Dive Bum Okinawa

 Dive Log 2005

Kadena North                                             03 December 2005 

Boy did we pick the right day to go diving.  Although it was a bit chilly the wind hadn’t picked up yet and there was only a slight surge coming over the steps.  Who would have known that the rest of the weekend would be freezing and blustery!!  There were only four brave divers that made it out today…boy did everyone else miss a great dive.  The visibility was at least 30 feet and up to 40 in some spots, the temp was a brisk 76f.

The dive started off a bit challenging for one of the divers but he managed to catch up with the rest of us.   Luckily we were always under the watchful eyes of Dive Master (in training) Mike.  As soon as we hit the bottom, we ran into this little Lionfish cruising the reef looking for its next meal.  Unfortunately for him I think all the flashing from our strobes scared off any prospective meals.  Some people can’t make up their mind which sport they want to participate in…we found this diver reeling in a big one!  We even were blessed to get on Nemo and Bloat’s busy schedule for a quick photo shoot. 

Kadena Steps                                              27 November 05

This is the one-year anniversary of Dive Bum Oki!!  I published it over Thanksgiving weekend last year.  On that fateful day, when I decided to make a website there were only three dedicated divers who braved the chilly morning after Thanksgiving (including myself), one year and 48 dives later we had 13 divers show up!!! Thanks!

We all met at Kadena Marina at 0630 and then headed to Kadena Steps.  The weather could not have been any better; we entered the water as the sun was rising over Kadena.  The water was a brisk 76f, the Vis was about 30 feet and there was no surge.  On this dive we had diverse bunch of divers, we had everything from U/W plumbers to U/W Yoga masters.  We headed south on our first dive, there was tons of stuff to photograph.  One of the first things we ran into was a cool little Loin Fish strutt’n around.  We also found several species of Nudibranchs, sea snakes, and way too many things to write down in one paragraph.  Take my word for it, it was a great dive!  On our second dive we headed north.  There wasn’t as much coral but it was still a very good dive and I got some great shots.  One of the divers found a very playful Cuttlefish, I was able to get a great photo and some good video of him.  To see a short video clip just click on this link.  At about 50 feet we hit the sand and I got a real cool photo of a Shrimp Gobi and his little friend.  They live together in a burrow that the shrimp continuously maintains as the Gobi stands guard. 

Bolo Point and Maeda Point                               05 November 2005

 We had the best turnout yet for a scheduled dive.   Eight divers braved the early morning darkness and met in the parking lot by Kadena Marina.  With absolutely no wind we all decided to head for Bolo Point.  After suiting up in the parking lot Eric took us on a trek across the moonscape to the waters edge.   The water was smooth as glass with only a hint of a surge.  We took a giant stride into gin clear water with a slight northerly current pushing to the north.  However, as soon as we descended 20 feet there was a rip’n current “The Naha Express” which was about 2-3kts going south.   It was a good dive but I was concentrating on my position instead of taking pictures.  So after about 30 minutes of bottom time we surfaced and then decided to try another dive site.

For our second dive we headed out to Maeda Point.  You can really tell it’s winter in Okinawa when dive conditions are near perfect and the parking lot of Maeda Point is empty.   Even though it was well past 0830 we had no problems finding a parking spot.  After quickly suiting up we headed down the steps and over the cliff into clear blue water with no surge or current.  I got some great photos and Nemo was posing for everyone.

Hawaii                            02-10 Oct 05

What can I say?  You send a bunch of Dive Bum’s to Hawaii for a conference, what do you think we are going to do?  Work…Not!  As soon as the plane landed in Honolulu and we could drop off our luggage in the BOQ Tim, JT and I headed to the closest Dive Shop.  Despite the Jetlag we managed two dives, we dove Electric Beach at Kahe Point.  This dive site is appropriately named.  It is right across the road from an electric plant and you dive the hot water discharge.  At the discharge point the water is jetting out at about 90 deg F.  If you swim into the current you are swept head over heals for 20+ meters.  In and around the discharge tube all sorts of aquatic life abound.   We saw everything…fish, eels, turtles, and spotted eagle rays.  For the second dive of the day we headed to the North Shore and dove Sharks Cove.  We never found the famed turtles but we did manage to find a few dozen eels, and I got a great photo of a cool nudibranchs. 

