Good morning and salutations, blog fans. It’s great to be back in the saddle. I was having a quiet lo-cal lunch on the wharf last week when I spotted a group of sea lions lounging off the pier. Sensing a photo opportunity, I quickly finished my meal, ripped off my lobster bib and headed to the end of the wharf to check out the action. There was over hundred of these beauties right below me-it was incredible to see all these huge bodies floating together. It was one of thise Kodak moments. Only one problem-my camera was in my other car. I quickly hurried home breaking a couple of land speed marks, grabbed my Digital Rebel and headed back at wharf speed.
Unfortunately, (and I still have the marks to show where I was kicking myself), the group had drifted about 20-30 yards off the wharf (shot #2) but it was still an outstanding sight. Like the Mona Lisa with flippers. Most were just resting but a few were doing flip and cartwheels out of the water. Just a tremendous visual dessert. Being the prince of persistence I went back to the wharf the next three days to try and get the shot that had eluded me but for now I’ve missed the moment. But just like Jay & The Americans, I did manage to capture a few magic moments that I think you’ll enjoy.
Moving along and staying with creatures of the sea, marine scientists in New Zealand recently thawed the corpse of the largest squid ever caught to try and discover just what makes one of the ocean’s most mysterious beasts tick. No one without gills has ever seen a living, giant colossal squid in its natural deep ocean habitat. Scientists and squid groupies hope the examination of this 1,089 pound, 26-foot-long monster will determine how the creatures live and let die. The thawing and examination of this deep sea delight were broadcast live on the internet, along with a sheep shearing contest and Men At Work live reunion concert.
Scientists will examine the squid’s anatomical features, remove the stomach, beak and other mouth parts, take tissue samples for DNA analysis to determine its gender and test for presence of alcohol or drugs. This enormous ocean dweller is believed to be the largest specimen of the rare deep water colassal squid ever caught. These squid can grow up to 46 feet long, can descend to 6,500 feet into the ocean and are considered aggressive hunters. At the time it was caught, this baby would make calamari rings the size of tractor tires if it were cut up. Yes, we’d be talking the world’s largest appetizer with a jacuzzi sized serving of cocktail sauce. But these gigantic morsels would taste like ammonia, a compound found in the animal’s flesh.
Fisherman off the coast of Antarctica accidentally netted the squid in February, 2007 while catching Patagonian toothfish, which are sold under the name of Chilean sea bass. Those toothfish really make a great jacket. The squid was munching on a hooked toothfish when it was hauled from the deep. I don’t know about you, but I hate being interrupted when I’m eating. Recognizing it as a rare find, the fishers froze the squid on the spot on their vessel to preserve it and then turned it over to the national museum.
The previous largest colossal squid ever found was a 660-pound female squid discovered in 2003, the first ever landed. Researchers plan to eventually put the squid on display in an 1,800-gallon tank of formaldehyde at the museum in the capital city of Wellington. And just in case you were wondering, the colossal squid is not related to the giant squid found around the coast of New Zealand. Giant squid grow up to 39 feet and are not nearly as heavy. So bottom line, if a colossal squid and a giant squid were to meet and fall in love, yes, they could marry. Everything would just fall into place, squid pro quo.
That’s our Monday show. After viewing today’s lion’s fest, you’re probably thinking to yourself, okay Geoff, we’ve seen the sea lions from afar, but what about something a little less distant? Well, since you asked for it, on Wednesday we are going to get up close and personal. And for you NBA fans, I hope you’ve been enjoying the Chris Paul experience because he has been as spectacular and entertaining as a 6 foot point guard gets. Yes, MVP Kobe Bryant and the western conference rules. So enjoy the sea lions and we’ll catch on the inbounds pass. Aloha.