What was your first cephlopod Encounter

monty

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erich orser;86982 said:
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.

I wonder if we ever were staring for hours at Stretch at the same time; that was one of my favorite activities as a child. Steinhardt's GPOs and Cousteau films were my only ceph experiences for quite a while, then the Monterey aquarium and one glimpsed in some tidepools near Carmel, then finally I found that twilight SCUBA dives off SoCal let me encounter 2 small octos, probably bimacs, which was great... I got in a tug-of-war with a stick with one of the two I saw, but otherwise there's not much of a colorful story... I'd love to dive with cuttles (esp Apama) or sepioteuthis sometime...
 

corw314

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This thread is great! I am fascinated to read all the different first encounters. Unfortunately, I have never seen an octopus in the wild. 40 years ago, a family next door had a brandy sniffer full of those dwarf seahorses. They used to walk to the beach every day and get fresh salt water for them. That was my first introduction to the idea that saltwater creatures could live in your home. I had to be 8 years old at the time.

Took me to be in my 20's before I actually learned you could mix saltwater on your own and have a tank. My LFS has been around for over 50 years. I remember walking in, browsing all the salt and freshwater tanks and coming across this little blob inside a jar with holes in the lid. (Metal lid, actually). I just fell in love! Been fascinated ever since. I think I have had the pleasure of having probably 15 or more octopuses in my home over the years. One of my favorites was a Bimac, that lasted a year. He lived in a 20 gal. tank with and undergravel filter with powerheads and that was it. I am amazed he survived knowing what I know now.
 
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dwhatley;86955 said:
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:

My girlfriend and I are hoping to take a vacation this Spring, somewhere in the Caribbean, where I will do some snorkeling and get some first-hand experience, hopefully involving some sort of Octopus. The earliest memory I have of an Octopus would be the Popeye movie with Robin Williams. Of course it was given a rather unrealistic, menacing character. I have my friend Darrell to thank for inspiring me to look into keeping one in a tank, which led me into this hobby, and to this site.
 
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erich orser;86982 said:
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. ........... Most likely my childish over-enthusiasm and her motherly overprotective instincts were to account for these.


Motherly over-protectiveness my foot! You inhaled while you were underwater! :sink:
 

DWhatley

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Rescue at Sea

I was envisioning a wild rescue with Sorseress wildly grabbing the snorkel away from the octopus while being thrashed against the coral. Upon rereading, however, I think the scene was equally as paniced but not as I fantasized.:wink:
 

pipsquek

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dwhatley;86955 said:
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?

I have hauled that hunk of copper around a lot lately, and I hope that I only have to do it two more times: once from the gallery to my shop to permantly attach it to the rock, and then off to a nice home (which I will disclose as soon as it goes through). I am not sure I will attend TONMOcon II at this point as I am going to Japan at the end of March and am pretty tied up financially until I sell something. I don't really care to go back East more that I really have to anyway, kinda fond of the left coast, and pretty sick of the endless stripmalls and tract housing around where I grew up.
 
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mine was with reef squid and octopus in the bahamas a few years back. all were very curious. the squid kinda would rush me then swim back fast just to check me out. the octopus i first encountered was while i was spear fishing. he was following me around watching me spear lobsters in the cracks. eventually he figured out that if i went down and looked into a crack and pulled back my spear that there would be something tasty on the end and he proceeded to go in before i could get the lobster out and took it(go figure).
 

DWhatley

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joefish,
THAT must have been a terrific dive even if you didn't get dinner! It is not as strange as you might imagine though. I had a seahorse and mandarin that did the same thing. The horse watched the mandarin because she would scare shrimp out of the rock. The mandarin watched the horse and saw what it ate. I have never had others do this but it was very evident. I still have the mandarin and she taught her new mate what to eat in a very short amount of time but she has never paid attention to any of the other seahorses. She lives with 4 seahorses and two pipefish but totally ignores these so there must be something we don't see that determines when an amimal will observe and learn and when it pays no attention. I read a thread where Roy Caldwell mentioned that octopuses may not be as smart as we think, especially when it comes to learning from observing and I wonder if the example you gave (immediate learning) and the observation I made with different animals suggest that we are missing a key factor on aquatic animal behavior.
 

erich orser

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monty;86984 said:
I wonder if we ever were staring for hours at Stretch at the same time; that was one of my favorite activities as a child. Steinhardt's GPOs and Cousteau films were my only ceph experiences for quite a while, then the Monterey aquarium and one glimpsed in some tidepools near Carmel, then finally I found that twilight SCUBA dives off SoCal let me encounter 2 small octos, probably bimacs, which was great... I got in a tug-of-war with a stick with one of the two I saw, but otherwise there's not much of a colorful story... I'd love to dive with cuttles (esp Apama) or sepioteuthis sometime...

Do you remember a slightly younger (I think) kid with an annoying high-pitched voice babbling on and on about the manner in which Stetch was collected, where he was found, his arm-span, and how great octopus really are to the World? That would have been me. If you don't remember almost-involuntary violent impulses toward a wild-eyed, ceph-obsessed psycho-child, then we probably didn't meet. Main source of the bullying at school back then (before I started earning it): octopus-worship.

By the way, Stretch was found in a toilet in a bank in San Francisco when the tip of his suckered-arm was protruding from the hole at the bottom of the bowl. Terrified a female patron (it was the ladies' room - made the local news), and then, when they arrived, Steinhardt scientists proceeded to pull Stretch out of said Ladies' Room toilet inch after inch after inch, until finally they had a complete giant octopus. He lived at the Steinhardt on display for a couple years more. All I can say is basically, that initial contactee ought to have felt honoured .But by then Stretch cemented my belief in the ultimate coolness of cephalopods, so I might be a wee bit prejudiced this way. The funny, or horrifying thing is that while the unnamed "victim" was urinating, something reached-up and suckered onto her nether parts. That's how Stretch was discovered, at least according to my remembered news stories from KRON ("KRON is Coming Home" - NBC affiliate) in SF, and the staff at the Steinhardt that used to humor this ceph-obsessed little fanatic. Maybe there was something wrong with me as a child, but a combination giant octopus (he ultimately developed quite a considerable arm-span - ask Monty) and toilet humor for a naughty little kid like me - bullseye. If I hadn't already been a ceph-fanatic by then (I was) then this certainly cemented it nonetheless.

Incidentally, Stretch appeared in the bank toilet after one of our major winter storms. I'm wondering if with things mixed-up from the influx of fresh water due to the storms, wildlife beneath the waves got stirred-up, and perhaps one of our N. Californian green morays might have chased young Stretch up the sewers and plumbing to get him there. The news footage of the tip of a coiled tentacle - very much alive - reaching up out of the bottom of a toilet bowl will most assuredly stay with me for my lifetime. Does anybody else have any info that'll clarify all this?

Oh well, God Bless!
 

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