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Snorkeling near Songaksan

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Wild Goat
A wild goat on the cliffs near the ocean.
The steps down to the lower cave
The steps down to the lower cave.
The bat!
One of the bats we found in the caves.
Leaving the cave
We crawled back out of the cave and down to the ocean to go snorkeling.

In the map above, near the southeastern tip of the main island, you’ll see what almost looks like a little island itself sticking out. That’s where this video was shot. It’s a very nice area and the drive there is very relaxing and mostly outdoors with little development. We parked at the top of the cliff and followed an old path down to the shore. There are wild goats that live in the rocks which is quite nice. We found an old man-made cave/bunker that the Japanese used in war time. There were bats and these strange glossy cricket looking bugs everywhere. After exploring the cave we went snorkeling. The water is still around 80 degrees, so it’s really pleasing. I’m going to be sad when it starts to get colder as the winter approaches.



Sojeongbang Waterfall

Sojeongbang Waterfall.
Overlook near Sojeongbang Waterfall.
Overlook near Sojeongbang Waterfall with Seopseom Island in the background.

Today we woke up a little late but decided to go snorkeling at Jeongbang waterfall. Well, when we got there the surf was pretty rough and one of the locals quickly informed us that we weren’t allowed to go swimming in the ocean or around the waterfall. The locals are pretty fond of not letting anyone do anything it seems. Especially if it’s interacting with nature in some way. I still find this very strange. If I were to dump a bag of garbage out onto the shore as I spoke with this gentleman, I don’t think he would have found it strange… but going swimming in the ocean? Absolutely preposterous!

So we talked to the shop keeper on our way out and he suggested we try Sojeongbang waterfall as we would be permitted to actually touch the waterfall all we wanted. So we jumped on the bikes and headed over. It was a very short ride. The only entrance to the waterfall is walking through a restaurant… Are they trying to tell me something?

The fall was small but VERY powerful. The water hitting your back felt very good, but the water was almost like ice. It was a shock but felt so good after this sweltering summer heat and humidity. After playing in the water for a while we dried off and headed up to an overlook where I snapped a few more pictures.



Diving Little Munseom

I went diving this Sunday at Little Munseom island, just off the southern coast of Seogwipo. It was a good dive but a little murky. I took along a little point and shoot and tested the video function for the first time. Enjoy.



Seogwipo Times

So I woke up early enough to come and write a blog entry. 🙂 Things are going well here in Seogwipo. This past Saturday I went scuba diving in the morning and then to a westerners party later that night. The scuba diving here is really very good. There are huge soft coral cities! Most were a purple color mixed with orange and reds. There were also these more majestic looking feathery white corals as well. The first dive was a relatively shallow dive where we skimmed through corals in rock fields. There were some great walls that would be twenty or thirty feet high around us. I saw a very large lion fish at the base of a rock wall on that dive.

I hate to do this but here are some pictures I skimmed off the local dive shop site that we used to go diving, I wanted you to get an idea of the things I saw. I’m just sad I didn’t have a camera!

soft coral Soft Coral
Lion Fish Lion Fish
Box Fish Box Fish

The second dive was even better. We dove off the southern face of the island. It was a wall dive and it was spectacular! We dropped down to around 33 meters (100 feetish) and the bottom looked to be around 130-150 feet in places. The corals were very big and hung off the rock wall out into the ocean. This is where I saw the most of the white feathery corals. I saw a bunch of box fish, another lion fish and these Nemo type fish. They were black with orange stripes if I’m remembering right. I also saw these little crayfish looking guys that lived on the top of sea anemones. They were translucent and very tiny. I’m sure all the divers out there are like, duh they were “such and such”… I can’t remember their names. I’m bad with fishy identification! Anyway, the dive was superb and I can’t wait to go again.

Teaching the munchkins has been great. March is the start of a new school year here and some of my classes have changed. I think one that had my favorite student has changed but I’m not sure yet. I’ll be sad if this is true.

Anyway, I wanted to post some photos that I didn’t get a chance to post last time. Here they are:

Melissa and Olivia Melissa and Olivia
Julie Julie
Hellions Hellions!
Ally Ally
Nancy Nancy. It’s funny, Nancy Kam and I were talking about how people with the same names share similar personalities in some aspect. This girl is no exception. She never pays attention to anything in class and just draws the entire time.
Nancy, Ally, Megan and Andy Nancy, Ally, Megan and Andy
Nancy’s cousin and wife in Jeju City Nancy and I went to Jeju City to visit her cousin. They took us to a restaurant that overlooked the ocean and we had “hway”. It basically means things that live in the ocean, all served raw. I ate many of the things I look at while diving. I had raw hermit crab, clams, oasters, fish in many varieties, sea cucumber, and many others. It comes in courses, I think about 4 or 5 in all. The items in this picture were only the first course!
Halmony at the everyday market Grandmother at the everyday market selling vegetables
Nancy’s cousin’s family Nancy’s cousin’s family



scuba diving fun at the breakwater

click to watch diving the breakwater video Click on the thumbnail to watch the video!

so last night jeff and jim and i went scuba diving at the breakwater in monterey. i shot the Sony HDR-FX1 high-def camera in a Light & Motion Bluefin housing. pretty darn nice setup. i’m still working on some video clips for this post and hope to have them up tonight. (ok, i just posted the video…) i didn’t get much good stuff, but i’ll try and post a few seconds anyway. it was a beautiful sunset as we kicked out and the water was calm and clear. many fish and critters were out and about on the rocks which made for a nice dive. jim and i lost jeff somewhere in the dive and then we all lost each other towards the end. you get so consummed with the little world unfolding in the viewfinder of your camera and forget all about your buddies after a while. i looked up and covered the lights on my rig and looked around… blackness… it’s a creepy feeling at first, you feel so alone. but if you just look around at the rocks and fish and feel the motion of the water, it starts to feel like home… at least it does for me. all i can hear is my own breath, and i realize i’m floating alongside the fish, in a different world. it makes me feel calm and at ease. you are so focused on where you’re at that the worries and stresses of the “above” world slip away… watching all the life and interactions underwater really makes me appreciate life, in all its forms. and it really makes me realize how arrogant and ignorant we humans are. all we think about is ourselves… our cars, our houses, our emotions, meanwhile our choices are messing up the balance of the world. believe it or not, it’s something i know in my bones. i think the world is at a changing point right now. the earth is giving us a choice, we can change and come back to her, becoming part of the world again, living in it. or we can ignore her and she will get rid of us and start over. right now we view the world as a commodity to be consumed or used or molded into something we see as having some kind of “value”. it’s the unbalanced consciousness we are all involved in, and it needs to be changed. i think our very survival depends on making this change. only time and your involvement in examing yourself will determine the outcome. when’s the last time you sat and really questioned your place in life? questioned the things you do? maybe it should be today.

ok, ok, i will step down from the soap box now.