Friday, June 3, 2011

Okinawa Diving

We're diving with an operation owned by an American guy, ex-Special Ops, who has been living in Okinawa for decades. Although we're on an island, the dive sites are off smaller islands about an hour or two by boat from Chatan. While I don't mind being on a boat at all, one of my dive buddies gets sea sick very easily. During one of our surface intervals he yuked up breakfast and lunch, attracting a hoard of fish. Not wanting to pass up a chance to see colorful critters, I grabbed my snorkel and jumped in. Once his stomach was empty, he was good to keep diving. We competed three dives and saw a fish feeding frenzy and a couple of sleeping sharks. The water clarity is not so great and parts of the reef are beaten up from the typhoon that passed through just before we arrived in Japan.

Part of the fun of traveling to a new place is trying the local snacks. After our first day of diving, we went to a local supermarket where I picked up an Okinawan pastry that was basically the outer covering of a fig newton filled with a slightly smoky-tasting purple yam filling. I should have taken a picture of it before consuming. It was...okay. The purple yam is native to Okinawa and very popular here, it even comes as a special KitKat flavor! I also tried small crunchy waffle cookie fish filled with Aero chocolate. I'm not sure why chocolate filled with air bubbles is so popular here, but this treat tasted great.

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