Last weekend we visited my parents and grandparents in San Diego we also were able to check out the tide pools during a low tide.
I’ve visited the tide pools many times in San Diego and I always find it interesting to explore each unique tide pool and watch for shells and anenomies to come alive.
As we reached the rocks a young boy was yelling in excitement about a lobster he just saw. I’ve only seen a lobster once before in a tide pool because they require a lot larger pools and it seemed this time there were more large pools which were more like long wide cracks in the rock and the water was still flowing in and out of them with each wave.
We passed the noisy and excited kid and found our own pool and within seconds I spotted an octopus crawling under a rock. Once again it was unusual to see such a large animal most of the time it’s just small fish, crabs and anemones. We stared and waited for him to come out but after a couple minutes my dad and Katharine moved to the next pool where they spotted another octopus. This was incredible how could we see two octopus in one day let alone in 5 mins.
In the center is a Octopus tentacle breaking the surface
This octopus was hiding in the grass and at times almost looked almost as if it was tangled. My dad crushed some mussels and threw them into the water to lure the creature out. But to our surprise the meat fell to the bottom without being touched but then a lobster came out of the same grass to eat the mussels. A lobster and and octopus in the same tide pool! We watched the lobster cautiously grab the meat and race back to the grass then the octopus folded up and with one quick motion darted out of the grass then out of sight. Just when we thought all the fun was over something else moved in the grass. We froze and crouched down not to cast our shadows across the pool. Several pieces of mussels still lay in the open at the bottom of the pool. Something was definitely swimming through the grass. At one point you could just see the side of the animal which looked like a fish but before your eyes could lock on to it, it was gone. Then to our surprise a head emerged from the grass. It kept extending further and further it was an EEL!
~3 Foot Long Eel
It snaked its way out into the open and pecked at the mussels. I quickly snapped off a few photos wishing I had a polarized filter to reduce the glare. The eel looked so evil with its beady blue eyes and unusual body. Once it ate all the muscles it returned back to the grass. Wow, an octopus, lobster and an eel all in one tide pool, that was a first. I’ve never seen an eel in the wild and it also made me think twice about sticking my hand in the pools and feeling under the rock ledges.
Katharine touching an anemone
We spent some time looking at the smaller pools looking at hermit crabs and anemones. Katharine and my dad found a moving rock which they picked up exposed the foot of a large snail.
We also dropped some mussels into an anemone and watched it pull the meat in and close up around it.
After searching all the tide pools to our surprise and Katharine’s disappointment we didn’t see any starfish. Maybe next time.