We drove to two piers and one backbeach, rejecting them all. Nothing in particular – I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ them. Then we arrived at Portsea Pier and something just felt right.
And when he beckoned to show me what he had found, it was as if my dive buddy LP had given me the sweetest gift. He has a long-track record of finding cuttlefish, and a proven history of putting the needs of others before his own. Selflessly, he hung back, allowing me to spend some soul-reviving time with my amazing new little buddy.
To me a cuttlefish is a lot like a dog – very intelligent and with a good sense of what a person is like. I swam with this one for ages, filming as it used its tentacles to climb up seaweed, changing colour and shape as it glided across the sand, flying like a superhero through the weedy landscape beneath the pier.
At one point, I handed my camera over to LP, and the cuttle and I just swam along together as though nothing else in the world would ever matter again. A few moments after I took the camera back, the cuttlefish reached out a tentacle towards me, and in this video, you can see my glove reach back. To me, the look on its face at this point is priceless. Somehow, we understood each other.
I remember back to my earlier dives and how disappointed I was every time someone else saw a cuttlefish and I didn’t. Now I see them often and have swum with football sized cuttles all the way down to cuttles the size of my smallest fingernail. And my heart breaks when I hear of fishermen who catch such beautiful, intelligent, responsive creatures on their lines for sport.
I have always been fascinated by these strange creatures, but my deep love for them truly began with this dive and will last me for the rest of my life. Now when I meet a cuttlefish underwater, I always ask it if it is ready for its close-up, and usually it senses my deep love and respect and lets me know that it is.
If you follow this blog, I hope over time that you will come to love and appreciate them the way I do. Few things in life are so beautiful and awe-inspiring. May this encounter touch your heart as it did mine.
Love and Bubbles,