Thursday, March 11, 2010

Octopuses Garden

Morning on Salt Cay dawned with blue skies, not too much wind and fairly calm Seas... Heather rode her bike over and we took a kayak paddle toward the South tip of Salt Cay, hoping to spot a whale or two. No whales during our paddle... and as we turned back toward home we made plans to get together later that afternoon to kayak around Point Pleasant, beach the kayaks and do a little snorkeling.

By 2PM, the wind was coming out of the Northeast and had picked up enough that going around the North point of the island didn't look like a very good opportunity for snorkeling. Instead Heather, her Mike and I brought our kayaks onto the beach just South of the Lighthouse for a little snorkeling.

A quick snorkel showed off a trumpet fish, schools of blue tang, yellowtail snapper, a few butterflyfish, a big parrot fish, and lots of little fairy basslets among lots of little fish. Beachcombing turned up a few nice shells and a little bit of beach glass - and Mike Floan made the best discovery of all... an octopus in a tide pool in the rocks!!

We thought it was one octopus, but as Mike bent to touch it, the octopus squirted ink and moved to the other side of the little pool revealing another octopus under it. The first octopus then slithered over the rocks into another pool and immediately changed color to blend in the with bottom of that pool. It was incredible! Meanwhile, the smaller octopus moved up along side of Mike's foot (covered with a dive boot) and changed color to try to blend in with his foot.

Mike was keeping his foot very still and bent down to touch the octopus - it squirted him with water! Every time his hand would get close to it, the octopus would send a stream of seawater into the air toward him. Heather made her way over to the larger octopus to try to touch it and got the same treatment. I just watched. :0)

Luckily, Heather had an underwater disposable camera with her in the kayak and used it to take a few pictures of the octopus. The following picture is similar to what we saw and will stay here until she gets back to the States, can develop the film and send me a copy! Watch for that sometime in April.

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