Whale Watching Season in Full Swing

The whale-watching season is in full swing!  Whale-watching tours are administered and operated by the Zamami Whale Watching Association (WWA).  Stationed in the Zamami Port Terminal, the WWA provides whale-watching tour participants with heaps of whale-related knowledge during the pre-departure briefing.  After studying up on one of the ocean’s most majestic creatures, customers head out to the waters between and around Zamami’s islands for about two full hours of the real deal.  The WWA advises that customers don warm, water-proof gear as the rough winter seas will undoubtedly induce a degree of soaking due to sea spray coming off the boats.  If you are lucky you might instead get soaked by a powerful lobtail slap when humpback whale decides to swim up along side the boat.

From the Whale Watching Association.  Shot taken last week.

From the Whale Watching Association. Shot taken last week.

There are two tours per day: morning and afternoon.  Each tour includes approximately two hours of whale watching.  The total tour duration is not much longer due to the close proximity at which the whales inhabit Zamami Village’s waters.  Travel time is minimal.  However, tours are only available through booking in advance (read: reservation).  You can reserve your spot on a tour by either calling or emailing the Whale Watching Association.

Tel. 098-896-4141

Email: whale@vill.zamami.okinawa.jp

Adult 2-hour tour price (from Zamami Port): ¥5400

Child 2-hour tour price (from Zamami Port): ¥2700

From the Zamami Village homepage.  Veteran whale watchers search for whales and direct boats from Zamami's observation decks to ensure the highest chance of seeing whales.

From the Zamami Village homepage. Veteran whale watchers search for whales and direct boats from Zamami’s observation decks to ensure the highest possibility of sighting.

To commemorate the new whale-watching season, the WWA once again set up its “flower whale” in Zamami Port.  The flower whale is a whale-shaped beautification structure normally covered in black cloth during the summer months.  However, as soon as humpback whales make their way to Zamami, the flower whale too comes to colorful life.  Staff members line the life-sized structure with flowers in a pattern similar to a real whale’s hide.

From Zamami Village HP.  Whale Watching Association members at work on the flower whale.

From Zamami Village HP. Whale Watching Association members at work on the flower whale.

Complete!

Complete!

Further efforts to beautify and whale-ify the Zamami Port include refurbishing the life-sized whale statue in the water next to the kujira koen park.  Whale Watching Association members use small boats to prop ladders up in the water and apply a fresh coat of paint to one of Zamami’s most distinctive symbols.

Zamami Village HP.  Re-applying the whale's makeup.

Zamami Village HP. Re-applying the whale’s makeup.

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