I got my brave friend, Lyndsey, to go out with me. It was a decent day outside - started off a little chilly and cloudy, but quickly cleared up. After downing some Dramamine and tying on bright orange life-vests, we boarded the boat and sat on cushions on the floor, because all the window seats had filled up quickly. We departed from Tomari Port in Naha City around 9:00 in the morning, and the course took us north, not far off from areas that we've actually been to swim and dive at. After about a 45 minute boat ride, we quickly realized that all the sea-sickness people had warned us about was not from the actual ride out there, but from sitting at our location, rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth for an hour while we were to watch the whales. While Lyndsey ended up feeling quite nauseous the whole time out there, I, luckily, felt absolutely fine!
We saw our first whale right as the boat stopped - the huge creature came to the surface, blowing air into the sky and flapping his tail as he went back down into the ocean. And then there was another, and another, and another - they were amazing! Often, we would see many whales, and then we wouldn't see any for 5-10 minutes or so. When we saw them again, we would move our boat closer as if we were chasing them - us and the five other whale-watching boats that were out there! It was more difficult to photograph them than I had expected it to be. They were so quick and popped up in random places. I'd be looking 100 feet out, and then one would pop up just feet from the boat, right underneath me! Out of nowhere, one even FULLY jumped into the air (I wasn't quick enough to get a photo). It was HUGE and incredible how a creature that size is able to jump that high into the air! It was like a scene right out of a National Geographic magazine - It's hard to believe I actually got to see that, but I did, and it was probably one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed so far!
We were the only Americans aboard:)
The crew gave us a little instruction sheet in English... "When you feel like vomiting, do not vomit into the toilet, it clogs easily."
Lyndsey and I
Most of them were so close to our boat!