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Diamond Beach has Something for Everyone

By: John Chandler

Date Posted: 2001-04-20

The weather seems to be getting just a little bit better every weekend and the water seems to be getting just a little more blue each week too. Who can resist the pleasure of a sunny day at a beach where there is warm white sand, clear blue water and lots of SCUBA diving? NOT ME. This week we head up Highway 58 and drive almost to Nago to enjoy one of my favorite, and most improved beach dive sites, on the island. If you enjoy beach combing and diving then Diamond Beach is for you!

What to expect: This is an Underwater Naturalists paradise!. Four very long coral fingers descend from 15-20' to 70' then a long sloping alluvial of crushed coral and rocky rubble descends to 120'. Between the fingers are carpets of white crushed coral and sand in which auger shells and scorpion conchs thrive. Cuttlefish, Octopus, Lobster, and Parrot fish abound throughout this area. An added plus for the Moms is that at the rest stop where you parked you will enjoy the fact that there are restrooms and fresh water.

Site Location: On Highway 58 go north of Kadena Circle continuing past the Ramada Renaissance Hotel and crossover the overpass at Nakadomari taking the right fork in continuing on Highway #58 toward Nago. You will pass through the tourist village where McDonalds will be on your right. Continue north. You will pass through all the large Japanese Tourist hotels as you travel through three villages. After passing through Onna Village drive past the community harbor on your left and over the next hill. This hill will wind slowly down and to your right. In the bend you will see a sign that says "Seragaki". You will pass through this village. As you do the road will crest then bend around to the right. On this bend you will see a newly constructed and quite impressive rest stop on your left. Pull into the rest stop and drive around the bend. You should park near the exit. The entrance to the beach is newly constructed wooden deck and staircase leading down to a wonderful beach that both you and kids will enjoy.

Recommended 1st Dive Profile: Walk down the short incline from the parking area to the beach. Keeping the wall on your left follow the shoreline out to the entry point which is beyond the two rocky fingers on your left as you walk along the wall. At low tide this can be a long walk for young divers and those not accustomed to carrying equipment some distances. At high tide the water will buoy you up and assist in carrying your load. When you cross between the two rocky fingers shoot a course across the bay toward the large white hotel. Follow that heading, either walking or on snorkel (tide dependent), until you have 15-20' of water beneath you. You may find an abandoned pipe that will serve as a guide pointing to the best place to begin your dive. When you have reached a point that has 15'-20' beneath you, or the end of the pipe, descend. You will be on a sandy bottom between two coral fingers that parallel one another. Begin your dive by following the course these two fingers give you into the open water. While exploring these fingers and observing life among these continuos coral colonies you will descend to 70'. At this depth you will be at the base of the fingers and at the beginning of the sloping alluvial fan that will gently descend to 120'. Here you will be amazed at the amount of life that lives among the rocky rubble. Occasionally a Sea Snake will glide by while it pokes its' head in and out of the holes in the rubble. A reciprocal heading that is due east will take you back into the coral fingers and allow you to guide yourself back to the jump off point near the abandoned pipeline. On bright sunny days near noon the sun reaches down and illuminates the coral and the white sand bottom providing shell collectors and photographers with a wonderful dive sight. Colonies of sea anemone too numerous to catalog exist here with every type of clown fish imaginable. It is great dive site for everyone, the novice and the expert. While the entry can be arduous the rewards are worth it. Maybe that is why it has always been called "Diamond beach!"

Other activities: The Beach is nice for non-divers, snorkelers, and sun bathers alike. Underwater Photography and shell collecting for the Underwater Naturalists are the main interest. It is also a great spot to teach or learn the finer points of Underwater Navigation. As you become more familiar with the site you will put this on your Night Dive calendar as well.

Aquatic animals found here: Clown fish by the acre. Cuttlefish. Occasional Eagle Rays gliding in the sand. Sea Snakes. Coral of every kind.

Best time of year to dive: All year around. The summer may be a challenge for some at low-tide on the long walk to the entry point.

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