Monday, January 19, 2009

Truth Trip VII: How to fnd Octopi Using the Braille System

The Truth Trip is a yearly scuba diving trip to coastal southern California that is organized by members of the Diver to Diver (D2D) internet forum. This year was the seventh trip and it was held in mid-September, 2008. I have realized that I never posted any photos from the trip, which was a lot of fun.

Here is another octopus story!

Just sit right back
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful shot
That started with
A clown nudibranch
Just climbing across a rock

Each dive, I was looking high and low for octopi. I found two hiding in their crevices, but the best find was purely by accident. I was making way through the reef when I came across the little clown nudibranch below.

He wasn't in a great position for a photo, so I took a few shots as he crawled through the plants. One particularly annoying piece of kelp kept getting in the way. I brushed it back a few times, but it kept crawling back into the shot. Crawling? That's what I thought. It turns out that my annoying piece of kelp was a good sized (4") decorator crab that was trying to move across my shot. I guided him to a clear area to the side of my nudibranch so that I could take a couple of photos of him. He would wave his claws in the surge, looking like he was doing sumo wrestler moves, with a few "fins to the left" and "fins to the right" moves mixed in.

As I was having to deal with said surge, I put up a hand against the rock to steady myself. To my surprise, my point of contact was the middle of an octopus. It took me a few shocked seconds to realize what I had found. The octopus was so flat across the rock that he looked like he had been steam-rolled and was just a flattened image of his three-dimensional self. Luckily, it took the octopus even longer to realize that I had found him, giving me the time to change camera settings and get off some shots before he crawled into his hole right below where I had found him.

No comments: