Posted on Feb 17, 2012
One of the most venomous animals in the ocean is just an inch or so in size. One bite from this little guy and a diver would be unconscious before he even had a chance to surface.
This was the first time I’d seen this species of blue ring octopus. We were on an exploratory dive in Raja Ampat aboard Dive-Damai. The DM are not normally tank-bangers, but Chris was going nuts, so I immediately swam over to see what he found. Set up with my 105 lens, I snapped a couple of shots.
Spooked by my presence, the little guy quickly bolted into a dark corner of the reef. Just as soon as I pulled my camera away from my eyes, I saw it do a 180 and dart right back toward me, lodging itself somewhere in my BC just below my jugular.
The DMs quickly grabbed my arm to investigate where it went. I handed my camera off to my buddy Dee, who didn’t see what had happened. Both DMs turned me around and signaled to me to open up my BC. I didn’t want to look down, because I was afraid I would squish it under my chin.
I was surprised that I didn’t panic at all, but many thoughts rushed through my head in just a few seconds. I was wondering if it did bite me, and if I would feel it. Would I just fall asleep or would it hurt? I thought that if I did die, how it would ruin this wonderful trip for everyone else. And of course I thought about the unfinished business in my life. I did realize that if I were to die in the next minute, I could not think of a better way to do it. I was on a dream trip on a boat with my dearest friends. And I realized that I didn’t have a lot of unfinished business. I’m very blessed to have had an exciting, adventurous life and if this was my time to go, then so be it.
I opened up my BC and leaned forward. I saw the little guy swim down from somewhere in my BC, down to the reef. I was quite relieved. Dee handed my camera back to me and we both proceeded to capture some awesome shots of this rare and beautiful critter.
Once we got back to the boat my friends were already dividing up my scuba and camera gear amongst themselves. That’s what I would have wanted anyway.