O Dock is no stranger to sea creatures.
We're fairly close to the marina entrance, which opens directly onto the main part of San Francisco Bay. It's common to see all kinds of birds and marine life wandering about here. Despite it being a busy marina, fish are plentiful and they attract the birds that prefer a seafood diet, like this guy, whom I mentioned in a previous post:
The docks also seem to nurture a healthy crop of mussels which are the preferred menu item for our local seagulls. None of the gulls have yet learned that mussels open nicely on their own if sauteed in a little garlic and olive oil. But they have discovered that, if dropped from a height of about 15 feet onto a hard surface, the shells will shatter, allowing the tasty mollusks to be munched.
Apparently, the ideal hard surface for cracking a mussel shell is the deck of a Catalina 30, judging from the number of shattered shells we find whenever we come down to our boat.
Seals and sea lions sometimes wander right into the marina and up to our dock. One sea lion in particular has gained quite a reputation for following the local fishing boats in and loudly demanding his share of the day's catch.
So, I'm not unaccustomed to seeing a wide variety of marine life in the waters around O Dock. But this week I found myself staring down at something I'd never seen here before and it came right into our slip.
Can you identify this mysterious creature from the deep? The 10-lobed symmetry may provide a clue.