Skool of fish swimming in Okinawa Waters

Skool of fish swimming in Okinawa Waters

As the year comes to a close the winter diving season on Okinawa kicks off. As many divers are packing up their fins and waiting for summer, the most experienced divers are still anticipating the best season for diving on Okinawa – Winter! Winter diving is some of the best offered on Okinawa. As the water cools, it also becomes even more clear, the rush of tourist divers disappear and dive sites become less crowded with divers and more crowed with critters both big and small. Nudibranchs – every divers favorite little guys – will be out in large numbers laying eggs and mating. With well over 100 species of these little guys spotted around Okinawa there is plenty variety to keep the dedicated nudi-lover searching to fill his or her photo log.

For big critter lovers on Okinawa its now time for you to enjoy your diving as the giants of the ocean come calling. Starting in late December and continuing through spring the annual migration of humpback whales come to Okinawa waters. These gentle giants will be highlighting their acrobatic feats of breaching and tail waving while their haunting songs echo throughout the waters of Okinawa. Reef Encounters will be running their annual whale diving tours starting in January to give the truly adventurous the chance to swim with these amazing giants of the sea.

Also starting in January the annual schooling of hammerhead sharks will occur off the coast of Yonaguni. Every year large schools of hammerheads congregate off this tiny island in a presumed mating behaviour. At the convergence of the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea these huge schools of sharks can be seen cruising the pinnacles and walls of limestone that jut from the bottom and shoreline of this isolated haven of ancient Japan. Reef Encounters will be running it’s annual trips to swim with this majestic animals in both January, February and March. These trips will also explore the ancient underwater ruins found of the coast line in Yonaguni.

The clear water and less crowded dive sites also make this a perfect time to explore the deeper reefs and wrecks around Okinawa. We will be offering the full range of technical classes that allow you to safely explore these deeper realms with confidence. Also for those looking to share their love of the ocean with others a full range of professional level courses from dive master to instructor are available allowing you to start teaching by the spring.