Ever since my childhood, I’ve harbored a deep love for the sea and its myriad marine creatures. However, living far from the coast meant that my experiences with sea life were largely confined to visits to Sea World, which, admittedly, is far from ideal.

This all changed when I chose to pursue my PhD in Okinawa, an opportunity that brought me very close to the sea. Residing near the ocean has been an enlightening experience, offering me the freedom to engage in marine sports at my leisure. The seas around Okinawa, known for their stunningly pristine corals and a diverse marine life, lie just at the edge of the coral triangle, making them among Japan’s most exquisite.

Prior to my move, I prepared for a new hobby I had long anticipated by obtaining a scuba diving license while at home in Bali. This was a novel and exhilarating venture for me, especially since my family never shared an enthusiasm for such activities, leaving me somewhat isolated from these experiences.

Upon my arrival in Okinawa, I immediately immersed myself in the underwater world. I purchased diving gear within my first few months and quickly connected with fellow diving enthusiasts, some even more passionate than myself. This marked the beginning of my aquatic adventures. I seize every opportunity to dive, always adhering to the rule of never diving alone – it’s essential to have a buddy!

Balancing diving with my PhD has been challenging, especially with frequent business trips limiting my time at sea. Despite these constraints, I make it a point to dive as often as possible, typically around twice a week. Diving here is also quite affordable; renting a tank costs 800 yen (previously 600 yen, but inflation has its say), good for about 60 minutes dive time.

I have several favored diving spots, but I’m particularly fond of the sandy bottoms and channels around Seragaki. I feel like I’ve encountered nearly every type of marine life here, except for sharks, which remain elusive. I also enjoy photographing the underwater world, and below are some of the shots I’ve taken with my trusty RX100-M1 at Seragaki, including my favorite picture of a turtle from a dive where we spotted about five turtles.

Then, there is the clownfish that was quite shallow, this was also very nice.

Finally, I took a picture of this cuttlefish almost 30m deep. It was as if it was trying to get our attention for pictures!

And there are some of the best pictures I took in Seragaki. I hope I will be able to get even better pictures in the future!