Octopi at Fantasy Reef

August 15, 2009

After Scuba Hockey on the Kahala barge we went for a drift dive on Fantasy Reef.  We did a negative entry and everyone descended quickly as a group without any problems.

It was a pretty quiet dive on the reef.  No white tipped reef shark in his usual spot.  Only a few sea turtles.  Didn't seem like it was going to be a very eventful dive until our divemaster Mark spotted one and then another octopus in hiding.

I can't resist trying to coax an octopus out of hiding.  It's not that hard to do without harming it.  First you just give it a little tickle and let it grab you with its tentacles.  Then all you need to do is give it a gentle tug, which will hopefully bring the octopus out of its hiding place.  After that is the hard part.  You want to get your hand in front of its head without actually grabbing it but once it's free it will ink, which makes it really difficult to see what you're doing.  Once you have your hands in front of it, the octopus will just swim into them while you prevent it from swimming away without really doing anything to it.  Here's my first attempt.

I couldn't get my hand in front of it because it inked and I was holding the camera.  Before my second attempt I turned off my camera so I could use both hands and really focus on it.  This time I coaxed him out and got both of my hands in front.  Now I could just swim along with the octopus while preventing it from swimming away.  The octopus was less than a foot away from my face and I got to check out every aspect of it for almost a minute before letting it swim off.

Video credit: Kurt Gunderson

Between that experience and Scuba Hockey it was a helluva great day for diving.

Fantasy Reef

Location: Honolulu, Oahu, HI, USA


Dive Number:   68
Bottom Time: 43m
Time In: 10:30 a.m.
Tank In:
Max Depth: 57.00 ft
Table Used:
Mix:   Air
Safety Stop: 3m
Time Out: 11:13 a.m.
Tank Out:
Average Depth: 43.00 ft
Start Pressure Group:
Surface Interval:   56m
End Pressure Group:


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Everett Toews
TBT: 216h 37m