Extended Quarantine + Octopus Hunting

The weather has been really good lately. The sun keeps on shining brightly. The horizon is like a mirror in between the sky and the water. The gentle breeze cools us down in the afternoons. The palm trees as tall as ever. A bit of rain every now and then. Some dead leaves dotting around the white sandy beach, giving us an autumn feeling in the middle of summer.

Half of the people in our island left within the next two days after we completed our 14-day quarantine. Some of them stayed on the island while waiting for their domestic flights. However, on the third day of our ‘freedom’ another lockdown has begun as positive cases arise in Male’. All in all, there are 47 of us here on the island, expats and locals.

As we read and watch news about the world, we on the island continued about our daily life. We do our community works in the morning and afternoons are at leisure.

I got invited one afternoon to join an octopus hunting trip. I got excited. I’ve never done that before.

We left the island around five in the afternoon by a small dingey and headed to a nearby lagoon. There were four of us on that small boat. Hammitey and I jumped of the boat to start a hunt while the other two remained on the boat.

Hunting wasn’t easy. It was like looking for a thing that you’ve never seen before. Or looking for something but you don’t know exactly where to find it. I’ve seen octopus while snorkeling several times, but that’s because they decided to show themselves. But to look for them in hiding is a different story.

It took us about 30 minutes to get our first catch. Well, I just watched as Hammitey took the octopus from its hiding place under a coral. It didn’t give up the easily. I saw the black liquid coming out of it spreading in the water. It’s tentacles trying to cling on to Hammitey’s arms. And while fighting the octopus, Hammitey pointed out another one hiding under a coral. I gave him a signal that I don’t want to take it. I really don’t.

He asked me to call the other guys. The dingey was quite far from us. I waved and they headed towards our location. Hammitey kept the first octopus inside his pocket and took the other one that he just pointed to me.

It was a strange experience. I don’t think I can hold a live octopus, let alone put it in my pocket.

We boarded the boat as they said our catch was enough and we need to start fishing.

We headed to another lagoon and anchored the dingey. The dark rain clouds were just above us. It looked so close I thought I would be able to reach it with my bare hands. The wind started blowing. The rain started to drop as soon as we dropped our fishing lines.

It was cold and actually, it’s quite a scary scene for those who’ve never been in the sea. It’s like a deluge coming on us.

I looked at our island and while the rain was pouring down on us, the island was blessed with white clouds hovering above it, slightly covering the beautiful sunset.

Again, what a strange feeling.

But then it reminded me that while we drench in the rain, the sun still shines somewhere. And whether we want to stay drenched or move forward to where the sun shines is completely our choice.

Author: aysabaw

Hi there! My name is Aysa! I am currently based in the Maldives, a free diver, a frustrated artist and writer and a lover of palm trees and ocean breeze.

14 thoughts on “Extended Quarantine + Octopus Hunting”

  1. And here I’m, locked inside my home, located somewhere in a vast urban jungle of concrete and steel.
    Thank you for giving me a virtual glimpse, a very fainted one actually, about something I may never experience in my lifetime. It was amazing to go with you on octopus hunting πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading Hammad.

      Somehow, I felt sad reading your comment. I need to do better and narrate clearly so the next time somebody reads my experience, it will be a more vivid journey.

      Keep well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Aysa
        Your narrative was superb indeed and there’s no need to change it up. What I actually meant was that, while reading your post, I was having glimpses in my mind about what you were experiencing on your trip. They were bit faint, so I was pointing out that.
        Have fun and stay safe πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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