My octopus friend
Like in the Netflix documentary, I made friends with an octopus.
One morning in the beginning of July I was swimming with the children, taking a census of starfishes, when I saw something moving near a red starfish. It was an octopus! I saw where it stopped and immediately called everyone to see it, because the children had never seen a live octopus. At first they couldn’t see him because he had applied his basic defense technique: camouflage.
It actually blended into the surrounding rocks and seaweed and the kids couldn’t see it. So I dived to point it out to him and I took the opportunity to take some pictures of him from a couple of meters away, I didn’t want to scare him. He must have understood that I wasn’t dangerous and that I didn’t want to hurt him, so after a while he eliminated the camouflage by making himself visible.
I kept taking pictures of him, at first he seemed a little annoyed by so much attention.
But then he calmed down and I got closer and managed to get close-ups. He was still a little nervous, so much so that he blew a jet of water at me.
I went up again to breathe (I was already on my 20th dive… and photos) and he still didn’t move, so I went down again and this time I took a close up and even touched him.
After a month I saw him again, this time I was with my husband. The octopus had grown, but it was definitely him! At first seeing us in two adults he got scared and put on the defensive.
I brought a finger closer, without touching it. I don’t know if he recognized me, but he stretched out a tentacle, as if to greet me, then a movement from my husband scared him and he went away.
Unfortunately this cute story doesn’t have a happy ending: a week later, while chatting with a neighbor in the beach, I learned that a few days earlier she had seen a spearfisherman proudly returning to the beach with a freshly harpooned octopus. Of course, the beach goers had immediately called the guards of the park authority, who handed the uncivilized fisherman a hefty fine. Unfortunately, no fine can restore life to this wonderful creature. In the marine park many animals learn to trust humans, and if on the one hand this is good, because you can have unforgettable experiences with animals that are usually difficult to see, on the other hand it is also a danger, because there are always uncivilized who do not respect the rules of the park and kill those trusting animals.