Upon arrival after the steep climb down, it didn't take me long to enjoy that crystal pool of blue water, which feels all the more relaxing after the journey down. There was no shortage of colorful fish to be seen through my mask, though I remained aware that there was indeed a bit of ocean current. Mindful of the deaths of some Korean hikers a few months back, I kept my distance from any cliff lines or anywhere a wave could sweep in.
In contrast, with the barrage of bad news that seems normal for this place these days, I'm not sure people quite understand that this recent series of violent attacks on tourists have the potential to be cataclysmic and completely destroy our tourism industry worse than any JAL pullout -- quickly. The CNMI doesn't have a reputation for being particularly exotic or high end, but it does have the reputation for being safe. In no time in this age of rapidly spreading internet information, that reputation can change and a country like Japan that has an extremely low violent crime rate simple won't tolerate it. Already a Japanese blog is spreading the word that the Eagle Rays are no longer to be found in Eagle Ray City. A law was recently passed to protect the Eagle Rays after several reported poaching incidents. These are man made actions in which we are doing harm to ourselves.