We managed one night dive at Kaneohe Bay.  We dove Officers Beach, There was a strong surge and not much fish out here.  Tim found a mutant puffer fish that was the size of beach ball. 

The conference ended a day early so Tim and I found a charter that was going out to the F4U Corsair that was sunk back in 1945.  The pilot had to ditch after he ran out of fuel due to a stuck fuel gage.  He managed to swim to shore and he is still alive living in Hawaii.  The Corsair currently lays in 107 feet of water, it was moved from shallower water thanks to some smart divers that knew that the surf and surge would pummel the plane to scrap if not moved.

It was amazing that we managed to get out to the site, the south side of Oahu was getting some real good waves.  The seas were rocking with 6 foot swells, despite all this adversity the vis was outstanding 200 ft+!! Click on either the hot link above or on the picture of the Corsair to view more photos!!

Suanbe Sea Wall                 25 Sept 05

We got up real early, it was real dark, and we had a really good Dive!  Five brave souls met at 0500 for a quick dive to beat the winds…The winds that were predicted never materialized, it was a beautiful day. (Sorry for getting everyone up so early) 

Holly JR found a real friendly Cuttlefish that was acting like a little puppy dog.  I went over to photograph him and he came so close that I had to shoo him back so I could get a clear shot of him.  He kept coming back, he even touched my lens a few times.  I finally had to shove him back, he didn’t like that and shot away right between my legs.   Even though the water was as black as ink, I managed to find a real cool Nudibranchs.

Holly thanks for the coffee!!

Kouri Island              18 September 2005

It’s been a long time since we’ve had two near perfect dive days for a weekend.  Saturday I spent the morning snorkeling with my family around Maeda Point and on Sunday the Dive Bum’s (rein) headed out to Kouri Island for a boat dive. 

Nobuko arranged the Dive to Kouri Island, and what a great job she did.  We all met at Tsunami Gear on Courtney and caravanned to a very small harbor on Kouri Island.  We went out on two small fishing boats that were actually very roomy and had plenty of space for all of our gear.  On the first dive we went about 2 minutes out from the small harbor, next to a channel buoy but the vis wasn’t good so they decided to go a little farther out (another 3 minutes).  We dropped down into 20 feet of crystal clear water over a gorgeous reef.  There wasn’t much coral but it was teeming with fish and invertebrates.  After about an hour of bottom time the boat headed back to the dock for our surface interval.  Right across the street there was a local Soba restaurant where the most of us ate lunch.  Around 1330 we all headed back across the street for our second dive.

On the second dive we picked up some locals who went snorkeling while we dove (this is important later in the story*).  This time we went a little further out (10 min boat ride) and once again we found a pristine reef in gin clear water.   I do not think I have ever seen so many different Clownfish in one area.  In one 5 x 5 foot area we found five different anemones with 4 different species.   *There was a little excitement towards the end of the dive, anyone seen “Open Water”?  When we surfaced from our second dive our boat was gone! (the other boat was there)  The snorkelers that we picked up had gotten seasick and the boat had to take them back.  Luckily we only had to float for 5-10 minutes before the boat returned.

Thanks Nobuko everyone had a great time!!    When’s the next dive?

Courtney Beach              09 September, 2005

King Triton was trying his best to keep us out of the water.  The wind was out of the northeast at about 12 kts (blowing directly at our dive spot) and there were jellyfish all over the beach.   But since this was our first full week back from our short vacation to Korea we had to get some bottom time!!   The water was a very warm 86f but there were one to two foot waves and the visibility max’d out at 10 feet but averaged only 5. 

