Monday, October 15, 2007

Saipan dive sites ranked

After diving more in Tinian and Rota, I updated this list. It will continue to get updated.

Strangely enough given how close and easy it is, I did my first dive at Obyan this weekend, and this dive completes my tour of all the major dive sites in Saipan, which I'm going to rank VH1 style. I pretty much did Grotto Dive after Grotto dive for a long while, but I've now made it most everywhere since May, and I'm glad to have done so. The diving is probably the thing that keeps me calm when school and my kids get too taxing, and even better are dive trips to other locales that really rejuvenate. I'm hoping to get a group to dive in Rota on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which I've been wanting to do for a while.

I have been diving a lot of late with Rose Callier, who apparently isn't sunbathing topless at Wing Beach anymore since news of this event hit this blog and her Midwest conservatism kicked in like a doctor's tap on the knee. Neither of us were that familar with Obyan, so I placed a call to Axe Murderer Tours President Harry Blalock and he led a bunch of us, Brad Derksen, Mary McGee, Rose and I to this dive site, which I really, really loved.

I found it much better than Lau Lau, the other nearby easy dive, and thought Obyan had an even simpler entry that was not bad at all to my boat diving tastes. Obyan has great visibility, lots of different landscapes, and best of all, I didn't see this SOB triggerfish that viciously attacked Rose and I last weekend at Naftan. I've never seen an aggressive fish on the probably 300 dives I've done, but this sucker was hell bent on an Italian meal nipping Rose good, then me, then going for Bev's fin, though Bruce Bateman was apparently far too sour tasting as he was the only one completely unscathed in that group. During our surface interval Rose was joking about getting a fish std, but I informed her that lunch with Bruce Ruszala was probably a greater threat than this fish. Sorry Brad, I do break your chops even when you're not around. I know you're not too surprised

Naftan last week, also a first on my tour, was thoroughly lame in my opinion. Boyscout, the second dive was far more impressive with a coral bed that stretched almost endlessly, though there were shockingly few fish considering the massive amount of coral out there.

So, while I haven't done all these dives numerous times, I'm ranking them as I see them. I place a high value on visibility, strange and unusual sightings, and I'm not talking about Bateman hitting the water sans fins, I am talking about atypical sea life and an occasional change up by seeing something different like a turtle or an octopus. I am big on clear, blue water and cool and unusual underwater seascapes.

Here is my list of preferred Saipan dive locations in order:

1. The Grotto
2. Bonzai Cliff
3. Obyan
4. Wing Beach
5. Bird Island
6. Chinsen Mauru
7. Lau Lau
8. Spotlight Cave
9. Emily the wreck formerly known as B-29
10. Boy Scout
11. Ice Cream
12. Dimple
13. Naftan
14. Eagle Ray City


Bev said...

Naftan was lame but I had fun diving with you guys! Grotto, Wing, and Bonzai are my top dive sites as well. The only dive site I haven't seen is Spot light Cave. Is it worth a $40 boat ride?

Jeff said...

I think it is Bev. You need to go about noon on a clear day when the "spotlight" is shining. Check this pic Mark Robertson took over there:

Rose said...

Hey Bev~ Let me know when you want to do spotlight, I haven't been there yet either. Hopefully I won't have to do any fish fighting, but if need be...I AM READY! :) PS Can I get a CD of the Naftan dive photos too? I can drop one off to you to put them on. Let me know! Grotto, Wing and Lau Lau are actually my top 3 dive spots so far in that order.