Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sailing and Diving on Rota Island, Micronesia

Lin and Sooke at the visitors dock in the Rota West Harbor Marina after an overnight sail from Saipan. The 72 mile sail took 13 hours in light winds. A group of spinner dolphins were riding the bow wave for a few minutes during the sail. Of course Lin was asleep at the time and missed the spectacle of bio-luminescence as the dolphins streaked through the water.
The village of Songsong on the south end of Rota. The entrance through the reef into the West Harbor is on the top right. Wedding Cake mountain or Mount Taipincot is in the background.

Orangefin anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysopterus) on the Coral Gardens.

Dusky anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) and a Arc-eye hawk fish (Paracirrhites arcatus) in the Coral Gardens.

Reef whitetip shark (Triaenodon obesus) resting on the bottom in Senhanom Cave.

Spotfin lionfish (Pterois antennata)on the Table Top dive site.

Spotfin lionfish (Pterios antennata) in the Coral Gardens.

This steam locomotive was used to transport sugar cane to the Nanyo Kohatsu Kaisha (1918 to 1944) sugar mill in Songsong village.

Fire box for the sugar mill steam boilers. The sugar mill was a military target in WW II and was bombed a number of times by aircraft from the US aircraft carrier task force.

14 mm coastal canon located on the east side of Rota. The Japanese installed two canons to protect the East Harbor.

Ancient latte stones at the As Nieves quarry. The quarry is dated back to 800 BC.
The limestone pillars and caps were quarried by fire and primitive hand tools. Fires were started in trenches and the burned limestone removed. The process stated over again until the stones were roughed out. Mason then chipped and trimmed them into the caps and pillars. Earth was pushed under the stones to raise them to surface level and workers moved them out of the ground to be moved to construction sites.

All the stones were abandoned in the quarry. Many are cracked and sustained damaged over the years. It is a mystery why the stones were never used.

Lin on a 44,000 lb. cap stone. There are similar ancient latte stones throughout the Mariana Islands on Guam, Tinian, Saipan, Pagan, and Anatahan islands.

No comments: