Playing octopus games

Despite the slight chill in the breeze today, the sun is warm and bright and the sky a deep, unending blue. The sea is flat apart from the rippling patterns made by the wind. It’s a good day for a snorkel. I grab my rucksack and make my way to my favourite cove around the rocks from Panagia Eloussa; perfect except for the rubbish that is washed up there (I will bring a bag and some gloves next time).

I feel shivery as I enter the water but once I am in, the world before my eyes takes the coldness away from my thoughts. There are more fish today than before: shoals of saddled sea bream and damsel fish over the extensive sea grass. The spiky yellow fingers of porifera, the countless sea urchins, a giant nobel pen shell, and the exquisite red fan like anemones decorate my world. Sun rods penetrate down to the ocean floor and disappear into this beautiful bed of posidonia (sea grass); a magical sight.

By now, I love the feeling of the cool water around me, washing away the aches and pains of sitting at my desk, that and the speed and ease at which my fins propel me around this coastline: in-between rocks and crevices and to gloomy cave entrances where only tiny lines of light filter in.

I am on my way back to the shore when I notice a long tentacle that appears to disappear beneath what I initially think is a rock but turns out to be a large octopus. As I dive down to take a closer look, he puffs up and flashes his blue warning colour. I keep diving, he keeps puffing. We play this game for a while until eventually he glides towards a rock face and merges seamlessly into its contours. I decide to leave him alone although it is with reticence as Octopus are such intriguing and mystical beings.

Back on the beach, the warm sunshine relieves my chilly skin. I lay back and listen to the gentle waves folding over the shoreline when a familiar bird call flickers into my senses. I look up and see a kingfisher waiting patiently on the rocks beside me. What a perfect end to my lunchtime adventure.


Photo of an octopus is from Shutterstock

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