(Bay of Virgins, Hanavave, Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia)
Not often can you put in your preferred dinner requests when Gregory heads out for a dive and expect your desired flavour of the ocean to return on the end of his spear. Yes it certainly happens – I asked for lionfish in the San Blas after acquiring quite a taste for them in the Bahamas, and like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve Gregory returned with exactly what I’d asked for – but usually you’re just happy with whatever is in the catch bucket.
Being an ocean away from our previous diving grounds I did expect to see some different fish returning to Oceanna’s steps, though today’s haul was beyond what I had imagined.
Gregory had previously perused the underwater cliff-side near our anchorage spot and noted more than one tumbling, morphing, colour-changing octopus calling it home. When Roger heard this, Ednbal put in their dinner order.
To say Gregory delivered may be an understatement. He came home clutching one of the biggest, creepiest, deadest octopuses I have ever seen. Once shot, these bad boys hole up in their home hoping to avoid capture. The spear through their head allows Gregory to pull them out as they writhe and squirm. Then in a move aptly described by Greg as “man-ing the fuck up”, he grasps their head with both hands – as the octopus is grabbing both his hands with all its tentacles – and essentially flips it inside out. Like flipping a sock right-side-out: what was out is now in, the gnarly beak that was once in is now out, and the battle is won. Obviously not a move for those with a delicate nature.
Moral of the story, Roger got just what he asked for. What he did with it was now his own problem.