Water, water everywhere…

Hello everybody!

It’s been another terrific week here in Okinawa with the rainy season officially declared over. It’s now time to bring on the typhoons and hot humid weather. But before they actually get here, I decided to spend a little more time in the water exploring.

I am in love and I am enjoying the sea and everything I am discovering under the waves. Last weekend I ventured up to Maeda Point where the water is filled with exotic fish and ten million people scuba diving and snorkeling. It is truly stunning there, and as people phobic as I am, I will regularly trek there to experience the water and of course the Blue Cave.

This Saturday however, I chose to go to a decidedly quieter locale, a little beach in Onna. I packed a nice lunch of fresh vegetables, a package of hummus, a bottle of green tea and headed up.

relaxing blue star
This is the most relaxed sea star I have ever seen…he or she looks like they are sunning themselves on the coral.

One of the things that constantly amaze me is that there are all these stunning beaches and frequently they are empty. I have been told that the rivers are much more desirable because everyone is used to the sea and the ocean. Well, okay, but these beaches are incredible and what is under the water is even more gorgeous.

So Saturday morning I got there and the beach was almost all mine. Now being a beginner snorkeler I decided to stick close to shore and purchase a life vest just in case I run into trouble. Of course I had no problems, but it is nice to be prepared.

under the sea
Just a view of these lovely coral rocks and a few little fish who were swimming with me.

I am battling with my old Sony and am using this new Intoya camera for the movies, so please bear with me…the audio on this  clip is almost non-existent.

green cactus coral
This coral looked like a cactus to me…note the little black and white fish darting around it, and the sea anemone underneath.

So I spent a few blissful hours exploring the water before heading back down Route 58 to the Kanehide supermarket to pick up some essential for the week.

I also had to get back in time to call my Teaching Assistant in my University of Maryland  class that I am taking in Japanese language. I started this new online class in order to learn as much as I can because  not being able to communicate with people here is unacceptable to me. I frequently marvel at people who have lived here for years but don’t know the basic phrases. In my short stay here in Okinawa, I have noticed that when you make the effort, people will help you out and want to talk to you. Most Okinawans I have met  have a sweet and curious nature about them and I feel rewarded when I make a connection.

So in that spirit I began learning  the three writing systems here: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. My class is starting with Hiragana first, so it took a little over a week but I am now about 90% confident in my ability to identify characters. In this week I am now able to read signs like: Mihama and Ginowan! It was so exciting! I feel like a first grader reading again, but how thrilling! It feels like a whole new world has opened to me just being able to figure out what the writing says.

I ended up talking with her for our allotted segment and then took my quizzes. I did okay I think and wanted to get started on week 2, but unfortunately it would not let me until June 19th, their June 19th. So I figured I would just hang out on Sunday and chill.

I woke up this morning and it was so beautiful out that I decided to head up to Cape Maeda and go left this time instead of going right and into the Blue Cave. I was hoping to find another octopus and photograph it. Well, I pulled up the road and it was backed up with no relief in sight. I decided it was not my day to be there and decided to go back to Seragaki, where I could explore without worrying about parking.

On the way there I had the wonderful experience of seeing a mongoose (not the bicycle). A friend of mine had told me she had seen one and asked if I had ever seen one, I told her I had not. It ran in front of my car while I was enroute to Onna. How exciting! I also saw a wedding couple posing for photos, it was sweet.

It was another fabulous day, I saw a fish about two feet long and many small other fish swimming around me.

curious fish
These two were so awesome, they just kept swimming near me then stopping and looking at me, then swimming on again…we did this for a while. They look like something out of a Disney movie with their little smiles.

So, I will add a few more pictures as I wind up this blog for the week.

These are neon blue tiny little fish swimming through the coral.
I don’t know if it’s a clam or what but it was opening and closing  and changing colors! Sugoi!
coral flowers
These looked like graceful flowers to me.

I wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day and see you next week!