Octos in Port Macquarie Tide Pools

Discussion in 'Diving & Ceph Encounters' started by DWhatley, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Before our marvelous trip to OZ, PGS and Haggs suggested place enroute to our week in Port Macquarie to look for octopuses. We flew standby so padded a few extra days on the front end of the trip with hopes of seeing Sydney and stopping along the lake area before going to the timeshare. I even hauled along a pop up dressing room so we could stop and change but every "just in case" precaution we had taken turned out to be necessary. My daughter-in-law flew on the scheduled flight (we had agreed we would take the seats as they became available in any numbers and her father is a pilot (hence our ability to go) so her seating was ranked above ours and we could not swap. She spent two days in Sydney while we saw more than we wanted of Los Angeles. I had not expected to see an octopus until our second week when we would visit Haggs.

    As soon as we arrived for a day at the beach we saw a young couple and their child poking a palm branch at something in a waist deep tidal pool and I'll be darned if the object of their stick poking wasn't an octopus. Neal climbed down into the hole (thus eliminating the stick) and attempted to calm the octopus (as if something his size could calm the poor thing). It did seem to calm down and made its way to a more secure spot with out interference.


    Just as it disappeared, my son started calling from where he was looking for a place to fish. It seems he simply walked by another tidal pool and an octopus ("its a BIG one Mom") started waving its arms at him :roll: I hurried to the indicated are, expecting it to be gone but the Gloomy was trapped in a small shallow pool. We tried offering it both a dead crab (the live ones were too fast for us :old:) and a piece of my son's bait. She may have eaten a small amount of the fish head but wanted nothing to do with the crab.



    She let me pet her for awhile (excuse the sand section, it is hard to view a camera in sunlight while you are trying to gently pet an octopus :oops:)

     

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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    She was obviously not hungry or she would have held the fish in her suckers even if she wanted to capture my hand. After several offerings she appeared to have chewed on the bait. I did not leave it in the water to avoid polluting the small pond.




    These were the only two octos we saw until snorkeling daily with Haggs (I did not actually get INTO the water until then either, it was about 10 degrees cooler than my swimming temp) but I was a happy camper.
     
  3. GPO87

    GPO87 Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm so amazed that a wild octo was cool with you petting it. What an amazing experience!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    It was a bit of a captive audience. Had it not been contained to the pool it would have sauntered off. It did not ink so I am sure it was not afraid of me. If it had, I would have had to move it to the next, larger pool over or taken it down past the waterline. Later I thought I probably should have done that anyway but then a fish may have had it for supper while it was looking for rocks in the ocean and the water in the nearest tidal pool did not look as fresh as the water she was in. We never went at high tide so I don't know how far up the water normally comes.
     
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