1/12/22

Our own "Octopus Teacher" encounter, Cayman style.




I had an incredible, once in a lifetime snorkeling experience yesterday with my friend Janice here in the Grand Cayman Islands. 

I am fortunate to be staying in a lovely home right across the street from the beautiful beach, and Janice lives right next door. We grab our gear and walk across the street almost daily to enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.  We are often lucky enough to see turtles, lobsters, stingrays and so many other creatures right in our own front yard.


In one of our favorite snorkeling areas we have found several large pieces of rock or coral that have provided safe homes for the two or three octopuses. (Yes, the plural form IS octopuses.) We have seen several out in the open recently- another FIRST- and returned yesterday to see what we might find. 


In one of the octopus’s “homes”, we saw one tucked in the hole with one of its large eyes watching at us as we hovered above. The water is only about 2 feet deep in this spot, so we were very close to the beautiful creature.  


We hovered there for a while, maybe ten  minutes or so, and I decided to swim around the area to see if I could find another one out in the open. (I'm a bit restless, you see.) A very patient Janice stayed right where she was, very vigilant in her quest to coax the octopus out of its hole. We are both fans of the Netflix movie "My Octopus Teacher", and are convinced that these creatures are intelligent and curious.


Eventually I came back to her right when her efforts began to pay off.  The creature inched its way out of the hole, forming a kind of teepee as it emerged.  It came out inch by inch, watching  us watch him.  It came all the way out, and elegantly swam slowly into the turtle grass! 


We followed it carefully, shocked and elated to see what was happening!  It swam slowly, as curious about us as we were about him. It only swam about six feet away from its home, and then stopped and spread its arms out.  We were captivated and delighted by this show.  


A few minutes later it made its way slowly back to its home, finding his way into a smaller crevice beside its original shelter.  It obviously didn’t fit, so it slowly came out again and went right next door to the larger hole and settled in, watching us the whole time. 


Janice and I were stunned and exhilarated by the whole experience! Honestly I have never seen anything like it, and I am still stunned.  I learned several lessons that day about patience, curiosity and the beauty of the ocean and the creatures that live there.  


I’m going to share the pictures that begin with spotting it, then its curious emergence and its journey with two thankful and ecstatic snorkelers and its return home. 


We were blessed for sure. 


Enjoy!!



















What a day!!


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