According to Mulinder, the seal and octopus had been fighting for a while before he got in the middle of it all, as he explained in an interview with Yahoo 7. However, the fight apparently disappeared underwater just before the smack occurred.
“He thrashed it in mid fight and my face happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. "I was like ‘mate, what just happened?’ It was weird because it happened so fast but I could feel all the hard parts of the octopus on my face like ‘dum dum dum’.”
While the brouhaha between seal and octopus was inadvertently broken up by Mulinder's face, the octopus was clearly not ready to hop back into the water and tempt fate. It clung desperately to the side of the kayak, and Mulinder eventually needed the help of the group's instructor to get it off.
But, hey, at least it wasn't a shark.