Sunday, May 15, 2011

Okinawa Adventures - Day 4 Aka Island Part 1

Day 4 was another snorkeling adventure filled day with us starting the day at 7am. The local ferry (boat rather) departs from the main Zamami Island to Aka Island at approximately 8:30am which lasts for only about 15 minutes. We arrived quite early ensuring we didn't miss the boat. The only other passengers were a caucasion and a local man who looked like a fisherman. We realised that once we arrived at Aka Island, the caucasion man was picked up by a school bus and we thought he was an English teacher at the local school. What a place to teach!! 

Anyhow, the morning started beautifully and the weather also looked like it was going to hold up. Below is a picture of the boat ride to Aka Island..

The stern

The sun's amazing effort of shining through

Already on the boat, we could visibly see the ocean bed as we approached the wharf. The ocean was sa blue as blue and it was like an extended swimming pool surrounding the island. We knew we had to get a better view of the place so we decided to climb the bridge right next to the port that links two islands together. We also had some time before the local information kiosk opened to leave our luggage so this was the perfect opportunity. We climbed up the bridge and this was the jaw-opening view we encountered..

Battle up the bridge

Swimming pool!

A more scenic view
Apparently it was a common event to see turtles and rays swim through this channel. Obviously the water is so clear you can see anything swim through it. Don't think an ant can get past without being noticed!

After spending some time absorbing this landscape, it was time to check in our luggage and find the local store that offers bicycle rental. It didn't take long for us to find it since the town was so small and away we went to the first stop, Nishihama Beach. The ride only lasted about 10 minutes with some small uphill battles but since the roads were all concrete paved.. it wasn't a challenge at all. We parked our bikes by the side of the path and walked down a path where we could smell the ocean.. and BEHOLD.. Nishihama Beach!

Aka Island Nishihama Beach
Although I felt the beach was not as beautiful as Furuzamami Beach, I wish a had a better picture to do this place justice. I think I was so infatuated with the idea of snorkeling, I basically ignored everything else. But not all was lost as you will see later of the beautiful underwater community this place holds. The beach was layered with coral which made it somewhat difficult to walk on but the clinking sound as you walked on them sang beautifully.

Music to the ears
We snorkeled 3 times at Nishihama Beach that day and the dives got better each time. I think we just had to explore a little before we could settle and appreciate the aquatic life. Anyhow, these are some of the pics of the first dive to show the Nishihama Beach beach formation and characteristics.

Underwater coral island

Another table coral.. this one was big enough to sit more than 10

Clown Triggerfish
During our dives, we met many boats of scuba divers enjoying the views as we did and we bumped into one lone scuba diver (I thought divers shouldn't dive alone??).

Shall I jump?
The lone diver
One of my favourite pics

The picture directly above is probably one of my all time favourite pictures so far of the underwater world. I know it does not include any wildlife, coral, or anything remotely representing the underwater life, but the serenity and peace of this view is under the false pretence of the ocean's majestic power that engulfs the diver. I found this to be a poweful image..

Anyhow, we also took a picture of us with the scuba boat to demonstrate how far out we went from the beach to meet with these divers.
Thumbs up
Well, like I said, the first dive was just exploring the area although the beach is far too large to explore entirely. I didn't take many good underwater photo's this time but the second and third was much better. We needed to get some grub into our stomach so we decided to leave for lunch and maybe explore other beaches before coming back here.

Our lunch.. the Okinawa Soba (again). Man I love it! 

Part 2 will be posted shortly!


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