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Drop off diving
Situated east of Zamami Island, this point is home to many green sea turtles, and if you are lucky you could see more than 10 at a time. The green sea turtle is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and so they are in need of protection. Development has meant a loss of natural habitat for the turtles to lay their eggs, but the untouched beaches of the Kerama Islands are a vital natural habitat for the sea turtles.
This is a drift point with strong currents located east of Tokashiki Island. There is a strong current that runs along the long north-south lying island of Tokashiki, which attracts plankton to the steep wall-like formations at Unse. Large schools of banana fish gather to eat the plankton, and bigger fish such as giant trevally and dogtooth tuna turn up for a meal of banana fish. As both entry and exit require divers to drift dive without anchoring and divers must make a sudden decent grabbing hold of the rocks on the seafloor, this point can be enjoyed fully and safely by advanced-level divers who have a great deal of boat dive experience. Up-currents and down-currents easily appear here so even highly experienced divers need to be on alert when diving at this point.
Kuroshima Kita Twin Rock
This point is located at the north end of Kuroshima Island. Further north of the twin rocks there is also a rock formation that is partly exposed above the sea surface, and the 30-meter channel between it and the twin rocks can be challenging to cross with the tides and strong swells. If you head around to the north side of exposed rock, you will discover a dynamic drop-off that extends to a depth of about 40 m from the water surface. When the tides hit against the steep drop off, there is a good chance you will see schools of banana fish, horse mackerel, and dogtooth tuna. This spot is ideal for drift diving, and intermediate level divers who are capable of hovering in a state of neutral buoyancy can enjoy this dive site fully and safely.
This dive site is situated at the base of some precipitous cliffs on the north side of Zamami Island. It is well known for the spectacular Chishi Blue Cave. As you move deeper into the cave, you can see brilliant curtains of light shining down through thin breaks in the cave ceiling. This popular point is frequented by many divers who come to get a glimpse at these mystical curtains of light that ripple with the waves on the sea surface.
You can find Turtle Paradise west of Gishippu Island, where you are almost guaranteed to encounter turtles. There you may even meet one of the many resident hawksbill sea turtles, which are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Hawksbill numbers have fallen due to being sought after for their exquisite shells that were used as tortoiseshell material, but now they are a protected species. Development has meant a loss of natural habitat for the turtles to lay their eggs, but the untouched beaches of the Kerama Islands are a vital natural habitat for them now.
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