even though the tide was really low eventually, I was still able to spot 7 octopus.  And a monk seal!

The seal was dozing on the beach when I arrived.  The area had been coned off and one of the akamai folks was watching to make sure no one sneaked through the line to bother it.

They are very interesting creatures, but I do prefer to see them at the aquarium, just because the odds are better to see them actually moving! The info is that once they eat and come up on the beach, they need to rest and digest.  Some folks, not knowing any better, disturb them, which sets the whole population in an uproar.  Best rule in the ocean: leave everything alone!

If you don’t know what is dangerous, don’t touch it.  If something comes at ya, move out of its way.

I was thinking about this today, as I saw a lone lined butterfly.  Very beautiful fish! But surprising that it was alone.  Mostly, they swim in pairs.  So I’m hoping the seal didn’t feel the need to chomp down on one of these beautiful fishes.

Seven octopus.  Pretty good, considering the lowness of the tide.  I was not able to get over to the right side of the bay, so that slowed my numbers down a bit.  As it was, I must admit I had to sneak over the reef.  Sometimes you just get blindsided by the low water and you find yourself almost hung up on the bottom.

Guess the moral for that is to not berate others when they are high and dry, too!

You might be thinking that I have the experience not to get into this problem, and you’d be right!

This is also a blog about peeking: octopuses peeking at me!

Once I have spotted an octopus in its den, it usually slides slowly back down and hides. But I have noted more and more recently that once I swim by, they do slide back up to take a look at me. I’m not sure if this is so they can be sure I’m actually gone or if they are just curious.  It is cute, though!  I sometimes swim past, after documenting their presence, and wait to see if they will pop up again.  And usually they do.  Sometimes the adults, however, don’t bother.  I guess they know they can handle anything that comes their way!

Tako 3 flew!  It was a small one, that was being harassed by both a trevally and a goat fish. Poor thing really didn’t know what to do when I showed up.  And with the low tide, I wasn’t able to really hide very well, but neither was he.  I did catch a bit of video of him trying to decide where the best place to hide would be.  Eventually, he decided to blow some sand out of a hole he found, and hunker down in that. They are really very clever creatures.  Well, except for that keeping rocks outside and around their holes…that’s a pretty sure sign that an octopus has been in the area.  Sometimes deceptive, though, as they are not always home.  I mean, think about it.  If an octopus gets eaten or dies naturally, no one goes back to its den to scatter the rocks and paste a black flag above it.  (Unfortunately…that would save me a lot of time of octosnooping.)

However, it does pay to continue to check out dens, even if they appear empty.  Today, I stopped by one that is usually empty, and was rewarded by the appearance of the resident octopus. Who immediately hid, of course! 

It is cute to stumble upon, well, swim up on, an octopus that is cleaning house.  I saw the hole and then saw some crab remains being blown out.  Didn’t see the octopus at first, but definitely knew it was there.  So I remained patient for a little bit.  But then decided to take matters into my own eyes and swam a bit closer and saw the big adult, just waiting inside its den.  I can always tell when they notice me, because they change from their normal multi-shade brown to that dark maroon color. (Go Ags!) I think they may be getting accustomed to me, as they don’t normally go really deep into their dens, but stay just out of reach. Not that I ever reach for an octopus!  Heaven forbid!

So 2 young octopuses today.  Glad to see they weren’t eaten by the monk seal.  

And I saw a group of red menpachi over in the deep side, inside a few rocks.  They like to hide.  And there was also a huge Hawaiian cleaner wrasse, doing its job on some goatfish.  I haven’t seen one of those in quite a while, so that was a nice treat, as was the porcupine puffer taking a rest on the bottom.

No eels today.  That was  a relief, as that peppered moray sometimes gets on my last nerve. It’s kinda funny that those folks who don’t get into the water very often viewed the recent peppered moray video footage and felt the need to warn me that it might bite me! DUH!  I do always pray for safety before entering the water, but I also keep a sharp eye out. Especially in this low tide pond…there’s no good place to hide when the water is so low and it is harder to maneuver.

ImageI just had to include a photo of one of the little octopuses.  Cute, eh?! Well, ok, a lined butterfly is prettier, but not as smart nor as cool!




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