Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Typical Grotto Dive

I do an average of 3 Grotto dives each week, which I think gives me a pretty good idea of what can be found there on any given day. These pics were all taken last weekend and represent things you could expect to see anytime you dive the Grotto. The picture above is a green sea turtle swimming near some of the big boulders outside of hole #1.This is a fairly small school of Tuna that hang out down the cliffline from the Grotto a ways. They were all up near the surface so I was floating face up to get this shot. I always enjoy just swimming into the middle of a school like that and becoming one of them.I was swimming over the top of one of the huge rock outcroppings outside of the Grotto when this eel poked his head up to say "hi". I find that most of the green morays really aren't that shy if you take the time to let them get used to you and you don't make any fast, erratic movements around them.This giant clam is one of the biggest I've seen anywhere on Saipan. It is outside of the Grotto and has obviously been there for quite a while to get this size. It is tucked into an out of the way spot where you wouldn't find it unless you knew right where to look, which is probably why it has lived this long and gotten this big.And this is a big colony of Plerogyra sinuosa, or bubble coral. This is a fairly uncommon type of coral that prefers living where it gets a good current ripping past it. There is also a fairly big cluster at Wing Beach, but these are the only two places I have seen it on Saipan, although I'm sure there have to be more spots.Unfortunately this is becoming an all too common site outside the Grotto thanks to the illegal fishermen. I spend at least an hour every weekend untangling the fishing line from the coral heads, wrapping it all up and taking it out.And sadly this is also becoming a very common sighting inside the Grotto. The swimmers who come down into the Grotto to party think it's fun to just throw their empty cans into the Grotto when they're done with them. I pick up an average of 6 of these every weekend as well. Tomorrow I'll show you some of the cool shots I got on my night dive in the Grotto last Saturday night.

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