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The Lighthouse marks the spot

Date Posted: 2001-07-21

As the weather continues to tease us with breaks in the winds and seas I was fortunate enough to accompany several dive buddies on a boat trip out to the Kerama Islands last weekend.

The seas were still rocking from swells pushed northward by Typhoon Utor, which made our trek exciting, but upon our arrival to the northern tip of Zamami we found the placid blue waters to be most inviting. Our first dive was terrific and after our surface interval the Captain of the boat surprised me when he moved the boat to my favorite dive spot in all of the Kerama Islands. THE ZAMAMI LIGHTHOUSE! Sea Fans, clownfish, wall diving, all enclosed in a snug harbor setting. This is my kind of dive site.

Site Location: Zamami is the third island in the Keramas and is located across the bay from (western side) Tokashiki. This site is located just beneath the lighthouse on the eastern side of Zamami.

What to expect: In this small bay area boats can anchor in water that is less than 25 feet deep allowing divers to descend in the bay and then glide over the edge and along the vertical wall that descends to more than 100 feet. Huge sea fans festoon the walls of this island that give divers a spectacular, and safe first dive every time. This is a photographer/naturalist’s dream dive.

Recommended 1st Dive: Anchoring in the center of this bay on the left side (northern side) you will find the water to be crystal clear and not more than 25 feet deep. Descend down the anchor line and start your dive heading easterly using the point of the island as your guide. You want to guide yourself to dive directly beneath the rock that juts up from the water toward the lighthouse. Be careful of the currents here. This can turn into an unplanned drift drive rather quickly. Follow the wall around keeping it on your right going out and on your left coming back.

Aquatic animals found here: Clownfish, Moray Eels, Angelfish, Tuna, Barracuda, and occasional Shark if you are lucky will also swim by. This also fronts the only place in the Keramas where I have been lucky enough to photograph the elusive Manta Ray.

How to get there: You will need to join in on a dive charter from one of the local diving shops such as Crew-B (098-936-4045), Aokawa’s Diving Services

(098-936-0413) or Fathoms Dive Shop at Sunabe Sea Wall (090 8766-0868). Kadena Marina (634-6344) can also accommodate your charter on Darling’s Dream. Give one of these a try and you will not regret the view.

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