Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rota, Rota, Rota

I must apologize for the paucity of posts over the past few days. Something about the 18 hour days, several of which are underwater, that has me longing for my rack (bed) as soon as possible. I was able to stay up just a little while longer last night after capturing one the most amazing sunsets of the cruise.

For the past two days we have been surveying around Rota, a wonderful little island 50 miles north of Guam. While we have not seen very many large fish, the water has been warm and clear and the island is beautiful. One difference I had not originally thought of is the birds. Birds have been all but exterminated on Guam by the brown tree snake, a predator introduced from the South Pacific shortly after World War II.

There is something about being in a small boat with terns, petrels, and boobies wheeling overhead that just feels right. Rota also differs from both Guam and Saipan as it was not burned to the ground during the war. As such, the island is highly vegetated with a wide variety of fruit and flowering trees and bushes.

In general the diving has been good with several areas of high coral cover and some spectacular walls both above and below. One area we dove today was dominated by a wall dropping nearly 100 feet to a shelf far below. I will try to ask some of the other teams if they have some nice underwater shots for the blog. I am afraid all of my footage is video and I have not had the chance to put together any new clips. Those will have to come later.


At 2:59 AM, Blogger marianas life said...

Next time, come visit our science class room at Hopwood Junior High on Saipan.

Also, how do I get a berth on that boat, as a teacher!!! :)

I'm going to link your blog.


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