Posted by: octogirl7 | January 5, 2015

A surprise “free” holiday!

So yesterday my boss texted me to ask if I would mind taking the day off, so they could finish work on my office today.

Mind?!  Heck no, with a capital Heck!

So I was able to swim again on a Monday! Hello….wonderful!

I found myself on the Betty bench early this morning, sharing thoughts with one of the Park Rangers.  He was guarding the beach and I was helping him.

Before I joined him, however, I was sitting on another bench, waiting to snap a few pix of the sunrise.  (Sun rising over open ocean…can that ever be bad?!)

As I was sitting and awaiting more light, I noticed something black at the end of the bench.  So of course, being curious in nature, I got up to look at the other end of the bench.  What I thought might be a broken dive watch strap or some such turned out to be a cell phone.

So that’s what got me up, where I wandered over to give it to the Ranger, who is a very trustworthy sort. I knew he’d turn it in.

I, having opened the phone to see if it had identifying marks, proudly announced to him that I thought the owner was JAN S, because that’s what it said on the screen.  So he opened it too….he said, Oh, no. You mean the owner is January 5!

HA. I told him I had just this morning reported to my husband that i needed new contact lenses. Guess I was right.

So we had a quiet chuckle.

Then I decided there was enough light to venture into the water.  After praying for safety and guidance to the octopuses, I got in with my shorty wetsuit and dive skin over that.  60 degrees may not sound like cool temps after Paris’ 46, but it is still cold if you are in the water!  Especially, in the water for 2 hours and sometimes not moving much, because you are filming octopuses.

So I saw one of my regular octopuses right away.  Still shy, it scooted away from my eyes and camera.

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You can see the body and a bit of its eye, right above the V of the rock.  She’s the one who was building with rocks yesterday.

Sadly, the two lovebirds were not in evidence, today.  I hope I didn’t scare them off.  But my experience has been that the wedded bliss never lasts long, at least with octopuses.

Happy to report, however, that the calm octopus that let me take all those closeup shots yesterday was still in its niche in the rock.  This was the 2nd octopus of the day.

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See?  Hardly any brown and certainly none of that angry brown.  Just chillin’, there in the rocks.  I didn’t try any super macro today, as I figured I had bugged it enough yesterday.

And later in the dive, I found octopus #3, a totally new one as far as I can tell.

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Meeting it for the 1st time, it had not developed any friendship with me, so it blew water and therefore sand into the photo. You can see the big white circle, its siphon, and a few suckers.  I kept trying to peek up out of the water, to find identifying info, so I could place the location to check again next weekend.  They are smart, though: they pick dens that don’t have direct sunlight blazing into the den, so they can hide better. At lease, I think that’s their logic.

And I’m not sure what this is, but I think i have seen them with hermit crabs inside:

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I’m talking about the 3 things on the left…with the white “dots” around.  I’ll have to investigate and let you know.

I am also excited to report that I saw another Big Eye Emperor.  Unfortunately, the vis wasn’t good in his part of the pond, but here goes:

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A very clean looking fish, with the pretty stripes.  and the eye disguised with a stripe, to help hide it. You can see the water quality wasn’t great in this area.

I also spotted a humu duo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese two were small; probably 3 inches total.  But very cute and pretty quick….the top one started into a protective hole and the other was leaning that way.  I know I’m a lot bigger, but really, do I look intimidating?

I was also glad to see another rock mover wrasse.  The pix didn’t turn out particularly well, as he was trying to hide. I will upload the movie after finishing this post: octopigirl7 on youtube.com

I also was gifted by a Moorish Idol swimming by.

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Again, I am amazed by the variety of color patters, stripes, and fins. The Moorish Idol has a long dorsal thread, which is really pretty when they are swimming around.  Not to mention a pretty face and interesting nose.

And after two hours of swimming, I decided to get out.  Only to find, sadly, that 5 or so divers who are NOT versed in good diving behavior, were trudging along the bottom.  Apparently too lazy to actually swim out to their dive destination.

My new rule is not to communicate unless I can do so without shouting, so I filmed them instead.  Look for it on youtube too.  Shame on them!  Divers should know better than to walk along the bottom, disturbing who knows what in their unkindness. For shame!!!  Especially in a Marine Preserve like Hanauma Bay, they should definitely know better.  I’m ashamed to be a part of the dive community when I see stuff like that.

But to end on a good note instead of a downer, here’s one of the calm but lovely sunrise:

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Oh and I almost forgot:  I didn’t see the Kolea out on the rocks today, but there were 3 of them flying around each other this morning as I got into the water.  Cute birds.  Glad they’re here…

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