Okinawa Day 3: Reef Encounters

Day 3 couldn’t go wrong. It wasn’t allowed to. Before coming, we booked a diving/snorkeling trip and paid a hefty deposit. It couldn’t go wrong. With our mad bus skills from the day before, we easily got to the right place, and sure enough… the day went off without a hitch. Diving in Okinawa, though, isn’t so much a first-class diving trip (although the diving is said to be world class!) as it is… an experience. An unforgettable one.

The Top 10 Reasons To Dive Okinawa:

#10. Aussies will take you and everyone knows they’re the hottest. I mean, best divers.

Reef Encounters – Best diving company in Okinawa!

#9.   Kid-sized Japanese-sized wet suits and fins (it’s a new weight loss program!)

Callie, struggling with the tiny wet suit. My vote was for her to go like this... our guide did not approve!

#8. Nothing says Japan like massive tour groups (this sounds like a con… until you have 15 new best friends!)

The boat taking us out to our dive spot... along with ALL of these people. When in Japan...!

#7. They let you cheat and snorkel.

I struggle with ear infections, so I wasn't prepared to take the risk of diving. They all looked at me crazy on the boat for being the lone snorkeler on a dive trip, but I owned that mask and those fins. Owned. 🙂

…They let you dive too.

Callie - wrestling the air tank back to get an awesome underwater shot! She got skillz.

#6. Limestone caves off the Kerama Islands

The entrance to the cave that we snorkeled/dived into.

Inside the pure limestone cave looking out to the ocean. It was beautiful - and really cool.

Callie and me taking over the cave.

#5.  You think the fish are fascinating and cute; your diving mates think they’re dinner.

Japanese people are known for going to aquariums and discussing cooking techniques and which fish taste best. The same is apparently true with diving!

Runner-ups:

—“Even underwater you can hear the faint whisper of ‘oishiii!’ as they point out last night’s dinner.” (Callie – “oishii” = delicious)

—The coral isn’t a secluded wonder of nature so much as a sushi bar.

Oishii oishii!

#4. It’s Japanese custom to ignore embarrassing or uncomfortable things to help save face; this holds true when one is getting seasick (too bad it doesn’t help them save their breakfast!)

One case in which I'm not a fan of rocking the boat. 🙂

#3. No matter what anyone says – I went diving and I got a t-shirt to prove it!

#2. The water looks like this…

Now THIS is an Okinawan tropical paradise!

…and like this

#1. Free drop-off service at a PIRATE PLAYGROUND! (Available on limited tours with limited drivers, only. Inquire inside for details).

Arrrrrr!

So after two days of misadventures dictated by Murphy’s Law, we finally had our perfect, planned, Okinawa tropical paradise day. It was replete with green-blue, crystal clear water, beautiful, sunny skies and even a few hours at the beach.

After the dives (Callie went on two – I snorkeled one), we paid at the dive shop, and our guide was nice enough to drop us off at a breathtaking beach. We spent the rest of the day lounging in the sun, swimming, enjoying the beauty that is Okinawa and even TUBING!

On the beach right before sunset. A perfect ending to a perfect day!

Callie and me on (I think) Azuma Beach.

Tubing rides?! 1000yen ($13) for 10 minutes?! SOLD. Best 10 minutes.

And that, is how you dive Okinawa. 🙂

–A special shout-out for Reef Encounters. It is the only dive company we found in Okinawa that deals equally in English and Japanese. The guides are nice, the prices are fair and they are oh so knowledgeable about Okinawa; they even suggested budget guesthouses and hostels for us! If you’re looking to dive anywhere off the main island of Okinawa – they’re the best! —

——–

…don’t worry – perfection didn’t stay with us for long! The misadventures continued the next day… and you’ll hear more about it in the next, and last, post of the Okinawa saga — Okinawa Day 4: The Island of the Gods

Thanks for reading! Hope you’re loving life and life is loving you 🙂

–Cyndi

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~ by C on December 2, 2009.

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