12/05/2011

Kraken’s Gaze


The now familiar outline of the Medhafaru wreck appeared out of the blue-green waters, the bridge tilted at a Pisa like angle with the glass still intact though black with algae. DJ moved off to the front of the wreck as I stayed at the back, my more conservative Suunto demanding that I remained relatively shallow for our second dive of the day.

One of the regular denizens of the wreck, a greenish yellow moray, a species we still have not been able to identify, poked its head out a small structure on the deck. It stared out, clenching its jaws repeatedly, as all morays are prone to doing. This does give these eels quite a vicious look especially with their jagged teeth but apparently all this gulping is just to help circulate water over their gills. It’s still not advisable to go sticking any body parts you are fond of near a moray; in fact that’s a good general rule with pretty much any animal.

Best to stay clear of those teeth

Unfortunately I was experiencing some issues with my camera on this dive with the lens fogging up. Giving up on my efforts to get a pleasing portrait of the eel I turned back to bridge. And that was when I noticed it. It was hard to miss actually. Part of the ship was glowing, first white, and then black, then back to white.  Intrigued by this and slightly concerned that I might be suffering narcosis at the unlikely depth of 15 meters, I decided to investigate.

Cautiously getting closer to the object I noted with some relief that it was an octopus, apparently enjoying a Saturday morning lay down sprawled on the ship with his tentacles spread. On seeing me approach, he decided he had better cut his siesta short and backed out and up in between a staircase running down the ship.


Gimlet stare

Safely ensconced he turned a gimlet eye onto me and glowed red again. Unfortunately with the camera issue and a nosy (Scorpion?) fish getting in the way, I could only get a few shots of his eyes. Eyes which were quite eerie I must say, red with a bright black pupil. Eyes that looked as if the octopus was suffering from a virulent hangover and/or possessed by a demonic influence.


The nosy scorpion fish


Mesmerized by the glare I was getting, I just barely registered movement out of the corner of my eye. As usual on the Medhafaru where fish life is prolific, a group of Jacks streamed past me followed closely by a hunting Giant Trevalley who was so intent on securing its meal that it almost headbutted me in the process.  The octopus took this rather exciting interlude as an opportunity to make a getaway back into the deeps of the ship. As I turned back all I saw was a tentacle retreating into blackness  leaving me to hang by the bridge enjoying the hunting shoals of fish over the wreck until my beeping computer reminded me it was time to return back to the real world.

2 comments:

Gaveen Prabhasara said...

I recently started following your blog on Google Reader. Can't remember how I came across though.

Diving is something I've always loved and never could get to. Thanks for sharing your diving stories and photos. Really enjoy reading your posts. :)

Offthebeatentrack said...

thank you! I'm glad you enjoy the posts :)