Owen took this pic when they visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few weeks ago. This particular creature is not unlike the nesting female octopus Owen and I stumbled across, tucked under a ledge protecting her brood back during one of our dive trips off Carmel back in the late 80’s.
That day we launched our Boston Whaler Guardian Divemaster out of Monterey, then headed south to a favorite dive spot just off the house called The Castle, located off the 17 Mile Drive. We were over an area that was hundreds of feet deep, but we anchored over an outcropping of rocks that came up from the bottom to about 60′ of the surface and headed down looking for Ling Cod.
We were working over a few ledges when out of the corner of my eye, a huge Ling – easily over 40 lbs, about 4.5’+ long – cruised by over another ledge and headed down to deeper water. Owen spotted it, too, so we began to follow it, hoping to snag Moby Ling in time for dinner that night.
Not to be… Moby had gone really deep in a few short seconds, so Owen and I returned to checking under ledges / small caves using our dive lights. Suddenly we came across a very large female Pacific Octopus guarding her brood. Scared the hell out of us! This was one big creature, very long tentacles with very large suckers up near her body… large as in coffee-saucer size. We cautiously cruised around her for a few minutes and not wanting to push our luck (neither of us being familiar with Octo-personalities), we cruised back up over the reef and headed toward the boat – which we could see anchored up top. Owen and I still talk about Moby Ling and what a neat dive that was.
Thanks for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.