Octopus Pants

Where on Earth did February go? I like February. Not as long as January, but you’re still hiding from the New Year. And there’s Valentine’s Day. I bought three coffee cups this month devoted to love. Just love. I keep Valentine’s non-specific. I just wish February lasted longer.

We went on a long dive yesterday. Handed back the rental pick-up truck after half-term – which is another solid reason to like February.

Next door’s boat had seen we’d been going out and about, and offered us a place in a cruiser’s rental truck syndicate. We managed to get Saturday as our day to use it, which is good for us. Not as fancy a car then the half-term rental, which suits us Welshies (me: adopted Welshie) better. We were off.

We tried to dive south of the island again, with its fields of waving soft corals. We want to see our friend too, the blue parrotfish. It was too rough though – which is part of the limitation of going south. Big waves make a challenging shore dive entry. We high-tailed it a little north, and went to Salt Pier instead.

I have to stop and shake my head. If I die tomorrow.. I’ll be grateful to have dived Salt Pier. Even though it wasn’t the easiest of dives. My left ear locked on descent. This hardly ever happens to me. Of course, I’d been just telling Hilde how I was lucky with my ears.

I’m going to whisper it, ‘I think Hilde may be a sea witch.’

I got down to 8 metres and got stuck. It wasn’t until 20 minutes later, when I went up almost to the surface, that it finally cleared. It was a good ear-clearing lesson for me. By this time though, my ear was a bit sore.

No matter. You can still hover around the pier’s pillars at 8 metres, taking in the psychedelic shapes and colours – mostly the sponges. Sponges are the strangest things on the reef. They are also evolutionarily the oldest. Makes sense.

On the way there, Hilde had sat in the back of the pick-up for overall Covid safety. It did make us wince when it started to pour outside. We looked back. Hilde was using her wetsuit as an umbrella.

She is an octopus spotter, Hilde is. She found an octopus hiding in a hole with her torch. Only its eye, surrounded by its camouflaged pink flesh, poked out. A few minutes later, we were swimming back toward the car when I saw one completely exposed, roaming the rocks.

We stopped to survey it. Well, except for Jack who immediately went to touch it. Obsessed with them riding on his hands, he is.

I wonder if you can buy octopi as pets back home? He would definitely have them, wearing them as a living hat/scarf combo. Probably as his pants too. Urghh. Now there’s a vision.

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