I quickly found out that my host family loved water activities and I was thrilled to join them on a few boating and snorkeling adventures. The first time we went out was during the evening after the last day of class. We drove to Ginowan Port just as the sun was setting below the horizon. Soon after, we were boarding a friend’s motor boat and zooming through the water.
I sat in the back of the boat with Megumi and together we laughed at the wind whipping in our hair and water spraying along the boat. As our speed increased, I felt alive and free. I loved being able to whizz along the water with no traffic or worries to slow us. In the distance, the lights of Naha began to illuminate the evening sky, and ahead, American Village with its iconic ferris wheel sparkled.
What would have taken over an hour to drive in traffic, we reached in about 20 minutes in our speedy boat. The bumpiness and pounding of the wake was exhilarating and I was mesmerized by the city lights the entire way.
Nagannu Island Snorkeling
Boating adventure #2 took place the next morning. At 9 am we met my host mom’s friend at the dock and were once again in the boat ripping through the water. This time I felt adventurous enough to sit in the seat at the very front of the boat. I clung on for dear life and gave up shooting pictures while we were in motion since it was so incredibly bouncy. In the daylight, the water glimmered in magnificent colors- all different hues of blue and green, my favorite color combination.
I enjoyed the exhilarating ride, and was so focused on using my abs for stability that they were sore the next day 😀 (hah!). We cruised past other boats and islands and saw cuttlefish and a turtle swimming beside us. Soon we reached Nagannu island where we anchored for a swim.
On went our fins, snorkel masks, and sun shirts. Then into the enticing blue water we went. I can’t begin to explain how incredible it felt to be in the water. After so long since being in a pool, I was once again in my element. I dove beneath the surface to spy on the creatures below, and scared many fish by trying to swim alongside them. It was warm, (almost hot) near the surface, but the moment you went deeper, the water was refreshingly cool. I swam and dove until my heart was content. It was so beautiful and there were no other swimmers around.
After our swim, the weather was so warm that I never once felt cold. We peeled off our gear and relaxed with chilled refreshments. I had a cold peach jelly juice snack that was sweet and chewy.
Sending so many thanks to my host family and their friend for allowing me to have this fantastic ocean opportunity!