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What was your first cephlopod Encounter

DWhatley

Kraken
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I have seen several asides with interesting stories of ceph keepers first encounters (or encounters that always bring a personal smile). These stories have been both informative and entertaining so all who are willing, please share in this collection.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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I will include my rather boring story just to encourage others :wink:

I was roughly 13 and on vacation in the FL keys with my parents. Key vacations consisted primarily of spending the day on an old rented boat (least expensive we could find with a canopy), hoping my dad really did know where the land was and finding interesting places to snorkle. On this particular adventure mother found a rather large chunck of what later turned out to be dead brain coral and insisted she had to have it for the yard (please remember this was over 40 years ago). Dad struggled with the thing for 20 minutes but got her prize on the boat :roll: . The trips back to the islands were always boring (except when we weren't sure if dad really knew where the land was) so sun burnt and tired I was daydreaming while staring at the "rock". Seeing that first white arm wiggle up and over the top still makes me grin! Eventually the whole critter came into view while I tried to quietly (remember, I was 13 and excited so quiet is relative) get everyone's attention. I scooped him up and put him and some water in my mask then covered him with my shirt. I was soooo excited and tried to figure out how I was going to keep him. Fortunately for the octopus, I took my eyes off of the mask while I was designing his new home and he disappeared. I searched the entire boat, no little octopus. Heartbroken, I settled back down and stared back at the rock. Another set of arms appeared but these were black, spikey and ugly compared to my little octopus. Only in recent times did I realize the second critter was a brittle star fish and you could never have convinced me I would have either of these two critters later in life. The "rock" is still in my parents front yard.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
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My first experience with a ceph was in the aquarium where I now work! I was about 9 or so and my school had a trip to the aquarium (which was only open at the weekends or school holidays then, unless you were a school!) The curator at the time had the octopus in a bucket and asked for volunteers to "shake it's hand" I was rather shy (yes REALLY!) and although I was dying to be the volunteer wouldn't put myself forward, no one else wanted to go near it but the person standing behind me gave me a shove and so I got to be the "volunteer" :biggrin2: after that I was hooked!

J
 

pipsquek

Wonderpus
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Nov 9, 2003
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My first encounter with an octopus was during a night dive at Commercial Pier near Fort Lauderdale while lobster hunting. We were pretty close to the pier, and I turned my light to point under a coral head. It was already sliding into a crevasse before I realized what it was. It turned really blue for a second and pretty much dissappeared. My dive partner tried to lure him out, but to no avail.

Years later, I was having really fantastic dive in a reef pass around Rarotonga. It was pretty close to sunset, so some of the noturnal creatures were venturing forth. I saw a least a dozen lionfish, a couple of crabs, and a white tip reef shark. I was heading back to the beach, thinking to myself "The only thing that could make this any better would be to see an octopus." Not twenty feet later, I saw one slinking into a hole in the top of a coral. He seemed pretty pissed when I was hovering over his hole, so I left him alone pretty quickly. Two minutes later I saw another one!! That was one of the best dives of my life so far.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Sorceress,
You obviously picked up on the "fortunately" part. Not only because I had no way to keep it alive until we got home, no prepared tank but in those days, I am not even sure there was a way to make your own salt water from tap water let alone an idea of LR or filtering or ...

Animal Mother,
So were you visiting one at your LFS and an octopus just climbed out and grabbed you (physically or mentally). Something played the gotcha role. Anything counts the was sort of the "hook" that eventually caused you to want one of your own. Hopefully you will unshelter yourself and experience some underwater time :wink:

Pipsquek,
I envy that dive! I have never seen an octopus, a seahorse or a lion fish (they were not in US waters until recently I believe) in the water. I am sure the first two were present but I have never seen them (maybe that is why I keep all three :wink: ) Are you bringing Big Red to the convention again (I am hoping to attend and saw last the last convention video of your beauty) or is it just too far to safely haul him? I looked at your home page and noticed that you are originally from my neck of the woods :smile: so thought you might be thinking about a trip this way enroute to the show?
 

Lev

O. bimaculoides
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My first experience with an octopus is on my 13th birthday. Me and my parents were vacationing in Cuba, and we rented a car and drove to this "abandoned beach" place. It was really unkept and there was Sargassum everywhere. A great place for exploring. There was a rocky reef in about 12 inches of water, so I decided to snorkel around there. There were many Tripneustes Urchins around, and then I saw it. There were two eyes looking up at me from the rocks. I called my parents over to see also. Then he extended one arm and moved into another burrow. I watched him for nearly an hour. That was the first time I had seen an octopus in the wild.

Last year I had a lot of encounters with Octopi, in the same place, Cuba also. I could easily tell where an octopus was hiding because you could see their midden piles. I saw about 5 in an area roughly the size of a football field about 5-6 feet deep.
 

flamingo

Cuttlefish
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Nov 5, 2006
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When I was 6 my family went up to "honeymoon island" in Florida. it's a pretty remote place that they only allow a cetain amount of people on per day. Well, my dad started screaming for us so we ran over. He was trying to catch a baby octopus (some type of pink one) and he was having a lot of trouble lol. He finally grabbed the poor little thing- and it shot water at his eye :smile:. Needless to say my dad almost fell over and the octo escaped. It was great.
 

erich orser

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The whole family was snorkling in Hanama Bay in early January of 1982 after having spent Christmas at Bellows Beach in a cabin over the 1981 Christmas vacation. We were flying from Oahu back to mainland (Travis AFB) a day or two later, so this was my last chance in the water for a very long time. Our snorkling guide pointed out to something moving across the sand between two walls of coral. Upon realizing that it was a small octopus, I instinctively went for it, not remembering that I was wearing a snorkle, not a scuba tank, so Sorseress had to grab me and pull me away for fear that I'd drown myself. I believe this caused her to collide with some coral, which most likely sliced her a bit. I remember later that she had a number of these little slices. Most likely my childish over-enthusiasm and her motherly overprotective instincts were to account for these.

My previous octopus encounters had all been at either the Steinhardt Aquarium with Stretch, their o. dofleini, or a tiny octopus in a pet store in Dale City, Virginia a few years earlier.
 

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