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Amazing Amount of Life in the Rocky Rubble

By: John Chandler

Date Posted: 2000-10-21

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 winding you north toward Nago. You will pass the island we call Seragaki and just past this island and around the bend in the road you will you will see a turnout on your left for a brand new, and very nice, rest area. You should park near the exit. The entrance to the beach is a new set of really nice wooden steps on your left at the exit of the rest area. This will take you down to the dive site.

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 white carpets of sand in which auger shells and scorpion conchs thrive. Cuttlefish, Octopus, Lobster, and Parrot fish abound throughout this area. It does take some effort, not strenuous, to get from the parking area to the dive site. It can be worth it for both the novice and the experienced.

Recommended 1st Dive Profile: Walk down the wooden steps 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 discharge 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 continous 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.

All photos copyrightę, John Chandler

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