Thursday, April 28, 2011

Okinawa Adventures - Day 3 Sea Turtles at Ama Beach

Day 3 started early with us waking up by 7am to catch the Zamami Queen III to the Zamami Islands from the main port of Naha. Our previous boat experience from Port Douglas to the Great Barrier Reef had us concerned with sea sickness but it was a fairly smooth ride and was helped with some pills. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the cruiser but it was very comfortable. 

We arrived at the Zamami Island wharf prepared to take on the world. What we didn't expect was to be met immediately by crystal blue waters that it brought tears to our eyes. 

Can you imagine our faces when we saw this?

We were so eager to get going but first had to find our accommodation for the night. The weather was also perfect considering the fact that it rained all day the day before. This town had a population of 600 people so it wasn't too hard to find it. It was directly opposite a dive store and a half convenience store half souvenir store. It wasn't anything fancy but we couldn't expect more. The owner of our accommodation was nice enough to drive us around and gave us some local knowledge of the best places to snorkel. Our first stop was a Ama Beach renowned for it's local inhabitants, the sea turtle. Luckily for us, it was high tide which meant they would be feeding. The accommodation owner left us on our own to explore by ourselves and offered to take us to another beach when we were ready. So nice of her! This beach also only had 4 people (including us) so it was our own little private beach.

From the shore

Crystal Clear Waters..

I've added a map below if you ever have the chance to visit Ama Beach..

By this stage, we were itching to get in. The shock of the water left me breathless but the neroprene wetsuit top warmed the water up quickly and kept me nice and cosy. Now it was time to find those turtles.... the first one popped up within a few minutes and it was quite small and it was intimidated by us. It didn't really swim away like it's life depended on it but it just went the other direction. You can see my partner tailgating the little one.. 

Get back here!

With the water being crystal clear, there was really nothing else to see except for some fish here and there. It was evident that coral existed here but have been eroded away due to unknown reasons. And then out of nowhere, out came this monster.. I believe it was a bit over a metre in length..

Cowabunga dude

My left side is better
 Should I or shouldn't I?

Don't leave me!

Going our separate ways..

This turtle was certainly not intimidated by us and why should it when it's not even scared of sharks or whales. It had a sense of calm and it was just swimming along patiently and letting us enjoy the experience. What a nice turtle!

I must admit I did not have any expectations of meeting wild turtles and this was truly a significant milestone of my snorkeling life/experience. What else could I possibly want?! We'll see :)

After this session, we took a leisurely stroll back to town which took about 20 minutes. I was still in awe over the "swimming with sea turtles" experience that I took a breather on the middle of the road. I swear there were no cars to be seen or heard.

No cars to be seen.. ZzzZzzzZZzZ...

We even found wild lilies growing on the side of the road.

What's the market price??

Hungry as hell, we decided to head to a local restaurant to get some grub before heading to our next snorkeling destination. I had the tuna carpacio on rice which apparently was caught locally. It was so fresh and tasty! Basically all the ingredients were grown locally and it just felt so so healthy and fresh. I absolutely devoured this meal.

A meal fit for a king

We were ready for round 2 after lunch but that post would have to be another time! I hope to post it soon!


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