Saturday 3 June 2017

A Big Day Snorkelling In Ishigaki

When I was a kid, I nearly drowned TWICE!

Needless to say, even though I can swim, I don't like being in the water if it's anything deeper than the bath tub. So to go snorkelling is a big deal.

I have tried this once before, when I went to the Galapagos but that was soooo different. They took us out to the middle of no-where, to where there was an extinct volcano, and told us to swim around until you got to the entrance then go inside. What they forgot to tell us was there was a really strong current!

About 2 minutes in I had a panic attack and had to get out.

To say I was a bit nervous about all this is to say the least but I'm all about facing your fears so I did it anyway...

We met up at the Dive Shop, where we were fitted out with suitable equipment, and wet suits. Then we were given some training on how to use the snorkel. I decided to stick to my full face mask as I find it so much easier than an actual snorkel.

Then we got on the boat and head out to the point. (I have to admit, when Yasutoki was talking about 'The Point' I thought he was talking about a specific place but it appears that The Point is a place where you dive!)

Live and learn.

This is where we stopped and I have to say it was stunning, photos never do the place real justice. The water was so clear and just looking over the side of the boat you could see the fish.

Yasutoki was in charge of the camera and he isn't as snap happy as me but he got some good shots, these stripy fish just hung around us the whole time as if it was totally normal to have humans swimming along side them!

And just to prove to the doubters that this actually happened, here I am, in the ocean, snorkelling! Go me. And yes that is a life vest, I'm taking no chances hahaha. I have to say, I look pretty good in a wet suit ha!

After the dive we got back on the boat and headed back to port for lunch, because the water was quite choppy when we left they had decided not to have lunch on the boat. We had more Okinawa soba, it was good at a place which looked like it was rundown from the 70's.

We had a good rest then headed out again to a different spot. The Captain knows the waters well and chooses the place to dive depending on the weather and season.

We saw a few sea snakes in this spot and lots of different fish, I have no idea what most of them were apart from clown fish and pipe fish. I wasn't too happy about the sea snake but apparently they can't bite through a wet suit anyway.

Back on the boat we had hot water to drink, seemed odd but it was actually good. I have to say the staff were excellent, the Captain and two girls were really friendly and kind and very professional. The equipment was all in excellent condition and they obviously knew what they were doing. We were lucky to get a day booked with them, the captain told us that they don't get many new customers, it is usually repeat clients that book in year after year. I understand why, they were brilliant!

I can't say I am over the fear of water but I was much happier with these team, I could actually enjoy the experience rather than worrying about dying!

The skies started to get dark as we headed back and the water choppy but it was a great day!

For our last dinner we went to the buffet at the big hotel. Most of the food is sourced on the island and there was a great mix. Plus cocktails! It was a great end to the day

And yes, I caught the sun, lobster red is fashionable these days, didn't you know? And the sea water striped the colour from my hair, I don't know how mermaids manage to maintain those vibrant colours!

It was a great holiday, next time we will skip the main island and head straight to Ishigaki. Although island life is lovely, slower, more relaxing, I'm not sure I could handle the heat of the summer.

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