Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blue Grotto

Today was spectacular. After a breakfast which left more than a little to be desired we headed out for a tour around the north end of then island which included several gun emplacements from the War and a clif site where hundreds of Japanese military personnel and their families commited suicide rather than being captured by US soldiers. The site was spectacularly beautify but incredibly sobering at the same time. Later we headed to "Blue Grotto" a sinkhole which has been flooded by the ocean. Doning dive gear we descended the hundred or so stairs leading down to the water and prepared to explore this undersea world. Dropping below the surface we drifted into the darkness. As we passed under the cathedral ceiling, the underside of Saipan, the brilliant blue of the open ocean appeared before us. Several huge tunnels now connect the grotto to the sea and as we made our way out through one of these we were surrounded by a menagerie of wonderful fishes and a small turtle. Truly one of the more spectacular dives I have experienced. Tomorrow we head out to sea and I am excited to see what the rest of the area has in store.