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by koln
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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: KICKING MYSELF : Re: Octopus Advice  (Read 895 times)

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  • Salmon
  • ***
  • Eric
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  • Location: Pacific Grove
  • Date Registered: Feb 2018
  • Posts: 348
Yah thereís no way Iíd tango with one that big. Cold day in hell before I did that. I was ab diving in mendo one day and found this nice hole with a bunch of big abs in it. The hole was only big enough to get my head and one arm in to measure and pull the ab. So I reached in and measured. +9Ē!! So I surface to catch my breath. Get back down and reach in to pull it. POPPED EASY !!! So stoked!! So I grab it and start pulling it out and my arm feels stuck. I thought it was the ab between two rocks in there. So I turn my wrist and I can feel something wrapped around my wrist and it gets tighter when I turned it. I get a bit startled and give a yank. Didnít budge. Itís getting tighter!!! I shine my light in and I see a big tentacle coving my wrist and hand... oh sh!t... now Iím freaked. I start yanking more!! No good... I finally compose myself and drop the ab and pull my knife. Cut the tentacle off and shoot straight for the surface... I catch my breath and grab my speargun for some redemption. But all I find is my iron, ab, and the lone tentacle.  Lesson learned, check the entire hole before reaching in.

Oh my word... that is so gnarly!!! +9" isn't bad! I miss ab diving. Too bad it's so far north of where I live now (Pacific Grove, Monterey area). I'd love to get more abs.

Your story reminds me of the time I was in Mexico, free diving through short cave systems with openings on each end. The main opening and exit on the far end were about 2' tall and 3' wide but once in, the caves opened up to about 5' tall and wide. I didn't have a light, but there was enough ambient through each opening that once your eyes adjusted, you could see well enough to navigate the ~30 foot horizontal long cave to the other opening. Let's take a moment to acknowledge how dumb of an idea this was in hindsight. So I make a few passes, each time seeing huge fish in different areas (didn't have any gear with me to get them - my wife and I were just out swimming for fun). Then, I notice a smaller opening on one side. It was just barely enough for me to get my shoulders through. So I go in head first, its way darker than the other areas, so I wait for a second with about 2/3 of my body in the hole for my eyes to adjust. With me starting to swim in, it kicked up a little debris so visibility was already bad. It was already slightly creepy, a bit uncomfortable not knowing where the cave went, or if it connected to the main system that was swimable. I wait for a few seconds for my eyes to adjust and silt to settle. Just then my eyes focus on something about 2" in front of my face... the biggest eel I've ever seen in my life. It's mouth could easily swallow a football. I freaked and went into full reverse. That was one of the most terrifying things I've ever had happen underwater.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

There's definitely a fish under THIS rock....

Eric, Pacific Grove
Instagram - @thekeeneroo
Facebook - @Ekeener1
Century Free Diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx


  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Celina Texas
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
  • Posts: 1067
I've caught five huge ones in Alaska. To get them off the bottom is pure hell when they spread and suck down. Almost broke a halibut rod on one pulling with everything I had to pull it off the bottom. I won that battle like I won them all.

"bull riding came about when some redneck stated, "hold my beer and watch this!"

DFW HOW Chapter Coordinator associate