Saturday, March 22, 2014

Last Okinawa pics (of the 1st tour anyway :)

 The hope was always to catch up on the blog once here in the states and now that we do have a little more time (no diving distraction) we wanted to put our last pics from beautiful Okinawa. My sweet wife has an affinity for putting the kids in the ocean in Sunday dress, and it does make for some cute pictures.
 Fashion models
 the sun was very bright
 it was really fun, even if it is difficult to get everyone to look at the same time when you are in the ocean dressed like that
 the individual glamour shots
 strike a pose
it's hard work to look this cute
 I think he had a good time doing this
 I know she did
 this little guy was a lot harder to get a shot of, as you can imagine
 Then it was off to the Air Park to get pics of them in flight suits in front of one of their grandpa's planes.
 Again, bright sun makes for great pictures, but it gives our oldest boy an occasional Popeye look.
Oh yeah.
 Off we go, into the wild blue yonder...
 My wife likes this one because it captures their personalities so well.
 another of one grandpa's planes
Alert scramble...
 Then it was off to a festival outside gate 2. We parked and walked and this was what we saw.
 Okinawans are known for their tug of war.
 My kids favorite baby-sitter was playing in her band at the festival.
 Due to people in front of us, I had to put a boy on each shoulder to see over the crowd.
 Traditional dress...these boys are dressed as Eisa dancers.
 Pre-Christmas presents at Uncle and Tia's
 What could be bad about early presents?
Not a thing.
 Then our last outing in Okinawa was to Peace Prayer Park. This is the park full of shrines to honor all those that lost their lives (on both sides) during the battle of Okinawa.
 The pool is a map with the center for Okinawa.
 Here you can see that better with Japan, the Korean peninsula, China and the north part of the Philippines.
 The black stones in the background have the names of all those that perished much like the Vietnam memorial.
 There are hundreds of shrines to honor the dead and this is one of them.
 After the solemn part we took our kids to this playground in the park. It was awesome and totally wouldn't be allowed in the states due to safety reasons. The parks over there are amazing and sorely missed.
 Just hangin' around.
 This guy has no fear of falling, so I'm always right behind him.
And then we saw another butterfly on the way out. Goodbye to our beautiful island. We really hope that we get stationed there again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ocean longing

Well, it's been a long while since a blog entry due to the move to Oklahoma, but I had this entry in mind for the best of Okinawa diving. I was not able to post it while we were there because I was too busy trying to squeeze in the proverbial one more dive and get more blog fodder. Now that we are here and the dive options, enjoy these pictures.
Paradiso in the Keramas
 There were garden eels in the sand, and it was most excellent to "fly" over them
 Someone at work here asked me why I like diving and I said it is because it feels like flying, and "flying" in formation with wild sea turtles was a truly life changing experience.
 What brings you this fine day away from the EAC?
They are so graceful.
Tag, Dude, you're it.
 The detail on the shell was beautiful.
 Righteous, righteous!
 hunting for wildlife
shooting three of them
 In the middle of that coral mound at Sunabe is a cuttle fish. This was on  a stormy day and the vis dropped considerably as the dive wore on.
 He was changing colors and if you look you can see that the edges of him are purple. Look how well he blends with the coral.
 This lion fish was at a dive site called Onna. The only downside of a GoPro on your head that has no zoom is that you put your face toward wildlife to get a better shot...sporty.
 This was our last dive on Okinawa, and my wife and I felt like we were swimming through a discovery special on coral reefs.
 Unreal awesome.
 This is my wife's favorite spot, where she stopped counting the clown fish when she got to 40.
 There she is above that spot, showing me the clowns. How about the Sgt. Major Damsels up by her?
 The purple coral is compliment to the oranges and blues.
 Here is a sea snake at Sunabe, like the one that followed my wife on her first dive. Reference previous statement on zooming in...
 They are cool to watch.
An amazing location, and sorely missed.
 Diving totally rocks!
The beautiful ocean lives in our hearts and we look forward to getting back to it. We are definitely divers for the fun of swimming with the fauna and not because we just love diving...meaning we won't be doing any non-tropical or fresh water dives until we can get back to a corner of paradise. Our oldest son, when asked if he would miss the ocean when we got here to Oklahoma said, "nah, we'll just go to the beach there." Between Bali, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Okinawa and Hawaii, our kids thought the whole world was turquoise water and sandy beaches. Oh that it were. We'll be back there, though, because it is life affirming.