Out with the tide

A DELIGHTFUL respite from the daily grind of life in this beautiful island would not require one to spend thousands of dollars for an exotic vacation far away. You can have a vacation right where you are, with freedom to choose between short breaks of an hour or two or a whole day— it’s all up to you but you keep your eyes and senses open to discover places that people from other places would give a lot for.

A short drive to the far right end of the Smiling Cove Marina one afternoon some days back gave me another spot to write about and share to people who are thinking that there’s nothing interesting in this island anymore.

The tide was out when I and my roommate ventured into the dried out sea bed. I had been to this area several times before, but it was my first time to be there when there was barely any water on the sea at all. I grabbed the chance to explore the other side of the island. With my flimsy sandals, I picked my way slowly among the sharp rocks and corals, pausing every now and then to snap pictures of anything that catches my attention.

Seaweeds which look like small dark patches when the water is high bent to the seafloor as low as they could, soaking up whatever water was left.

The extreme humidity forgotten, I got lost in time as I looked up and gazed at one of the most beautiful sights Saipan has to offer during these times. Against a spectacular backdrop of blue skies and seas, blossoming flame trees dotting the hills completed the picture, making it look like this part of Saipan was in flames, a photographer’s delight.

There was no other sign of life from where I was standing, save for a few crabs scurrying to their holes and some fish stranded in little pools of water and among      the thick seaweeds whose splashes I tried in vain to capture with my camera.

Birds swooping to catch a fish or two from the water added to the beauty of the afternoon. Soon, the tide started coming back, so fast indeed that before I knew it, the spot where I was standing minutes earlier was already covered in water. Returning to the shore to sit on a fallen log, I saw the seaweeds standing up and springing back to life, once again looking like patches of small dark islands as always. Life has returned to normal for the sea creatures, breaking the brief respite they enjoyed when the tide was out.

This island still has so much to offer if you look at it with a new perspective. After all, the best things in life are still free.

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