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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saipan - Diving the Grotto

I went to Saipan last week to visit my daughter and her two sons. I took some time off to scuba dive The Grotto, one of the most interesting dive sites I've ever experienced. I first dove The Grotto in 1980 with the legendary local diver, Ben Concepcion.

The Grotto is a collapsed marine cave. You enter The Grotto by hiking down over one hundred steps through what was once the cave's roof. At sea level there is a huge rock which serves as a diving platform. There are three underwater passages from The Grotto to the open sea.

At the bottom of the stairs looking toward the rock from which divers and snorkelers usually enter the water. Notice the "Washing Machine" of turbulence in front of the rock.

From the water looking back to the entrance. The stairs are in there somewhere.

From the rock looking at the northernmost underwater passage to the open ocean. The rope and buoys are there to assist exit.

This is looking out the southernmost passage toward the open ocean.

Green sea turtle.

Diver and sea fans.

Looking toward the open ocean from the middle passage.

Resting on the rock. Between dives you need at least an hour of surface time. The diver in the middle is Harry Blaylock, proprietor of Axe Murder Tours, a wonderfully laid back dive operation.

Sea fan.

Yes, it's really that blue. Looking out from The Bat Cave which is about 33 meters (100 feet deep) and just north of the northern Grotto entrance.

This photo of an Electric File Clam was taken inside The Bat Cave. The mantle of this beautiful clam is edged in a bright iridescent blue that seems to flash disco-style. Locally it is known as the Disco File Clam. (I think it's actually a scallop....)


Small coral head.

Don't forget to check the location of The Grotto by clicking on the "Click to see in Google Maps -> The Grotto, Saipan, CNMI" link below.

1 comment:

  1. It is really nice posting. I will recommend this post to my friends too. thanks a lot.
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