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An Opportunity to Observe the Octopus


November has brought the Octopus back to St. John. Dropping into all of the craggy rocks along many of our shores, these creatures bring awe and delight to all who have a chance to see them. My most recent guests saw five of them convening in a circle in the sand. It indeed is mating season!


There are a few things you can do to help improve your odds of seeing these marvelous, elusive creatures. Look for bright white clam shells stacked as cairns or strewn about in haste. Every octopus has it’s own personality so their holes mirror their uniqueness. Some are shy and recede deeply into their hole if they are discovered. Others pop their eyes up and out mimicking the snorkel you are wearing. Some octopi display splashes of red and white; some are jade green; some are mottled brown; and, I saw one which was almost pure black. They are true camouflage artists. Because they tend to match the rocks they are hiding around, you can actually swim right over them and miss them completely if they do not happen to move.


One of my favorite things to do is to find a conch shell and bring it to their hole. This can cause a flutter of excitement as they reach their tentacles out to grasp the gift. Sometimes they flow out of their hole to wrap themselves around the shell and emit all sorts of beautiful and changing colors in their fervor. These beautiful creatures delight and amaze all who are lucky enough to find them.

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