Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Undersea World of Amami Oshima 2010

Happy Ocean Day! Ocean Day is a gratuitous Monday holiday that supposedly observes an emperor's return home from a boat trip to Hokkaido. I don't know why they even bothered to come up with such a lame excuse for a holiday. Why not just say we need a holiday in July, and this is it? I think the ocean deserves its own holiday, anyway. It's officially the beginning of summer in Japan, since school finishes up the Friday before.
I've been snorkeling a lot, since it's too hot to do much else. I have a compact Nikon point and shoot camera and an underwater case, which is basically a thick plastic Ziploc bag with a barrel and plastic lens. The underwater world is pretty amazing, so I'm always disappointed to upload my pictures and see them all blued out and fuzzy, except for close-ups. I finally figured out that "correcting" the images by sharpening and enhancing the color saturation made them look more like what I see through my mask. A lot of them have been cropped, also. Hopefully I'll be able to get some better pictures of the many different kinds of fish here in Amami, but here a few I took this year.

Most of the coral is dead, but floating  over the edge of the reef is like flying over a maze of coral canyons.

Although there's not much healthy coral, there are plenty of fish. Unfortunately I left my fish id book at home, so I don't know the names of any of them.

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