Thursday, May 22, 2008

Living in the limelight, the universal dream

A bunch of us took a trip aiming to hit Spotlight Cave and Bonzai Cliff. The latter almost never works out because the conditions are usually too rough, as was the case yet again on Sunday. Spotlight is quite unique with that beam of light. It doesn't rivet me for a full 50 minutes of diving, but I still like this site. Here is my revised top twenty list for CNMI diving. Sport Diver chose two dives I rank last on the top 20 list as must do dives in the CNMI. It might be easier to see here. To each his own I guess. I'm big on caves and grottos and places with cool landscapes and contrasts of light and dark.

Here is a thought that might ruffle a feather or two, and this is from someone who loves diving and has done it alot: Sometimes the pictures are even more impressive than seeing these things in person. The macro in particular brings out the contrasts in the subject and intensifies the experience -- kind of like reducing a sauce. For instance, I've looked at the nudibranches Harry Blalock is so enamored with. They're reasonably cool, but to me, they look much cooler in Harry's photos. Now, there's more to diving than the visual landscape. It's also a mindset -- enhanced by the adventure and the feeling of escape from the humdrum nature of daily life. Some of the dives stick with you a long time. For me, the long, deep descent into the Blue Hole in Palau, left, really sticks out. You make this long, slow descent through this wide, deep hole with the sun shining in and along the wall are these rich sea fans and the normal bevy of fish Palau is noted for. Beyond that, you can do this on the same dive as the renowned Blue Corner.

These Spotlight Cave pictures here in Saipan come courtesy of Mark Robertson, who captures a diver deep in prayer in the lower pic. I'm merely ascending to heaven in the pic up top. I only got part of the way. Apparently, Hendrix isn't touring this summer.
On a completely unrelated note, there is a great story on blogging in the Sunday New York Times. Completely unrelated not number two: The burgers at Java Joes are shockingly good.


Marianas Eye said...

When I was taking photography courses in college, one of the things our professor said is that the truly outstanding photograph depicts a mythical place... that even if you were right there at the moment the picture were taken, what you see is ordinary, but what the photograph transforms it into a mythical place. Thus your ascent to Heaven.

Mark R said...

Of course, NO ONE looks better in the SPOTLIGHT than do YOU, Jeff!