Well I just got back from a short vacation in San Diego, California. This was my first time ever to visit the state of California, as well as the ocean. Much to my disappointment I was told by the local scuba/snorkel tour shop that octopuses are very rarely seen in the area I was in. I kinda knew that they were more likely seen in the northern part of the state, but hey, it was worth asking.
I overheard a local surfer bragging to his buddy about "Dude, it was the coolest thing I have ever seen! An Octopus!..." So I absolutely had to rent some gear and go in for myself. The water was FREAKIN COLD! I had to sit in the water for a few minutes and acclimate my body but to my own surprise it didn't take too long. The sky was overcast, and it was about 60 degrees outside yesterday morning, rather dreary. The visibility was pretty poor, as I could barely see my hand in front of me (not to mention I have to wear corrective lenses which don't fit well under goggles) So I didn't stay in the water but about 20 minutes. After feeling something rather large bump against my legs I decided it just wasn't very fun. I was in the popular spot for swimming with Leopard Sharks and since it was my first time diving, I thought it would be much better if I just wait until I can try it again when the water isn't as murky. I think I'll leave La Jolla cove to the sharks and sea lions.
Onto the good part though, I visited Birch Aquarium and observed the GPO in the display there. He was very pale, eyes cloudy, and tentacles curled tightly into a ball. Sadly, he/she looked like death was soon to come.
There was a good sized Bimac in another display, out and about, looking pretty happy. There apparently is another Bimac in the outside tidepool setup. One of the caretakers told me it is very large for its species, but she said she has only seen it out once during the day. With all the kelp it would be very hard to spot. Still, I stood there and baked my skin until it blistered hoping to catch a lucky glimpse, to no avail. There was a decent cuttlefish display with S. Latimanus? I believe. They were signaling each other with their tentacles. Looked like taunting behavior.
Next we went to SeaWorld. Got to pet a dolphin (WooHoo) and the GPO on display there was VERY interactive with the people passing by. It was on the wall caddy-corner to the glass, and kept reaching up to our faces, then it would climb onto the glass, turn around, flip over, and go back to the wall, reaching out once again as if trying to touch us. Very fun to watch. Its mantle was about twice as big as my head, eyes like golf balls.
They also had a Cuttle display with 6 cuttles, but I don't know what species. They were about the size of 12oz. soda cans. One of them was pretty attentive of our presence, the others didn't seem to care much.