April 3, 2010

Sea Creature

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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.






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26 comments:

  1. Were these pictures taken last fall, say, November?

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  2. Baydog, I make every effort to keep the content on O Dock fresh and current. This was taken just a few days ago.

    I don't know what you may be implying by that. Or are you inferring? I always get those two mixed up.

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  3. I never have been able to keep them straight either, but yes, of course.

    The photo of the egret/heron/crane
    is super. Is that your vessel in the background? Wow,how she shines!

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  4. No, unfortunately. That's a neighbor's boat. I've never understood how some people keep their topsides that shiny. They must not be getting in any quality sleep time at all.

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  5. Okay...No one else? I suppose it is some kind of a pumpkin or gourd?
    That's my final answer, Regis

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  6. You imply that it's a sea creature but I infer from my deep knowledge of symmetry in the natural world that this is not any kind of sea creature at all. I think it's some kind of manufactured item, perhaps food, that was sold in packaging of this shape.

    Verification word: unlies. The process of writing comments that correct untruths in blog posts.

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  7. I am shocked that my readers would imply (or infer, or whatever) that I don't know the difference between a sea creature and a common garden vegetable or manufactured foodstuff.

    This is a wily creature from the sea. It has appeared and disappeared from our slip on three successive tide cycles.

    It is much more likely an example of the somewhat rare Northern California Ruddy Jellyfish, which is normally rose or ecru in color, but turns a darker shade when startled or threatened.

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  8. O Docker: How much longer with the torture?

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  9. You're not letting on, O Docker
    What it is from Davey Jones' locker
    you must have roared
    when I mentioned gourd
    but jellyfish? you're off your rocker

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  10. Baydog, the hints are subliminal.
    My intentions are hardly criminal,
    But just to amuse
    By being obtuse
    Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?

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  11. Musquee de Provence. Finaler answer

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  12. I'm completely confused.

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  13. winkelvoss4/5/10, 4:34 PM

    This is even more pointless than Facebook.

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  14. You're probably right, Winkelvoss, but you're not saying that pointless posts were originally your idea, are you?

    Can we talk this over before you call your lawyer?

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  15. Tillervoss: Is it a squash or is it memorex?

    Word Verification: respeto. "I don't get no respeto"

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  16. It's too perfectly symmetrical to be a pumpkin. I'm thinking it's probably something in the jellyfish family, but something more solid than most jellyfish. I'm pretty sure I saw one of these in San Pedro when Pat and I participated in a sailing adventure a couple of years ago.

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  17. That's the round fruitcake I sent to my brother seven years ago.

    Word Verif: deispa - where Opus Dei members go to relax

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  18. I'm still confused. I have never seen a jelly fish that did not look like a jelly fish. Are there any marine biologists in the room?

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  19. The sea was angry that day, my friend.

    I told you this was a wily sea creature. The ruddy jellyfish is one of the few capable of natural camouflage. It can disguise itself as a variety of garden vegetables, or even an old fruitcake.

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  20. I can't believe I'm doing this. O Dock, I've baked squash and pumpkins before, and the bottom of them do caramelize like the darker sections of said Jellyfish.
    When the skin cooks, it peels away very easily and what you have is the bright colored flesh of the squash or pumpkin, such as we allegedly see in the pictures. If you are in fact right, them I am a dunce. I even looked up ruddy jellyfish (probably not the only one that did) and it really doesn't resemble what you've got. It's not even April Fool's anymore.

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  21. the fool on the hill4/6/10, 2:33 PM

    It's always April Fool's Day on O Dock.

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  22. OK, I'll admit it, I have no idea what it was, either, but it did show up in our slip on three successive high tides and then disappeared at every low tide. That's pretty wily, especially for a pumpkin.

    I guess it could have been a sea monster egg that fell from the top of someone's mast during the recent high winds. Nothing is more wily than a sea monster.

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  23. Oh, that's just cruel!

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  24. So what did it do when you poked it? You did poke it, didn't you?

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