On today’s lunchtime dive we were joined by our newest member Tim, who managed to find Nemo despite the poor visibility.  John found a large lionfish on the prowl trying to get lunch.  I on the other hand got stumped, I could not find a nudibranchs if it was stuck to my mask.  But I did find this little hermit crab that was watching me trying to figure out what I was up to.

Maeda Point and Seragaki    July 30-31, 2005

Another water filled weekend!!   Like last weekend, the Dive Bum’s were in the water both Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday five families met bright and early in the McT 7 day store parking lot and headed off to Maeda Point.  King Triton was looking out for us this time.  The sun was up, the wind was down and the parking lot was packed!!!  Although we arrived at Maeda Point at 0720 we had to park on the road.  The water was Gin clear, the vis had to be 50ft+ and there were tons of fish everywhere.  We spent over two hours snorkeling and feeding the fish.  It was starting to get warm so we finned to the cave and cooled off in the shade.  After playing in the cave for a while we headed to the exit point and on the way back we all found Nemo.  Check out the photos on the “Snorkeling Page".

Sunday we did two dives at Seragaki (Mike good job on remembering two tanks).  The water was near perfect, small rolling waves, the vis was 40ft+ and there was only a trace of a current going south to north.  On our first dive we decided to head south on the wall.  After a quick check at 20 feet we went over the edge of the wall and almost immediately we saw a very large lionfish (at 80 feet) on the hunt chasing a large school of fish.  I think we tired John C-N out because we found him sleeping at 60 feet.  On our second dive we went north on the wall.  Too bad you had to leave John C-N, this dive was just a good, if not better as the first one.  We never found the “shark” that was supposed to be at 70 feet and in a cave but we managed to find a big eel, a couple of very colorful nudibranchs and several sea anemones with tons of fry. 

Gazebos                                       July 25, 2005

 What an Awesome night dive!!! John did a great job coordinating his first Dive Bum dive.  Everyone arrived at the Gazebos at 1930 sharp!!!  The only problem was there are a dozen gazebos along the Sea Wall.  After a few cell phone calls we all linked up at the “Two Gazebos” by the water plant.  King Triton did not calm the seas as much we would have liked.  There were 1-2 foot breakers hitting the jacks but it was  divable and once we swam out beyond the breakers it was smooth diving.  The dive started out as your typical dive, reef, hard coral, soft coral and fish.  Then the bottom structure changed to large boulders and rip-rap.  Next we ran into a very large metal cage probably 20x 20 feet across and 15 feet high.  It had been down for quite awhile, it was incrusted with hard and soft corals.  Hiding amongst the hard corals were scores of little orange crabs.  We also saw huge trumpet fish swimming in and out of the cage, shrimp of every size and shape and tons of colorful fish.  Once we hit 1500 psi, John shot a reverse heading and brought us right up on the steps to the Sea Wall.  


Sunabe (Gazebo) and Sunabe South                                           July 24, 2005

 What a water filled weekend!!   The Dive Bum’s started out this weekend with an awesome family snorkeling day.  Saturday we all met bright and early in the McT 7-day store parking lot and headed off to Maeda Point.  King Triton put a stop to that, although there was only a 5 kt breeze, it was coming out of the North East and there were rolling waves crashing into the entrance.  So we headed south and ended up snorkeling the Gazebo at Sunabe Sea Wall.  We spent over two hours finning around, during that time we fed the fish, saw clownfish, lionfish, puffer fish and billions of others.  Check out the photos on the “Snorkeling Page’ under Sunabe Sea Wall.

