Out of the blue…

Hello everybody!

What a great day! I was trying to pin down where I was going to go this weekend and so I was looking at the map of Okinawa that hangs over my bookcase in the living room. I still couldn’t decide on anything, so as I was scrolling through Okinawa Hai,(I recommend this site highly, there’s always good stuff on there http://www.okinawahai.com) I saw a post about Maeda. I figured it was Mother Nature talking to me so I set my sights on Maeda Point.

hong kong friends
Making friends! These people were awesome! Christine is over my right shoulder and her family. They were visiting from Hong Kong. Her niece is over my left shoulder, she’s a dive instructor.

Along the way to the bottom, I met Christine from Hong Kong and she struck up a conversation with me (for a change, I’m usually the one starting conversations). After her family got out of the water, I decided to wander down to the water and see what it was all about. Holy Cow, it’s gorgeous! I decided then and there that I am buying a wet suit and a mask and some fins, I will be snorkeling. I’m not ready for diving just yet, but this is so amazing. The water, of course, is very clear and I just wanted to be out there and in it!

snorkeling and diving
Maeda Point or Cape Maeda is a major draw for divers and snorkelers alike. There were many people here today from Mainland Japan finishing out their Golden Week.

So as I was getting to the bottom of the stairs and beginning my little trek across the coral, I noticed all these sea urchins…they were everywhere! I was just entranced with this place. I had my camera out in a flash and forgot all about the water and started noticing the animal life.

sea urchins
Sea urchins neatly tucked into every little nook they could find.

And the animal life was taking notice of me. There was this fabulous little green crab who went scurrying across my path and backed himself strategically in a tiny tide pool. He disturbed the little fish in there who also looked perturbed with me.

crab and fish
That crab had had enough of me at this point, so had the fish!
Don’t mind me, I’m just a little crabby! Okay, I know it’s corny but sometimes I need to entertain myself!

Well, I could add at least forty more pictures, but you get the idea…clear tide pools, sparkling water, clouds in the sky but no rain  and quite a bit of sun. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself here. Tourists, Japanese tourists are so well mannered and a pleasure to be around. There were people all over the place but no one was being loud or obnoxious, everyone was enjoying each others’ company and smiling! I have been a big proponent of going places where there are no people in the states, but here, I don’t care if the place is swamped or not, people are just friendly and polite.

On that note, I noticed a young man in a wetsuit walking up the coral toward what looked like a cave, so I decided to follow him. I’m so glad I did. I found the Blue Cave. Now I’ve seen all these photos about it and I thought it was way out in the water that you had to take a boat to and then only access through diving. Wrong! This guy that I was following was going to it! I was going to get a chance to photograph this, I was very excited.

So there it was, and the entrance of the cave is where it is about 15 feet deep and the water is cold, but the water is clear and blue and stunning…oh and crowded!

blue cave 1
It’s hard to see and you’ll have to take my word on the color, but it was magnificent. What an experience!

I walked over and was just watching and laughing with all the people who were in there, mostly people with snorkeling masks, but they were having a blast. Now I did not mention the weather up to this point other than to say the sun was out. The humidity was also out…I am feeling that today was just a little taste of what’s in store for us here in Okinawa. I was dripping wet with sweat from the humidity. Now I don’t mind that, it’s natural, but when there is a pool of clear blue water in a cave, it cannot be denied. I am making a list of  ‘things to remember in Okinawa’ and top of that list is, ‘when going out anywhere on the weekend, always wear a bikini’.  So I was ready to go.  One lady warned me the water was cold, but I was so hot at that point, I was welcoming it. She was right, it was cold, but it was glorious.

I kept my running shoes on, it’s not like I run anymore anyway and swam out toward the entrance of the cave. I do have a waterproof camera, but alas, I left it at home. I will be bringing it next time so you all can get the experience. It was extraordinary! There were all these tropical, gorgeous fish swimming next to me and it was a heavenly shade of blue beneath me. I don’t even know what to say. I think this one of  my best experiences in Okinawa yet (almost as good as dinner at Ryukyu Tei, but not quite).

So I climbed out of the cave with the conviction that I need to find out more about a good wetsuit, some fins and gear, because I will be going back.

I continued back up and out of the cave and to the surface.

That’s all coral, the cave I climbed down into to get to the water.

So the article which prompted my visit was about a running trail that wraps around the point and offers beautiful vistas in case you’re into running and not diving. I decided that I would venture that way and see what it was like.

orange and yellow flowers
I have no idea what they are other than beautiful. These dotted the trail the entire length. 

One of the things that I adore about Okinawa is that flowers are always in bloom. Each season, and I’ve been here for three now, has it’s own flower which makes its appearance and blooms in profusion. There are also these lovely trumpeting lilies. I’m not sure if that’s their names but they are white and look like trumpets all over the island right now.

butterfly and flower
Hard at work.

The walkway, or running trail was paved throughout. It was really a beautiful walk with wooden split rail fencing through out and several look outs. My former supervisor had warned me to be careful and not fall off. I said I would, but she mentioned that this is also a popular suicide spot. So I was very careful about being near the edge!

As I was walking along, toward the top, I heard this noise by my feet. And after having my happy little experience with the habu last week, (it was a habu, it was the Taiwan habu, another foreigner like myself) I decided to be a little more cautious. This was a happy surprise.

crabbing along
He may be blue, but did not strike me as depressed…ha, ha!
purple crab
I noticed more scraping and shuffling sounds and the forest floor was alive with them, walking, stopping, walking again…

So, here’s a little movie I shot of these guys and gals.

I finished the trail and wandered back to my extremely hot and humid black FunCargo (what was I thinking buying a black car in Okinawa?). I drove home with a smile on my face and am thinking about  my next adventure!

He looks like he’s holding on to that thistle for dear life!

See you all next week! Have a great week and happy Mother’s Day to all!