So Nate has been bugging me since we got to Okinawa to get scuba certified so we can start exploring dive sites around Okinawa together (He got his cert when he was deployed here in 2012). I finally did it and had an absolute blast! I signed up for a private class with one of Nate's friends from work wife, Stacy, and her friend Angeline. I was impressed with Angeline since she had only been here two weeks and did this with us and it took me 2.5 months to get my shit together #goals
Btw, when I told my mom I was getting certified she said she was shocked since I've never seemed to be the adventuresome type #thanksmom #iguessdrinkingandpartyingdontcount #ortraveling #orswimmingwithsharks #jellyfishstings #orrappelingwhitewaterrafting
We spent the first few days in the classroom going over academics and on our third day we headed over to the pool to actually practice some skills. I was having major issues not breathing through my mouth AND nose once I'd take my mask off #itsharderthanyouthink #loveburpinguppoolwater #allday Luckily, we all managed to get through our pool skills and got to do actual ocean dives the following day.
Our first ocean dives we did at the 'Curry House' dive site located on the Sunabe sea wall. It's called this because it's across from a yellow house that looks like curry and I believe actually serves curry #practical. Our first dive we just got to swim around for about 30 mins and get used to breathing under water. We were only about 25 ft deep or about 8 meters as our dive instructor liked to say #hesenglish #usunitsarebetter #merica I was a little nervous since we had just learned in class that there were poisonous sea snakes swimming in the ocean and it is currently mating season #nice On our first dive we actually saw a few and our instructor actually played with one #crazyman I on the other hand tried to stay as far away as possible #tooyoungtodie
Our second dive we actually got to feed the fish some fish hot dog #fishsausage and they loved it! They swarmed us and were even trying to bite my gloves looking for any remaining sausage. We also had to do a few of our skills we had learned in the pool like clearing a partially flooded mask and taking out our regulator underwater and putting it back in. These skills were no problem for me and my scuba girls and we passed with no issues! #girlsrock
On our last day of class, we did our last two dives and went down to a full 60 ft (or 18 m) We did both of these near the center of Sunabe sea wall. During our 1st dive of the day, while we were down at 60 ft. Richard, our scuba instructor, decided to play with a baby sea snake he found. Meanwhile, the mother, who was much bigger, did not seem to impressed and began to swim directly AT ME. #thanksrichard I tried to remain as calm as I could and froze mid water while it swam pass #pleasedontbiteme I think I easily passed my buoyancy test with my under water frozen with fear skills.
On our last two dives we had to do more water skills like fully filling our mask with water and clearing it and fully taking off our mask, putting it back on, and clearing. This was what I had been dreading since my body likes to apparently breath through my nose as soon as I take my mask off. Somehow the dread in me and the bravery of the other two ladies paid off and I was able to pull this off without any issues and pass the scuba class!
I had a blast all week with these two ladies and our crazy instructor. Between the amazing diving, beautiful underwater Okinawa, and sarcasm and inappropriateness it was one of the best weeks on the island for me so far. #sarcasmandinappropriateness #mysecondlanguage I love the beauty of Okinawa and can't wait to see even more of it now with Nate! Plus now we get to go diving on our trip to Phuket in November.
We went hiking at Hiji falls (see post here) and we felt like we earned some extra calories, so we met my friend Alex, and Nate's work partner, Joe and his family, at an all you can eat restaurant we had been hearing good things about. It definitely delivered and was delish! And it was the type of place where you get to cook on a little grill in front of you #dontputcheesenaanontheburner #lessonlearned
Speaking of eating, I finally got to try some amazing ramen on the island! Granted, Okinawa has great ramen all over, but we had heard about this spot from our scuba instructor and his wife. Unfortunately, it had sold out the day we tried to go there with them. Nate and I attempted to eat at this place two other times when we were on that side of the island and both times it was closed (odd hours). I finally made it there with my friend Alex and it was totally worth it. #fourthtimeisacharm Simple but yummy ingredients, just soba noodles, green onion, pork, bamboo shoots, and a fish type thing? and some miso soup. I also added a shitload of garlic paste they had on the table and some peppers #thanksdadformyobsessionwithgarlic Nate was a little bummed I finally got to eat here without him
Nate and I have also wanted to explore our neighborhood a little bit more. So we checked out a bar down the street from us. As soon as we walked in, everyone stopped and stared #whoaretheseamericans We were the only Americans in there and people didn't speak much, if any English. Luckily one guy did and he helped us order some food and beer. Plus I had my translator app to help with the menu. The bar is super tiny but it was fun and the perfect neighborhood bar. We got to sample some awamori (Okinawan sake) and ended up drinking one of those the rest of the night. And it was the bartender's birthday so everyone at the bar #all7ofus got a piece of cake to celebrate. All in all, successful night out trying out a new spot.
And here's another side story of how nice Okinawan people are. I had my car parked across the street and used my little Japanese and sign language to ask the owner if it was ok parked there over night. He used some sign language back and basically said he would move it for me. So I handed over my keys and he moved my car and parked it in front of his bar and said I could pick it up the next day no problem. Locked it and brought me back my keys #awesomeservice
New Japanese word for the day - kuruma - means car. (Since the bartender moved my car)
Next blog I'll write about the Japanese Tug of War and our 2nd cooking class!
Until next time!
Follow in our Footsteps:
Tsunami Scuba on Camp Foster
Kitanakagusuku, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture 901-2300
Hours: 8am-7pm (Sat, Sun), 10am-7pm (Mon-Fri)
Our friend Richard also has his own scuba company that you can book directly from:
English Empire Divers Okinawa
781-1 Hiji, Kunigami, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture 905-1495
Hours: 9am-4pm (Apr-Oct), 9am-3pm (Nov-Mar)
Price: ¥500 (adults), ¥300 (children)
〒904-0101 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 北谷町Kamisedo, 545−3
Ramen spot Yomitan (one of my favorites)
沖縄県読谷村波平1817-5 (located right across from the Kanehide grocery store 2161-2 Namihira, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture 904-0322)
Hours: 11am-4pm (Tues-Fri), 11am-2:30pm, 6pm-9pm (Sat,Sun) (closed Mondays)
T & T Bar
6 Chome-6-1 Chibana, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa-ken 904-2143
Hours 4pm-2am (closed Tuesdays)
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!