 For Sunday’s two-tank dive (Mike, next time bring two tanks!) we met at 0630 in Kadena Marina’s parking lot and then headed south.  We ended up diving Sunabe South by the water plant.  On our first dive within 5 minutes John managed to find another mutant Nudibranch. It was about 5-6 inches long and had polyps covering its body.  Right after that we headed north which led us to an awesome set of crevasses and cuts filled with tons of coral and fish.  On the second dive we decided to try to find the “Stacks” on the northern end of the dive, so we hopped over the Jacks and headed North! We never found the “Stacks” but as we crested the reef to a large crevasse a ray flashed its white underside and took off.  We then worked our way south and you will never guess who Jack found…Bloat!!! 

Tengan Pier                             July 09, 2005

 Revenge of the Kayaks!!  The Dive Bum’s tried something new this outing, John and I brought out the tandem kayaks and we headed way out to Tengan Pier.  With John and Mike in one, and Felicia and I in the other we started off on our journey.   It was an easy paddle out to the Pier and we tied off to the pier about ¾ down.  We hopped off the kayaks and put on our BC’s and dropped down into 38 ft of murky water, 15+ feet and cloudy.  The pilings rose up from the bottom like giant trees and as we swam through the pilings it seemed like we were swimming through an eerie forest.  Growing from the pilings were large sea fans, soft corals, tunicates, sponges and shellfish of every kind.  There were swarms of baitfish that keep the larger fish (that stayed just out of sight) well fed.  I got some great shots of everyone and two real cool Nudibranchs, a Glossodoris cruentai (the yellow nudi with red spots) and two Risbecia tryoni (brown spotted nudi) playing some Barry White.  When we surfaced the winds had increased and there was a slight surface chop.  After stowing all of our gear we turned the kayaks into the wind and started back to shore.  With a strong head wind we just took our time paddling in and when we finally hit the beach we had a well earned Bar-B-Q.

Courtney Jacks, Maeda Point, Onna Point and Maeda Point again!

June 30- July 4, 2005

 What a way to start off the 4th of July weekend!!!  The Dive Bum’s managed to get in four dives and a day of snorkeling over the long weekend.  It all started on June 30th with a quick lunchtime dive at the Courtney Jacks.  Ralph decided to join us for a snorkel and John found a mutant Aplysia dactylomela (Sea Slug).   Then on July 1st we headed to Maeda Point for an evening dive after work.  Here we found a large Moray Eel and a very colorful crab (with eggs) hiding in the coral.  On July 2nd it was a family day snorkeling at Maeda Point, where we spent the morning feeding the fish and playing in the cave.  The water was so clear I could see the clouds from 20 feet below.  On the 3rd we held our first Family 4th of July Bar-B-Q and Dive at Onna Point.  The dive was great and the chow was plentiful.  Afterwards we all headed to the grotto where we saw lots of cool sea creatures and found a little snowflake eel swimming in the tide pools.  And finally early on the 4th of July we met at 0600 to celebrate our Independence Day with a dive at Maeda Point (SW winds…the only place to dive).  John finally got a day off work to join us for a dive and what a great dive.  We found three very cool Moray Eels, tons of clown fish and several Nudibranchs.  After all of this fun, we need to go back to work to rest so we can go diving next weekend!!!

Maeda Point                   June 26, 2005

The streak continues!!  The Dive Bum’s have managed to be in the water at least once each month this calendar year.  I was starting to get worried this month, it has rained 21 out of 26 days so far and dumped 31.87 inches of rain on Okinawa.   But we managed to beat the weather today, we (to include every other diver on Okinawa) decided to head down to Maeda Point for an early dive.  I have never seen so many divers waiting to get in the water.  The wait was well worth it.  No surge, no swells, and the water temp was a warm 81F.  The visibility wasn’t the greatest, 20+ feet and cloudy but we managed to see a lot of cool stuff.  What would a dive be without someone finding Nemo.  John could not resist, he found an old engine and tried to PM it!! It must have been the Motor-T in his blood.  Marcus tried to chase down a school of barracuda, but they left him in the dust.  And last but not least John found a real cool Phyllidia ocellata for me.

