Monday, November 26, 2018

Octopus love

Rattle, rattle rattle!
Rattle, rattle rattle!

I hear the underwater noisemaker being shaken.


Rattle, rattle rattle!

Rattle, rattle rattle!

The sound is coming from Rivers. He is a divemaster and prides himself on not needing to make a lot of noise underwater to call attention to something, so if he is setting off his rattle, something is up.


My first thought was- he has spotted an octopus. I was partially right, it was two!

The male is obvious, the female is harder to see. His two leftmost arms are touching her.

Octopi (Octopuses, Octopodes, more than one octopus) are territorial creatures, and if there are two of them together, it is for one reason only, octopus love!

I have long been a fan of the octopus. (See previous octopus post here ) One of my cherished memories is getting to watch octopus mating while we were on a night dive in Thailand. I never planned on seeing that again, so this was a very special treat.

We were diving at the Salt Pier in Bonaire, one of my favorite dive sites due to the abundance of fish there. (Check out my post from last year). We were finishing up the dive when Rivers started rattling. I was able to film the first few minutes before my camera went black. I knew the battery was getting low so I made the assumption that the camera turned off. The fact is that my camera blacks the screen out after a while and yet continues shooting. Therefore I had a short video of the octopi, and a very long video of my hand holding the camera. Lesson learned. We watched the octopuses for almost 20 minutes before moving on, I will just have to describe the portion after the video.


The video is too big for blogger. Click here to see it on Instagram


The male used one of his arms to insert himself into her pouch. She remained quite still while he was more active, at least with one arm. After about 10 minutes he spread himself out, flashed white and withdrew his arm. The female  raised herself up and started swimming away. The male immediately reached out one arm, attached it to her body, pulled her back to the rock and began the process again. This no longer felt as if it was consensual, she had obviously tried to get away and was dragged back. 


Other than feeling for the female wanting to get away, it was amazing to watch.


I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to see this again. Both times I have seen this I have been with both Bob and Rivers. Glad to have the chance to share it with them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Passage to Bonaire

Dolphins!
Bob calls down to me. I am down in the front berth trying to get some sleep. It is amazing how quickly I appeared on deck! Bob is up in the bow of the boat watching the dolphins. As I come up the companionway I see two dolphins jumping completely out of the water behind the boat. In my mind I think that they are jumping for joy because they have found a boat to play with!





Thursday, October 11, 2018

Camp Grenada

There is a reason the cruising community calls it "Camp Grenada", there are so many activities to do and people to meet.

Friday, September 28, 2018

We're Ba-a-a-ck

Back in Grenada.
Back to Rhapsody.
Spending some hot and sticky time in the boatyard.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Heading Home

What a trip.
2 months, 14 states and the District of Columbia, 6000 miles
Lots of friends and family. Lots of exploring.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Grand Teton vs Yellowstone

Traveling west.
Beauty everywhere.

We visited both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

What's your uniform?

Entering South Dakota we were greeted by a large poster advertising Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The dates were inclusive of the time we were to be in South Dakota.  Bob said he didn't realize it was going on now. I had no idea what it was, although I soon learned! The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an annual event attracting motorcycle riders from around the world. This year the numbers were tallied at 500,000 riders. It seems we saw a good portion of those riders in our travels through South Dakota and Wyoming.


Friday, August 10, 2018

A Close Encounter with Devil's Tower

How many of us of a certain age can see this image 



and not hum those specific 5 notes ba - da - ba - da - baa (click to hear them)?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Spectacular South Dakota

South Dakota has so much to offer to tourists. We experienced a lot, but in the end it was all about the animals.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Pleasant Iowa

What did you do today?
Iowa.
It was a nice day.
 With lots of corn.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rhapsody on the Brown

Rhapsody, our home on the water, is no longer in the water. It is always odd to see her out of her element. Increasingly we are finding that we too feel slightly out of our element when we return to land. We have grown so accustomed to the gentle roll of the ocean that we find ourselves missing it when Rhapsody is on the hard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Turtles!

Seeing animals up close and personal in the wild is something that I never tire of. We had the chance to see leatherback turtles laying eggs and I feel very lucky.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Cutty's Tour again

Some things in life are so enriching that you can repeat the experience and still have more to gain. Taking a tour of Grenada with Cutty (Cuthbert MacMeo) is one of those experiences. We took a tour last year with him and learned an incredible amount about the flora and fauna and history of Grenada. There was so much information it took two blog posts to write about it. ( Check them out here and here ).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mt. Pelee

We are hearing the reports of Kilauea erupting in Hawaii as we are getting ready to hike up Mt. Pelée in Martinique.  Pelée is famous for its 1902 eruption which left only two survivors in its direct path, one of whom was a prisoner in a well insulated jail cell, approximately 30,000 people died in the eruption.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Luxury Yacht? (Part deux)

A quick recap of part one, No propane, Have to go to Dominica,  Anchor, It's a holiday, No sleep, Head to Roseau, Big winds, Mooring Ball. The extended version is here in case you missed it.



