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Chilly weather doesn’t deter kids from hitting the beach

Date Posted: 2005-03-18

“Oh my God. It’s too cold.”

Words from an elementary school student in Ishigaki who found herself plunging into the ocean waters during a class outing. It was 12 degrees as the Kawahira Elementary School kids took the outing to new adventure levels.

“It was the fastest summer time experience even, but the catch was…we froze,” said another student talking about the beach trip on Okinawa’s southernmost island chain. It didn’t deter the youngsters from braving the waters, peeling off coats and jackets and wading into the water with only swim suits. The winds whipped across the beach, and rain beat on them. Still, they laughed and called it a ‘great adventure’.

The event was endorsed by the Yaeyama Islands Visitors Bureau, which is hoping for a successful tourist year. “Sure it was cold, but so what?” said another boy. “Cold is to enjoy too.” It was the adults who were struggling to cope with the temperatures.

“Oh no…it’s cold. I don’t want to go in,” said one chaperone. The adults stayed out of the water, watching the kids return to the busses with teeth chattering.

Although March 13th was the officially declared start of the tourism season, weather forecasters say things don’t look good. “Cold weather will still be coming. One day maybe warm, the again cold is behind the warm temperatures. Maybe, Spring is far away yet.”

Naha registered only 10.7 degrees for a low, while northern reaches dipped to only 8 degrees. Officials cautioned people to be careful outside, lest they catch cold.

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