Instead of heading to our usual tidepool spot by Old Man's Pool, we ventured to the harbour. The tide was relatively low and I walked out onto some rocks to get a picture of a nearby pelican. Jackson followed me out onto the rocks and immediately spotted an octopus.
He has an incredibly keen eye for wildlife; he spotted the only other octopus we've seen here as well. As you can see, its camouflage works wonderfully with the sandy ocean floor and it is only visible when the orange underside of the tentacles can be seen.
It seems as if no outing in Australia is complete without the very real possibility of a poisonous animal lurking around the next corner--I immediately looked to make sure it wasn't the deadly blue-ringed octopus.
After mentally checking the 'Won't Kill My Kid' box in the trusty and voluminous Official Good Parent Checklist I store in head, Jackson stuck out his hand to greet the octopus, who reached out its tentacle in return.
Now, I have to make an ugly confession. As we were admiring the octopus, I couldn't help but think of the mouthwatering octopus and surf clams with udon noodle salad recipe I had just seen on SBS' Island Feast with Peter Kuruvita. Before I leave Australia, I'd absolutely love to cook fresh octopus for dinner--and yes, I felt guilty because the octopus is such a bright, clever (albeit tasty) creature.
By this time, a small crowd of kids gathered around, and they proceeded to spend the next two hours scrambling on the rocks, problem-solving and strategizing different ways to catch the octopus.
My octopus salad recipe will have to wait...for now.