Continuing with the story...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Luxury yacht? (Part one)

I received an email today inviting me on a Luxury Yacht for Mother's Day with complimentary mimosas and snacks. This arrived in my inbox on a particularly non luxurious day, let me tell you the details!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Free to explore

For the time being we have finished our waiting, repairs and upgrades and we are on our own to explore. It is very liberating and we are enjoying the freedom. Diving and hiking in Guadeloupe, both on the main island and in Iles des Saintes, the group of islands at the most southern point of Guadeloupe.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Expectations vs Reality

Yes, I know that a cruisers plans are written in sand during low tide. I understand the need to be flexible, but I still have expectations and I still do make plans and oh, so often lately, those plans have to change. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Exciting times, when your engine quits at sea

Excitement on a cruising boat is rarely a good thing. Having the engine quit on us was pretty exciting, and not in a good way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

BVI revisited

Where were you during the hurricanes?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Life on the slant

home
hōm/
noun
  1. 1.
    the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

Home is a place that is familiar, where you know the rules, you know the layout, you know how things work. You have expections.   Rhapsody is our home.  The sense of home is strong. The majority of the time she is at anchor or on a mooring.  She is a boat, so she moves. She rocks back and forth,  sometimes a gentle rock and other times not so gentle. While she is at anchor she rocks, but always returns to the center. We understand these rules, we feel them, we move to them, as others move to the rhythms of their homes.



Monday, February 19, 2018

Diving the Salt Pier

The diving in Bonaire is spectacular. The water clarity is great, the coral, for the most part, is doing well, and although there is a lack of larger fish and top level predators (sharks, large groupers, large barracuda) there is no shortage of things to see and critters to observe.  That being said, many of the dive sites have a great deal of similarity to each other. There are a few dive sites that truly stand out as being different, the Salt Pier is one of them.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Caving in Bonaire

"Is everyone comfortable entering here" Hans asked, showing us a very small hole in the ground and getting out his climbing rope. Hans is the founder of Outdoor Bonaire and was our guide for the morning.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Carnival Parade

After watching the children's parade last week I have learned how to watch a parade in Bonaire.


Monday, February 5, 2018

Children's Parade

Carnival n. A period of public revelry at a regular time each year.

Revelry nlively and noisy festivities, especially when these involve drinking a large amount of alcohol. 

Most Caribbean islands have Carnival at some time during the year. This is Carnival time in Bonaire. Yesterday the main festivities got a kickoff with the Children's Parade.



Sunday, January 28, 2018

An Underwater Rainbow

The diversity of life and colors in Bonaire is wonderful. I have collected some pictures showing the rainbow of colors. 


Red


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fishballs in Bonaire

We get to see many things while out on our daily swim/snorkle. One of the more dramatic incidences was seeing these fish under our friend's catamaran, Uno Mas. The smaller fish were schooling in a ball and then being attacked by first by Yellow fin Snappers, then Bar Jacks and then the  big fish, the Tarpon arrived.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Octopus!

Any day that I spot an octopus is a good day. I get great joy from watching them move and change not only the color of their skin, but also the texture. Often when we are diving or snorkeling, especially in the day, and we spot an octopus we just barely see a glimpse of them in their hideouts.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bonaire by Totem

I am going  to totally cheat here. Behan Gifford on Totem wrote such a nice post on Bonaire that I am just going to link to it, primarily because she expresses so well our experience in Bonaire.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Sapphire of Bonaire

As a child I always dreamed of having a swimming pool nearby. At the age of 5 I wanted to take swimming lessons, but I was too young according to our local pool. My mother convinced them to let me take lessons and I have been infatuated with water ever since.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bonaire bombards the New Year



Celebrating the New Year in Bonaire starts early. After Christmas day there is Second Christmas (December 26th),  and then the ramping up to New Year's begins. It began with a few firecrackers here and there, and the occasional firework display. Each day there were more and more. Some were benign, some were disturbing. The day before New Year's Eve we watched as several young men were hurling small bombs into the water and causing an explosion of water as they went off. It reminded me of dynamite fishing and I knew that the fish in the area were suffering.