Snorkeling Snaps: A Photo Gallery

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When Ryo took us sea kayaking, it was marvelous to see a tourist accompanying us become overcome with fascination and joy, surrounded by these inquisitive striped fellows. I later found out that they are fearless of humans because tourists often will feed them morsels of bread or rice.

Dear Reader,

Preparing for and celebrating the holidays have consumed every waking moment here at Pelan Village, so I haven’t blogged in a while. Apologies. I’ll be posting about the differences between American and Japanese Christmas/New Years soon.

For now, here are a dozen photos I took today at Sakaiura Beach. I’ve been sick and it has been really rainy recently (visibility underwater in shallow reef areas tends to be more difficult on rainy days) so I haven’t been in the water for a long time.

Happy Holidays and love,

Kaori


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The second time I came across a bunch of them I got really scared and though they were piranha, because one had accidentally scraped their backfins on my shoulder. I can be quite foolish at times. I remember I swam away quickly and looked back to see dozens of them following me and I was like gahhhhhhhh. Haha!
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Sakaiura Beach boasts a sunken torpedoed ship from WWII, reclaimed by the ocean. Here is a part some ways away from the main ruins, covered with coral and algae. I saw a gorgeous lionfish here on my first visit.
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Unlike some days, it was a little harder to see underwater today and there weren’t many individual fish out. I saw a few parrotfish, and these striped dudes just wouldn’t leave me be. I felt like a bit of a fishy celebrity but they weren’t going to get any treats from me, no sirree.
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A variety of coral species coating the ship’s mast.
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I caught a couple of these sea cucumbers and boiled/soaked them in hot water to make spicy pickles. Evidently this variety isn’t really delectable nor a popular food on the island so these namako blob around on the ocean floor with leisure. Gutting them was disgusting but the pickles turned out decent, surprising my hosts.
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The ship’s wheel derelict on the ocean floor, 25-ish feet below the surface.
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A bright and brave variety of wrasse. I caught a similar fellow the first time I tried hand-fishing while snorkeling but they’re too beautiful to eat…
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Ship!
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You can see the rusted remains of the ship protruding from the sea. It is visible from the nearby roadway as well. It is only a 10 minute swim from the beach. On the beach, there are a handful of restrooms, a place you can wash the sand off your shoes, and a large thatched resting/viewing area. The beach isn’t very sandy- it’s mostly coral. There is a cave and a swing nearby, although I haven’t investigated. Kayak tours often end up on this shore.
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Hi! There are a few tricks to breathing with a snorkel but perhaps the two most important tips are: 1) coat the inside of your snorkel with gel or saliva to prevent clouding 2) learn to expel water from your tube with a deep forceful breathe. Ryo tells me death by snorkel is really quite common because people will panic and drown. Some tubes come equipped with a self draining mechanism that can handle a bit of water- so you can take little breathes to stockpile for a single exhaustive breathe that can expel the water in the tube.
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It is a little difficult to see, but there is a sizable shoal of tiny pale orange fish flitting about just below the water’s surface. Maybe they were eating?
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The light can be really beautiful underwater.
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Ship ship more ship.
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A baby giant clam with flamboyant purple lips. Those lips are ultra sensitive to tremors in the water so they tighten up when a fish or diver swims nearby. God forbid if you poke ’em- they’ll clamp up to the coral real hard. They’re also protected and illegal to fish.

That’s all for now, folks! I’ll be adding more snorkelling photos to this post periodically so it’ll become absurdly long over time. Check back every now and again if you want.

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