Not much has happened in the last few days since I’ve mainly been cooped up inside our house unpacking boxes and organizing. It’s so exciting to finally have our things and so crazy that we’re finally in our home for the next three years! Still, I can’t wait to be done sorting and cleaning so that I can get out and explore even more.
The ocean is mere miles from our house and it kills me that I’m not out snorkeling and diving on a beautiful day like today! We did both last week and had a blast.
Two days after arriving we met up with other people in our squadron for a couple dives. We parked along the road, put on our gear, and trudged through lots of nastiness to get to the ocean. I couldn’t stop laughing as I tried to remain balanced, but by the time we reached the water I was covered waist down in mud! That being said, the dive spot was well worth the trek. Once in the water, it wasn’t a far walk until we reached the drop off point by the reef, but it took me quite a while- I spent so much time trying to avoid all the sea urchins! I have never seen so many in my life! There were probably ten per square foot. At least. We wore felt-bottomed booties for protection, but I was scared of slipping and knocking into one from the side. That would definitely hurt! Along with sea urchins there were gigantic sea cucumbers, and hermit crabs – and that was just in knee-deep water.
Once along the ocean floor we swam through tall (and narrow) canyons, through a cave, and among the reef. WOW. That’s all I really know how to say! The water was clear, the coral was bright, and the ocean life was plentiful. On one dive alone we saw a couple of lion fish (and what I’m convinced is the largest lion fish in existence), a banded sea snake (which is about 16 times more deadly than a cobra!), and more fish than I can count. I kept hoping to see a reef shark which is rumored to hang around that area, but no such luck. (Normally I would never ‘hope’ to see a shark…but if I’m going to I’d like to in a group of at least five people!)
Not my photography as I just google searched for this photo – but here’s a sea snake if you don’t know what they look like! We were about this close to one. ↓
We walked back to the car for lunch in-between dives and enjoyed some things I picked up at a local convenience store along the way to our dive spot. In the states you can find any number of things to eat somewhere such as a 7-Eleven. At Lawsons, CoCo, and Family Mart (Okinawan convenience stores), you can have a bunch of neat food! They sell the japanese version of a sandwich – a triangular seaweed wrap containing rice and something else inside like tuna, salmon, or pork. There also were long and uncut sushi rolls, ramen bowls (which is a popular food here), noodle/tuna/veggie salads, various sushi, and taco rolls. Yes, I said taco rolls. Imagine a long piece of seaweed wrapped around white rice with a center of cheese and taco meet. Uhm, yes please! I bought that as well as a variety of everything else to try. It all was delicious! We were later told (and have seen for ourselves around town) that taco rolls – and especially taco rice – are a hot commodity on the island. (Which is amazing for a non-fish-lover such as myself!) Here are some shots taken by our friend Sarah while on the dive.
Just fyi – We didn’t have nearly enough weights and so had to weigh ourselves down with small boulders…thus the large rock Hoban is holding in this photo! ↓ Mine were mostly shoved into my BCD pockets, haha. It made our dive a bit more difficult since we had trouble with finding neutral buoyancy, but it was worth it!
One of the lion fish we saw! ↓
Diving was amazing, and so was snorkeling! Check out my next post to see some photos from our Memorial Day at the beach!