Monday, June 12, 2017

seals, octopuses and shells...auwe!

The swim didn't start off with a seal in the water with me, but it did make me get out when I saw it!
I had seen a seal on the little island when I got in, but it was sleeping, so I didn't worry about entering the water.  But later in the swim, I heard barking. Yeah, go figure! I  thought it was odd because it's very rare to see dogs at this beach park. After I popped up and didn't seen anything, I went on with my swim. I popped up again when I heard the barking again and figured out that a Monk Seal must have been getting vocal! Then, about 2 hours later, I saw something over to the right and saw this seal.  And that's when I decided to get out and leave it alone.  I wasn't sure where it wanted to go, but I was sure I didn't want to be in its way! This one was longer than me, even with my fins on. No messing with them.  They can bite! But I have never had one bite me. Perhaps that's because I snap a photo and go the other way. I stood on the beach and watched as it progressed over to the island and then wiggled its way up on the island. So cute, when they wiggle.
This is the island it swam to.  There is also a very hard to see 1st seal, which had already started its nap on the far side of this island, which may explain why this 2nd seal was a bit cautious about going up on the island.
You can also see the confluence of the "kiddie" pond and the deeper water.  That dark streak is rocks that stop some of the wave action.  The hard part for swimmers is that the waves come in from the right, as the water on the left is heading toward the deeper water. In other words, they fight it out! Which makes it interesting to get in, where I do.
I once again saw 3 octopuses.  Even the bigger, "friendly" one was still where I've seen it now for 3 straight days. Joy! I shall have to look for it again when I swim again next weekend.
I have a hard time getting out of the water on Saturdays. I was in for almost 4 hours! The water has been so clear and good sightings, so I want to make the most of it. And then today was 3.5 hours, same deal: so nice didn't want to get out. Also figuring into my decision was the fact that this swim would have to last me all through the work week.  
So all the usual characters were present:
Male box (trunk) fish:
Cone shells:

A sweet cowry shell....just sitting there, being all pretty...and that's funny because they are called Honey Cowries!
Octopus #2 was in deeper water. But it was kind of funny, all kinds of fish were swirling around it, but I'm not sure they even knew the octopus was there. I did, though:
Convict tang on the left, Orange Shoulder Surgeon and the 2nd Octopus is that dark ball in the middle....It was above the rock, but in a hole so it could escape, should the need arise. Like when pesky girls dive down to take its picture. Gee, so sensitive!
This Peacock Grouper acted so strange: it followed, swam along side of and then got head on in this eel's face! I have never thought of a grouper as a commensal hunter, but perhaps I'm wrong. It could happen. But they became pals:
The eel kept trying to flee and that Grouper kept following it. Eventually they did split up.
A crazy looking crab. Wait...hold that thought. I'll go look it up. Just for you...Dang! No joy. Wasn't in the first book...eyes at the top of the brown and then antenna (red) between. Cool, though, huh? It even has something growing on its shell.
Plenty of hawk fish...even this little one! 

I love the lines around the eyes of this older hawk fish. 
The lighting was pretty on this Convict Tang and its companion, Mr. Humu..
To the left is octopus was outside its little den when I swam upon it, so I snapped a couple of quick photos, knowing it would sink back down inside.
Another one of the octopus outside its den, surrounded by the rocks it keeps outside. I have long suspected that they keep rocks at the ready, so they can block their dens when they are away, and prevent intruders. It might work...except with another octopus.
To the right is the octopus having sunk back a bit...the eye is the dark brown part.
Above and below, the octopus eye, as it peeked at me! I guess both photos really have both eyes, you just can't see the 2nd one as clearly.
A final shot of Octopus #3, back under his rocky lair...It is really a pretty great choice, as it protects it from those that might be rude enough to actually walk on the rocks. (Yes, it IS hard to believe, but I see it every day. "Oh I have reef walkers, so it's ok!" NOT!) And the octopus has a good vantage point to see oncomers. 
And since I do work at a garden (, I thought it fitting to end with a pretty orchid:
Looks almost sugary, doesn't it?!
Thanks for reading. I thank God for all these great sightings.  And no emergencies. Praise to Him!

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