The Octopus Teacher, Part 3. (aka All Good Things Must Come to An End.)

I have felt incredibly lucky that my friend and I have been able to experience our own “Octopus Teacher”. 

Much to our great surprise, on one of our snorkels in January we stumbled upon an Octopus out in the open and we were stunned. I have seen them in nooks and crannies here and there while snorkeling over the years, but NEVER have I seen one out in the open. 

We spotted Octavia in mid January, and then noticed a few more tucked in nooks and crannies around the spot where we snorkel. 

As the days progressed, we made it a point of snorkeling there every day and found where she was living. We knew it was her by some particular markings on her, either by an arm she re-grew or by a bite from another sea creature. 

We were very patient each time we saw her, hovering over her den and waiting endlessly for her to come out.  One day - maybe three of four days later- she emerged and went for a swim with us.  We were so excited and stunned.  She returned to her den eventually, and we swam away.

We continued this daily ritual as best we could, weather permitting, and it went about the same way. She would eventually work herself out of her den, follow us as we drifted away from her den, and then when we thought we were a bit far from her home, we would turn and she would FOLLOW us back to her lair. 


She got so used to us, that she wouldn’t even attempt to camouflage herself, or spread out and change colors if we got close. She did that the first couple of times, but then didn’t really care how close we got to her. 

One day last week we went to see her, as per our usual daily snorkel, and she was a bit reluctant to emerge.  She did, however, after we decided it might be nice to just leave her alone, and we followed her this time.  I’m so glad we did, because she put on a beautiful, colorful show for us.  

She spread her arms, first in her natural, brown and white colors, and then began what can only be described as posing. I swam down to the bottom (of three feet of water, mind you) to take shots of her from the side.  It didn’t matter how close I got, she simply looked at me each time, displaying the beautiful colors we had seen when we first encountered her. 

After about 20 minutes or so, she began making her way back to her lair, and we followed.  We waved goodbye, and were thrilled at the show. 

We returned the next day, and we were disappointed to find her cave empty. We thought perhaps she was out hunting for food, and returned the next day. 

It was empty. 

We have since returned daily in the hopes of seeing her, but alas, her lair is completely empty. Except for the large, bully squirrelfish that has since made it his home.  

I’ve decided that she simply went to find a new and nicer home, and will leave it at that.  We are incredibly grateful for the amazing, magical experience that she gave us.  She reminded me that at any day, at any given time, you need to be ready for a little bit of magic.  

Open your eyes, and get ready. 


Debby said...

What an amazing experience. The closest I get to an octopus is the big one at the aquarium and she's always hiding!

Carrie Koch said...

Wow. That's incredible.

Clipping Path said...

All the pics are beautiful. Especially the second one. The car looks attractive in these pics.

Joanie said...

What a beautiful friendship you developed! Octavia surely trusted you. The photos are lovely, too.

My heart feels fuller from having read this post. Please continue with these remarkable encounters and fill us in on all the wonders you find.


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Woman in Love said...

You haven't posted since February - I hope that's cuz you're busy with wonder-filled adventures! I miss your writing & think of you - sending my best!

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