Scuba Diving - Mama San Beach
The weather is getting warm on Okinawa and that means dive season is starting up again. I began the spring dive season with a trip out to Mama San Beach on Ikei Island. It was a bit of a drive but it was really enjoyable with the sun out and the winding roads on Ikei Island.
To access Mama San Beach I had to pay 1,000 Yen (roughly $11) but that's a pretty good deal considering the beach is very clean, the water is crystal clear, and there are bathroom facilities readily available. After prepping my gear and suiting up, we headed into the water. It took my group about 10 minutes to kick out to the drop-down point. The entire way out there was nothing but sandy bottoms with a few outcroppings of coral.
After being told to "shut up and dive" (Edwin and I say this to each other when we're ready to go under), I sank down to the bottom and started searching around for fish to photograph. Unfortunately, my guide took a wrong turn and we pretty much swam over sand the entire time. I didn't see many
Kinda creepy how he was staring at me...
fish but I was able to practice using my new camera, underwater housing case, and strobe in several locations. I have a lot to learn...the strobe was really kicking my butt with moving it to get the right lighting for pictures...but I'm looking forward to using it more. Practice makes perfect. Here are some useful tips I learned about using my new equipment:
1.) Only turn the strobe on when needed. I left the strobe charged nearly the entire dive and the batteries were dead by the end. Whoops.
2.) Bring recharger with car outlet plug to recharge batteries in between dives.
3.) Bring metal stubs to cover strobe input/outlets. This will allow me to use the camera without the strobe if I've ever in the mood...or the batteries in the strobe die out.
I did get one shot of a fish at the very beginning of my dive. I was swimming around a small outcropping of coral and saw an interesting fish hiding within it. I came around to the front and saw the same fish peering out at me. He was a pretty shy fellow and wasn't very interesting in coming out to let me have a better look at him, so I just snapped a few photos.
By the time I had taken my pictures, my dive group had swam off! I couldn't see them so we found each other by using our tank bangers (little plastic ball that you slap against your air tank). Eventually we found each other (after about a minute) and Edwin rolled his eyes as he saw me fiddling with my camera. Whoops! haha. It all ended well so no worries.
The dive lasted for about 48 minutes and I still had half a tank of air left. Edwin says I breath like a fish underwater. Most of the other people within the group were running on low so we all headed back to shore.
At Mama San Beach there is a little restaurant. I bough gyoza (Japanese pot-stickers) and yakisoba for Edwin and I to share. It was pretty tasty and really hit the spot after our dive.
I definitely plan on coming back here to explore the site some more and find the actual dive location...although it may take a few dives to be successful in this endeavor.
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