Monday, September 29, 2008

The Octopus' Garden

Sixty feet down, near the end of a long dive, a glimpse of the Northern Pacific Giant Octopus; you can just see suckers on one of its arms--as big around as my own--at around 2:00 minutes into the video. The octopus rests in the day but comes out to hunt at night; something I'd love to see. One of the octupus caves, the front yard of which was littered with crab shells and other octopus meal remains, was big enough for me to swim into..but I backed off of that very foolish plan at the last moment. The undersea world is so astounding that you almost can't help but do foolish things to explore it.

Towards the beginning of the video you can observe the beautiful motions of a large Lion's Mane Jellyfish. I'm endlessly fascinated by these creatures, and I'm writing something about them at the moment. There are around 30 species of luminescent jellyfish in Puget follows that a very reasonable thing to do will be to dive there at night, settle at a good depth, turn off all the lights, and just wait for the natural lights to come on and ghost around and above us.

Being immersed in the water, wrote Philippe Diole, is like moving through "vast silk."

Video shot by me and by Todd Olson.


Blues Greene said...

More great stuff Cameron. It's wonderful that most of the fish and other creatures seem largely indifferent to you presence there. I'm curious as to just exactly where you shot this. Is diving a stress reducer? No doubt.

Cameron McPherson Smith said...

yes, the sea creatures just sort of look at you and move along. apparently the octopi will come and touch you, just to check you out, with a tentacle-tip, if you remain calm. i'm looking forward to that. in my opinion the whole undersea world has to be re-described; so much of what we think of about diving and the water are dangers, things that hollywood and other drama-machines have focused on. it's such a different world. no doubht, there are things there that will eat you alive, but they're few. most animals, you'd really have to provoke to be attacked. one of the great things here is that unlike a deer or much other land-based life, here you can get right up to the animal, inches from it. a very different kind of wilderness!