Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Attack of the Minions of Cthulhu?

Drama comes about 75 sec. in...

Diver recounts close encounter with squid before earthquake
1:58 PM By Dave Schwab - La Jolla Light

By at least one eyewitness account, the jumbo-size Humboldt squid rarely seen in La Jolla waters which have been turning up in large numbers recently are curious and aggressive with divers - but not threatening, at least not life-threatening.

When Cynthia Velazquez and her dive partner Roger Uzun of San Diego heard last week that large squid were being sighted, they decided to pay them a visit Friday night. That was before people spotted the sea creatures on the beach Saturday, shortly after an offshore earthquake. Some speculated the squid might have been disoriented by the quake. Armed with bright floodlights and a video camera, the pair went searching for squid about 8:30 p.m. in 30-foot-deep water off La Jolla Shores on July 10.

It didn't take long for them to find - or be found by - the object of their search.

"They were already there waiting for us," said Velazquez, a veteran diver with extensive experience locally and in Mexico's Sea of Cortez. "

At first there were about four of them, 4- to 5-feet long, and later there were probably like 10. They were very curious. They came right up to us: inches away from our faces."As the half-hour-long encounter between humans and squid continued, Velazquez said the marine animals became bolder. "

One of them tried to grab my light from my hand and take it away," she said, adding they reacted the same way with her dive partner who had the video camera. "They tried to take his strobe. They were actually grabbing it and pulling it away.

They also tried to take off his mask."Velazquez said the squid were definitely not afraid of them. 'They were just swimming around us," she added. "They tried to sneak behind us. They were following us. When I turned, they were right there next to my face."

She warned that new divers be extra careful in approaching the squid if they see them because "they may freak out with an experience like this, causing them to breathe faster and have a potential issue underwater."


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