Devil's Cove            June 11, 2005

Rain and rough seas might keep us from Diving but it won’t keep us from having a Beach Party!!  Even with rain and thunderstorms predicted all day long, we met at Devil’s Cove and it turned out to be a great day.  Our first Family Beach Party and Bar-B-Q was a great success!  The rough seas kept us from launching the wave runner or kayak and definitely kept us from diving.  But there were some nice protected coves and large tide pools for snorkeling.  In one of the tide pools we found tons of cool sea life, there were cleaner shrimp, puffer fish, a snowflake eel, and Kevin found a pod of baby squid.  One tide pool had so much stuff, it would take hours to write it all down. 

After the kids did a beach clean up and Kevin finally got the fire started, everyone was treated to s’mores!

Sunabe Sea Wall            May 30, 2005

What a beautiful Memorial Day! The sun finally decided to come out.    Felicia and I drove down to the Junk Yard this morning, although the waves were only 1-2 feet it was an extremely low tide so we decided to go down the road to Sunabe Sea Wall.   I guess everyone else had the same idea.  With virtually no waves it was a very popular site this morning.  The Vis was real good, we had about 40+ but it was just a little cloudy.  I got some great Macro’s two real cool nudibranchs.

Kerama Islands-Felicia's B-day Dive                May 08, 2005

This week came in like a lion and went out like a lamb!!!  There was just a small break in the weather and we took advantage of it.  What a great boat dive to the Kerama Islands we had today. We had nine divers that departed from Kadena Marina on the Sea Lady this morning.  There was virtually no wind, and only rolling waves out to the Kerama’s.  On our first dive (Tokashiki) we did a slow drift dive, the Vis was about 40+, one of the first thing Felicia and I saw was a small Turtle out for a stroll.  We passed tons of beautiful coral that was swarming with fish of all sizes and colors.   On the second drift dive (Mae-Shima) we went on a wild ride, the Vis was about the same 40+ but with a 2-3 kts current.  The reef was teaming with fish but the highlight of the dive was the four Turtles we saw while drifting past the reef.

We would all like to thank Kadena Marina and the crew of the Sea Lady for a great dive!

Maeda Point, Lunchtime Dive        April 29, 2005   

You’ve heard of the perfect storm, today we saw the perfect dive conditions!!!  There was virtually no wind, no waves, and no surge.  The surface of the water was like a mirror.  The visibility was about 50 feet +, the only thing that could have made the dive better was…another dive!  Too bad we had to go back to work.  The conditions were so good we all had to weigh the consequences of going UA.

Today I got to play with my wide angle lens.  I got several good shots of Clown Fish, Fire Dartfish, and a Lion Fish that was strut’n around.   JR found two very cool Nudibranchs, I got some good shots of them.  One of them I have never seen before.

Courtney Beach Jacks        05 Apr 05


There’s a new diver in the group, Welcome JR!  With the weather improving I predict that we are going to be doing a bunch more lunchtime dives.  We hit the Jacks again, but every time we’ve gone out to the Jacks we have managed to find something we have not seen before.  The conditions weren’t perfect, the Vis was poor, 15 feet but cloudy and there was a slight surge.  But the sun was out and the winds were coming out of the East at only 8 kts.

Today I got several good shots of Nudibranchs and Flat Worms, two that I have never seen before.  And once again Nemo found our divers.

Courtney Beach Jacks        30 Mar 05

The Streak continues!!! Our dive group has managed to maintain at least one dive per month since July 2004.  There was a break in the weather and with our dive gear at the ready, we took the opportunity to make a dive during lunch.  We hit our old stand-by, Courtney Beach Jacks and got just over a half an hour of bottom time.  The water was a bit rough on the swim out, with some white caps in Kin bay but once we got underwater the Vis was about 15 feet with only a slight surge.

