Todd Weber's Random Thoughts

September 25, 2008

Large Octopus

Filed under: Scuba — tkweber @ 8:20 am

Diving yesterday at Seacrest Park (Seattle), my buddy and I saw a very large octopus (giant pacific octopus, I think) curled up under an old collapsed boat wreck known as the Honey Bear.  I had come from the east side, around the north end of the wreck, looking in holes for whatever might be found, when I saw a scattering of crab shells in front of some overhanging wreckage indicating an octopus feeding area.  It had been a while since I last dived this location, and I didn’t recall seeing this previously.  I pointed my light into the dark void and was surprised to see the biggest octo I’ve ever seen coiled up 6-8ft away.  It’s tentacles were at least as thick as my arms with suckers that looked the size of 50-cent coins, and when the gill slit opened to inhale, it looked big enough to put my head in (not that I would, of course).  It just sat there breathing and watching us and eventually began changing colors to either conceal itself or warn us off.  A truly amazing sight.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a camera with us.  Bummer!  We’re planning a night dive soon to see if we can spot the nocturnal creature in open water.  That would be awesome!

June 25, 2008

My First Shark Encounter!

Filed under: Scuba — tkweber @ 5:16 am

The best of several body shots

I did two dives this morning with my buddy Dan at Three Tree Point, Burien, WA (Puget Sound).  It was good but uneventful until we nearly bumped into a six-gill shark (8ft long) at a depth of 60ft.  Visibility was only 10-20ft.  Dan saw it first and was close enough to touch it.  Talk about shock and awe!  The shark didn’t seem to mind us as he moved slowly through the murky green water.  We followed close, trying to get a good camera shot, but after the first glimpse it didn’t profile again. We stayed with him for a few minutes until he turned and moved into deeper water.  We were already on our return trip, low on gas, so didn’t follow, although it was very tempting.  We turned in the opposite direction and headed for the beach, both of us feeling a bit anxious knowing there was a large predator somewhere in the dark behind us.  A few moments later, at about 30ft, we came upon a school of white squid (15-20), 5-6 inches long, and what appeared to be an egg sack attached to a branch of some type of sea foliage.  They swam away as we approached, but a few seemed to hang back to study me as I studied them.  They were just inches from my mask. 

On our second dive we hoped to encounter the shark again, but did not.  Instead, we saw two wolf eels, a giant pacific octopus and two large rat fish.  Dan took several nice photos, some of which are shown here. We didn’t get a full body shot of the shark due to his size, moving away from us, and low visibility.

This was, without question, my best diving experience so far.  Simply awesome!  This one will long be remembered.

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