A couple of weeks ago I did my first dive for a while at Cabbage Tree Bay, in Sydney. In a vague way, the bay has two sites, Fairy Bower and Shelly Beach, with a shallow expanse of sand separating them. Early winter is Giant Cuttlefish mating season. This one above, small but purposeful, was patrolling the shallows on the Bower side. I encountered him at the end of the dive, the bulk of which was taken up with a swim from the Bower to Shelly, and two other cephalopods encountered on the way.
The first was this octopus, over towards the Shelly side:
It’s not a great photo, but I liked the den. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the piece of broken glass over on the left. Very soon after I arrived, she* made clear how she felt about me, first going a little darker…
… then darker still…,
And finally coming out at me..
… like a molluscan Darth Vader.
I backed off.
On the way back, I came across another, in a similar den on the flat.
With a hint of wariness, again I came closer….
This one sat up, with interest, and watched calmly back. Full of that unique and charming octopus attentiveness.
* This octopus turned out to be a “she,” as shown on a later dive. I initially had her as a “he” in this post. But she’s a she.
Unrelated: here is a great photo posted by Alexander Semenov.
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This is what I love about meeting octopuses…They are as individual as cats, perhaps even more. What I like to do after such encounters is try to imagine why each octopus I have met ended up being who it is. In the case of the molluscan Darth Vader, maybe he had encountered idiot divers in his past (e.g. divers destroying his den), and thus all this blackness?
In any case, may the Force protect you from such darkness…
They do indeed have intriguing similarities to cats.