What would a dive be without getting a good shot of a Nudibranch. I got this guy getting ready to chow down on a small patch of hydroids.  John was constantly on the hunt looking for anything cool to shoot.  Here he found this little wrasse lurking in an abandoned worm hole.

Sunabe Sea Wall          05 Feb 05

It was Cold and Dark in the parking lot this morning!  Although there was absolutely ZERO wind we could hear the waves crashing on the reef past the Marina.  We drove down to the Junk Yard, the sun started to come up so now we could see the waves.  The swells were about 2-4 feet and smashing on the reef, after about 10 seconds we decided to hit another site.  We went down to Sunabe Sea Wall where the waves were only 1-2 feet, so we decided to give it a try.  There was a bit of a surge but the vis wasn’t that bad 15+ feet, it was defiantly a Macro day! 

We got a new photographer in the group.  Mike got a temp loan camera from Kadena Marina and got started on his new obsession.  Trying to find and photograph every Nudibranch on Okinawa.  He found a very cool looking yellow one, a Ringed Pipefish and got some very good macro shots.  Stay tuned for our next dive.

Courtney Beach Jacks         29 Jan 05

Who ever said “three strikes and your out”?  Strike one Toilet Bowl, strike two Horseshoe, Strike three Onna Point…..Then you dive at Courtney Beach Jacks again!!!  Fourth times a charm.  The water on the east side of the island was as smooth as a mirror but the northwest side was rock’n, so we turned to our old stand by.  There was a bit of a surge but the vis was good, 25+ feet and we got over an hour of bottom time.  We found two very cool slugs, a huge nudibranch, a very colorful purple and green tubeworm, and Nemo found Mike.  

25 Jan 05, Courtney Beach, Jacks

The worst day diving is better than the best day at work!!!  The sun was up and the temp was rising, but the visibility sucked!  But for another lunchtime dive it was great!  The visibility ranged from 0-15 feet depending on where we were on the Jacks.  As we got closer to the end of the Jacks the vis opened up to 15 feet.  But on the way back we got an exercise in underwater navigation, the vis dropped to under a foot and our compasses got a workout!  Even with poor visibility we managed to find Nemo’s cousin. I also managed to find a new sea slug.  However, I think the long walk to the dive site and the stress of low visibility took its toll on one of the divers, we found someone asleep at 25 feet.  Stay tuned for our next dive.

21 Jan 05, Courtney Beach, Jacks 

You never know who you are going to see underwater, introducing “Bubba Mike”!!!  It was colder today!! The water temp went down a degree, it was a chilly 67F.  And if things could not get any worse, the winds picked up and were out of the North East making the water very choppy.  But for a lunchtime dive it was great!  We managed to get 39 minutes of bottom time.  After we ditched “Bubba Mike” we found a little Juvenile Teira Batfish swimming around and John found a cool Marine Worm.   Stay tuned for our next dive.

19 Jan 05, Courtney Beach, Jacks

 It was COLD!!!  The water temp was a chilly 68F.  Thanks to the one brave soul that challenged the cold and gave up his lunch to dive with me today.  Although Kin Bay was blown out and choppy for the last week the visibility was good, we had between 20 and 40 feet of clear water.  The dive was short (38:43 bottom time) but we managed to find two nudibranchs, a big a Tiger Cowry, and a very large school of Chevron Barracuda (they found us).  Stay tuned for our next dive.


 27 Dec 04, Sunabe Sea Wall

Bad weather + Good Christmas = Great Dive!!  What an outstanding dive this morning. We met at the parking lot by Malibu Beach and assessed the weather conditions and decided to go south.  We ended up making two dives at Sunabe Sea Wall, the water was a bit chilly but the vis was good.  On the first dive we went south and ended up in a soft coral garden.  Hiding amongst the coral and rock we found two eels, a Spotted Eel and a Snow Flake Eel. On our second dive John found a large but shy Octopus, after a squirt of ink he managed to evade every attempt to photograph him.