Ishigaki Jima (jima means island in Japanese) is situated in southern Japan being the main island of the Yaeyama Islands. It promises to be one of the best critter photography destinations in the country.
Consistently named as one of the world’s best islands and with over 2.5 million visitors last year, it should be no surprise that Maui is one of the world’s top dive destinations. Maui is part of the Hawaiian island chain in the north Pacific Ocean and is over 3700 kilometers from the closest major land mass. In fact, the islands of Hawaii are the most isolated population center on the face of this planet!
Clear water… check. Dancing sunbeams… check. Neon colored sponges… check. Schooling blue tangs… check. Model in perfect position… check. Easy shot… uh, no. The scene through my viewfinder suddenly morphs from a dazzling panorama to two puppy-dog-like eyes. I raise my head to find a large Nassau grouper staring at me and wiggling its pectoral fins as if to say, “Let’s play!” Such is the diving in the Cayman Islands. The water is consistently clear. The reefs are consistently healthy. And the animal encounters are consistently engaging.