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Friday, June 22, 2007

Surf Lurkers at Depot Bay

Perched on the sea wall with my legs dangling in the warm sun, my mind drifted with the seaweed as the ocean tide took it out, brought it back.

The Pacific Coast Highway runs along the ocean where diagonal parking brings car bumpers to the sea wall. The east side of the widened two lane road is commercially developed, chock-full of sole proprietors’ tiny shops offering memories to go and several small restaurants with superb fresh seafood. At the south edge of town lies a well protected harbor where sport fishing boats dock to disgorge the days catch.

Depot Bay has its own gray whale that returns year after year to entertain the locals and visitors with breaching and snorting plunges. I watched carefully for the water spout that would mark his presence and at the same moment the spray came, a sedan’s doors slammed behind me with the startling racket common to overactive teenagers.

Two middle-aged couples approached me as my heartbeat returned to regular and I saw they were in a hurry with miles to go before sundown.

‘What’s that?’ They yelled in my nearby ear while pointing at the surfbound seaweed.

Before I could tell them, the devil took my tongue and said, ‘Those are octopuses. It’s mating season. You’re lucky to be here today. Very few folks have seen this.’

‘Wait til we tell ‘em back home, ‘they yelped and with one more glance at the seaweed, they re-entered their car. Four slams later they burned rubber to get underway to the next exotic view.

I looked back at the whale, shrugged and laughed as I imagined them telling their friends of witnessing nocturnal octopuses mating in broad daylight in the tide of Depot Bay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sue, you are truly lucky to witness such scenes. I have never seen live whales at close range and would love to. There are plenty around the sea here - the sperm whale in particular.

What a joke on the couple! Well - you did make them happy. That's good and kind of you.