I have had many fascinating encounters with octopuses, but my current love is for their cousin - the giant Australian cuttlefish

Eye of the Cuttlefish

James Roden

Like many I have been re-inspired to snorkel by the documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’. I have had many fascinating encounters with octopuses changing shape and colour and even one trying to drag my foot into its lair. But thanks to Professor @williamgladstonephotography, my current love is for their cousin - the giant Australian cuttlefish - of Shelly Beach, Manly who are here for the breeding season. They are huge. Seeing them is like spotting a unicorn or even Mr Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street.

They are fairly slow moving and have a calm about them which combined with the cold water is the best way to calm a racing human / monkey mind. There is also a strange sort of melancholy or even love for them that comes from knowing how hard their lives are – they only live for a year or two. It is baffling that this much beauty and incredible evolutionary adaptation won’t survive long.

This encounter he got so close I thought he was going to rise up into my stomach or bump into me. As we swam together we looked at each other straight in the eye and it was a very special moment for me which I am glad to have captured on film.

Author Bio: Love the beach and the snow but currently loving snorkelling to see these incredible non-mammal creatures.
You can find me on Instagram at @james_roden_

Location: Shelly Beach, Manly, Australia