February brings the giants of the Pacific into Okinawan waters. Humpback whale season is in full swing with mothers and calves frolicking in the waters of the Keramas and surrounding islands of Okinawa. These gentle giants will be gracing our waters for the next two months as the mothers come to the Keramas’ warm waters to give birth and have the calves fatten up before heading back to cooler waters north of mainland Japan and beyond.
Night diving is also a special treat this time of year as the singing of the male humpback whales can be heard resonating throughout the dive sites of Okinawa. The purpose of these songs is not known, but it is believed that they may be used to attract a mate, or maybe, like many people, they just have to sing! Although songs can be heard during the day, the best time to hear these distinct haunting melodies is on calm nights at dive sites such as Zanpa Misaki and Maeda Misaki.
If you are up for a little more heart pumping action, February and March are the best seasons for hammerhead sharks in the waters of Yonaguni. These huge aggregates of apex predators make for the dives of a lifetime. Swimming with up to hundreds of these toothy predators is a dive not to be missed. Yonaguni, which is just a short flight away, is one of the few places in the world where this spectacular sight can be witnessed.
Whether it’s the gentle giants or the awe inspiring predators that make you want to get wet, Reef Encounters professional guides and divemasters are the ones to get you in the action. Whale watching tours are available for private charter almost daily for groups. For the more adventurous, we offer chances for snorkeling with the gentle giants also on select tours through February and March. Excursions to dive with the hammerheads and explore the underwater ruins of Yonaguni are also available. Contact Ai at [email protected] for details.
Also coming this month are training classes for decompression techniques, divemaster and instructor courses. For those wanting to teach diving this summer, now is the time to get your professional level training completed.