Saipan, snorkeling points: Grotto and East Bay.

※ You want to see this article in Korean? Click here.


It was snorkeling that I was excited about the trip to Saipan for the first. At the same time, It required a lot of stamina. I planned to do the first snorkeling in Grotto and the second in Managaha, but I didn't. The reason why I didn't snorkel on Managaha Island, where anyone would visit, was because I snorkeled in East Bay instead. And I was very satisfied with my choice.


Notes Before snorkeling


1. You need a guide to keep you safe.

Snorkeling is the most popular maritime activity, and can be enjoyed without having to be a swimming or diving veteran. With just one snorkeling device and a life jacket, people who are not familiar with water can float on the water and peep into the sea. Of course, you should be familiar with safety guidelines, and you need to be prepared for any eventuality. Beginners who are not familiar with water are not likely to be familiar with such safety, so it's better to snorkel with a team with the person who is responsible for your safety. In particular, such safety guards are essential in areas where the environment itself is rough (such as rough waves or deep sea).

▶ I wrote the contents "How to make a reservation for snorkeling with the guard" under article.


2. It is a matter of choice, but you should recognize the sun screen that you put on can kill coral.

After realizing that sunscreen components were deadly to coral, I snorkelled without sunscreen. I will summarize the details of this at the bottom of this writing. I thought this article would be a cosmetic story, not a travel story, so I put it at the bottom of the story.


3. Never snorkeling by yourself

It is safe to snorkle in places where there are many people. In case of an accident, you should be able to get help. In places where the current is strong or the waves are rough, even veterans can find it difficult to support themselves. Make sure to check for being safety guards and snorkels in these places.


4. Snorkeling requires more strength than you think.

It is also good to prepare sweet foods to eat after snorkeling. M


5. Avoid feeding the fish you encounter during snorkeling.

When you bring meal for fish and go into the water, many fish gather, but this method has a bad effect on the sea. It not only pollutes the area of entry but also reduces the number of natural feeding activities of fish.




pic from Pixabay.com

Grotto Cave

- Address: Grotto Dr, Saipan 96950, CNMI

- Hours: 10AM–5PM


Upon arriving at the hotel early in the morning, I set off for Grotto Cave, forcing myself to stay awake. When I arrived at Grotto Cave, I really felt that I had come to Saipan for a trip and could not hide my excitement.


When I planned this trip, the most curious thing about the trip was the cobalt water in Grotto Cave. When many people plan their trip to Saipan, Managaha island is the first place to visit. But I wasn't interested in snorkeling on the shallow beaches of the white sand. I wanted to explore deep water though I couldn’t swim. And I thought Grotto Cave would be the best place to experience deep water.


parking lot of Grotto cave

Snorkeling in grotto caves is not personally possible. At the entrance to the Grotto Cave (+parking grounds), there were guards, who blocked personal approach. The reason was simple: Safety problems. Grotto Cave is a place where waves are strong and water changes frequently, so only teams with safety guides could enter and enjoy snorkeling or diving. Guards don't restrain individuals if they're just looking. But if you're going to enter by yourself with snorkeling equipment, the guards will come running and talk to you. "Are you here alone? Do you have a guide?" In fact, I have witnessed this situation several times. I have translated between a Korean and a guard who is not good at English. Among them, I translated for a Korean who couldn't speak English.



WARNING!

No Lifeguard

Enter at own risk

Guided access recommended

Use extreme caution

Conditions change rapidly



Grotto Cave, where the road and the water were rough

The accessibility of Grotto caves is bad, as people used to go down a rope a long time ago. There are stairs now, but the slope is still steep and the road is rough. So I had to free my hands when I went down here. The snorkeling gear hung on my arm, I let my hands free in case of emergency, and then slowly went down. As I neared the Grotto cave, I could hear the sound of strong waves. I couldn't help but wonder how big the waves were down there. I was wondering if I could snorkel there. But when I saw so many people floating on the water, I made up my mind that I could do it too. Once again, the excitement of the Saipan trip came in.


As you can see in the picture above, people either enter or rest at the place where people are standing. From this rock to the place where I took my picture, the waves were so strong that even the locals were reeling from the waves. Waves are very common to locals. Nevertheless, the waves here have made them reeling, too. Travelers who visit to snorkel moved to that rock with the help of locals.




Grotto was really deep. It was completely different from snorkeling in shallow places. I had to save those images in my memory because there was no camera at the time. To describe snorkeling in Grotto without pics,

1. I could see blue and dark water, like the video you can see in an ad saying, "Our TV is so super high-definition." No, more than that, it gave off a clear, deep blue glow. The beautiful cobalt-colored water that Grotto Cave shows was more than I had imagined, and there was no way to express it except to say that it was marvelous.

2. If you look closely at the picture above, you will see a very deep blue light through the huge cave crevices in the middle of the picture. If you move to that place, you can see the mysterious blue sea with your own eyes. It was so beautiful that I could’t describe my feeling into words.




The water in Grotto Cave was so clear and deep that it made me feel as if I were floating in a very high sky. It was amazing to see with my own eyes such deep water. Snorkeling in shallow places may be better just to see fish. But if you want to enjoy the beautiful deep sea and fish at the same time, Grotto Cave is the best.


The reason why Grotto Caves emit a particularly clear light

Grotto Cave is full of mysterious blue light. This is because Grotto's undersea cave is connected to the sea on the other side.




East Bay

- Address: Saipan 96950, CNMI (Click to view the Google Map)

- NOTE: There is a private property on the way to East Bay, which may restrict personal entrance on the move.


Another snorkeling point was East Bay. This place is not very well known in Korea. In Saipan, Managaha Island, Grotto Cave and Forbidden Island are known as the snorkeling points. But people were not easily able to get information about East Bay. I learned about this area through the snorkeling team I booked. Originally I was going to snorkel in Grotto Cave and then on Managaha Island the next day, but I changed my plan.


“You have to go there. It's really pretty there. It's an area that people don't know much about, and it's hard for individuals to snorkel. It's a private property, so you might not be able to enter. But it's really beautiful there because the water is clear and the ocean is open. Don't worry, we can get in there."



The way to East Bay

The road to East Bay was quite a long way off. Saipan Island itself is not wide, so if you say it's this far, People can think it's weird. As we ran for a long time to reach East Bay, we could see what the power of Saipan's typhoon was like last year. The thick trees were bent and plucked. The beach was not visible because the forest was dense before, but now the beach looks pretty like the pictures. It is said that the typhoon has cleared a lot of trees. Considering that the World Resort's water park facilities are still being repaired, the typhoon must have been more powerful than I thought


I arrived at East Bay and got in with only snorkeling equipment. Like the pictures above, East Bay was ridiculously pretty and green. The problem was that the only way to get it was to jump. When you get out of, you climb up a ladder, but when you get it, jumping was the least dangerous way. Because the waves are quite high here, the ladder is often shaken, so it is better to follow the instructions of the person in charge.