Eight

Eight

Artist Notes:

In the tranquil embrace of a frosty Victorian morning, as wisps of fog lingered in the valleys, our journey led us to a dive location filled with anticipation. The sun's gentle rays began to pierce through the mist, illuminating the South Pacific waters with pristine clarity, unveiling a world of possibilities. Waist-deep in the water, we ventured forth, eager to explore the hidden wonders that awaited us.

It was then, in that very moment, that we were graced with the presence of the first Maori Octopus of the day. With grace and curiosity, it glided towards us, extending its long, graceful tentacles inquisitively. One tentacle delicately wrapped around my flipper, as if seeking a connection with our shared world. Time seemed to stand still as we engaged in a silent exchange, our eyes meeting in a moment of mutual curiosity.

With the utmost care, I adjusted my camera, mindful not to startle this magnificent creature. Every movement was deliberate, seeking the perfect focus and positioning myself to capture its essence in the shifting light. In that fragile instant, I clicked the shutter, and the sound reverberated through the water, momentarily startling the octopus. It gracefully retreated, descending back towards the weedy bottom, a testament to its inherent caution and awareness.

Yet, its curiosity remained unabated. The Maori Octopus settled among the lush underwater foliage, its watchful eyes fixed upon me. Determined to capture the essence of this enigmatic being, I dove down, submerging myself within the depths of the weed-laden sanctuary. There, I positioned myself flat, merging with the surrounding environment, as the octopus peered directly into my lens, its gaze penetrating the depths of my being.

In that extraordinary moment, a profound connection transcended the barriers between species. We, two beings from vastly different worlds, shared a silent understanding and appreciation for the beauty that enveloped us. As I pressed the shutter once more, I immortalised the encounter, capturing not just an image, but a fragment of the profound connection that binds all living beings.

May this glimpse into the ethereal realm beneath the waves serve as a reminder of the delicate wonders that await us when we venture with humility and reverence into the embrace of nature. Let us cherish these encounters, nurturing a deep respect for the intricate web of life that weaves us together, and may it inspire us to protect and preserve the breathtaking beauty that exists within our oceans.

Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia

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