Monday, August 17, 2009

Diving in the Keramas

Yesterday we went SCUBA diving in the Keramas. The Keramas are a series of about 400 islands, mostly uninhabited, about 15 miles west of Okinawa. We booked the trip through the base marina and headed out with our friends Magda and Blake and about six other divers.

Luckily for me the water was glass. I can remember my old professor seeing water that smooth in the Gulf of Mexico and commenting that "you could roll a marble to Texas" on it. After the hour ride when the boat anchored the swaying made me a little nauseous, but I didn't get sick! That's a victory right there.

The water was amazingly clear and just so many shades of gorgeous blues and greens. I was a little nervous when we first got there because you could see little jellyfish in the water, but they weren't the kind that hurt. I got stung by a couple on my legs and it was just a little itchy.

On the first dive the dive master led us around the bay in search of sharks, rays, and turtles. We struck out on the rays and turtles, but did catch a glimpse of a few white tipped shark pups. My sister later told me that these sharks are very aggressive - something she recently learned on shark week. I'm glad I didn't know that when the dive master was encouraging us to get closer to get a picture. Ignorance is bliss.

On the second dive we went to a more open water area that had an incredible wall (where the coral/rock meet the ocean). This wall went to about a 130 feet, but we stayed around 60 feet so we wouldn't have to do decompression stops on our way up. The wall was amazing - full of different corals and tons of fishes.

The visibility was 150 feet! That is awesome and they said it gets even better in the winter when there aren't so many algae and coral blooms. We bought a cheap underwater camera (thanks for the recommendation Liza) and we're very pleased with the results. We still have some tweaking to do. We avoided the flash because we thought the casing would cause a glare, but in the one picture when the flash accidentally went off the colors were incredible.

Here are some pictures of the trip. I like coral so don't bother trying to find a fish in every shot - it might just be a coral pattern that I thought looked cool.

Our friends, Magda and Blake:
Some of my favorite shots are these clown fish on their bed of anemone. Click on the second and third shots so you can see the detail. You should be able to see the baby clown fish that the parents were aggressively protecting.
I know this was a lot of pictures, but I promised I pared them down (we started at 190 shots!). I hope you enjoyed our adventure and here's one last shot for you:


Mandy said...

This was well worth waiting for. The photos are amazing considering they are underwater.

Charity said...

I would think that it's advisable for someone who dives to NOT watch shark week. Ever. Great pictures!

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos Amy! Nathan & I snorkled through some caves in Mexico once. I loved it. He suffered through & isn't interested in doing it again. Marriage - the wonderful world of compromise :)