Okinawa, Japan


Sueyoshi Park

This grotto was used by the Okinawan's for hiding from the bombing during WWII and has a small golden Buddha statue at its rear.

To the the right of the entrance is a very narrow entrance to a system of tunnels that run in two different directions. One direction dead ends, the other leads to a stairway that likely originally served as an entrance and exit. It appears that the natural mouth of the grotto was covered with cinder blocks and earth during WWII to disguise it from the Americans. 

Kamiyama Island

At first I could not figure out how to beach the island, because the tide was low and the current was washing a wall of jelly fish up against the coral reef. I swam back to the boat and looked at the island. There appeared to be a damaged dock from WWII, that I hoped had a clear channel running up to it.

After swimming out to the island a second time I was able to get right up to the damaged dock. In the picture above a crane is sitting on the dock and you can see the reef in the water below me.

The island itself was little more than a bunch of sand and very sharp coral, which I had to walk on with bare feet.

The one thing the island has is a weather station, which I could not reach due to the trees and bushes surrounding it. 
Okinawa, Japan


This Cowrie shell was about the size of my fist. Curious to see whether or not there was as sea snail living inside I flipped the shell over.
To my surprise the shell still had its resident living inside. At first its eyes and countless little white tentacles were hidden, but as I floated above they slowly came out. While the waves pushed me back and fourth I tried to catch a close up and on my third try was able to snap this picture.

Kamiyama Island, Okinawa, Japan


Kamiyama Island

Most of the fish I saw were small, but the water clarity and coral were rather nice.

If you click on this picture to open up a larger version of it, you might be able to see the orange Clown Fish hiding in this Sea Anemone.

Looking down at some coral growing on the walls of one of the many channels that lie off of Kamiyama island. 

The ocean was filled with jelly fish, but I managed to not get stung. If you look closely you will see that this jellyfish was bioluminescencing (red color at the tip of the jellyfish). 

Coral, starfish, and reef fish.

There is something very humbling about being off of a deserted island all alone in the middle of a coral reef. In this picture the sun was getting lower in the sky, so the reef was starting to get a little darker. The darker shadows in the reef this time of day always play games with my head. 

Okinawa, Japan 


Whale Hunting

 Kurojima, Okinawa

 Kurojima, Okinawa

 Maijima, Okinawa

 Maijima, Okinawa 

At around 15 to 20 feet down I head a strange moaning sound. At first it frightened me, then I realized it was the sound of several whales singing to one another. From their tone you could tell that it was a juvenile whale calling out to its mother, the mother calling back, and several other adult whales all singing to one another. 

Aside from seeing a shark for the first time, it was one of the most intense experiences the ocean has given me.                                           

Monday Ride

 Cat sitting in a Okinawan traditional grave

 Waterfall I found in the jungle

Abandoned Greenhouse