Secret cove beyond the rocks and waves

BELOW the rugged cliffs and ledges and beyond the rocky shoreline of Marine Beach at the eastern coast of Saipan is a cave-like spot that would catch the eye of adventurers.

I’ve been to Marine Beach several times before but did not think that behind the huge rocks is a cove perfect for a photo shoot, until a week ago.

The small cove is concealed and you won’t even know it’s there. The tide was out when I and a couple of buddies waded through ankle-deep water at the very right end of the beach facing the water. Picking our way through the slippery and moss-covered rocks was a challenging feat, especially if you are protecting your camera but the hardship made it all the more appealing.

When we reached the very end of the first rock, it seemed like a dead end and there was no more way out except to wade in deeper water and go around but to the left was a small narrow enclosure—so narrow that we have to crawl our way out. The opening led to another section like a small rocky chamber which goes all the way up to the top of the cliff. Direct sunlight poured down from the small opening above, making the area look like a small grotto.

Framed by the huge rocks, the view from the enclosure was stunning. You can see the huge sprays of water on the cliffs at the far end of the beach, a contrast to the soothing splashes of the rivulets flowing around the toward the enclosure we were in.

There was more beyond, but we dare not venture further. It was too dangerous. A few meters from where we were, huge waves go up as high as the cliffs and roll back to the sea with such force that threaten to carry off anyone and anything in its path.

For a moment, everything suddenly seemed to come to a standstill and suddenly, the tide was slowly coming in. We hurried back to the shore before our entrance point will be filled with water.

I’ve seen what Marine Beach was like during high tide and during times when the wind blew so strong that standing on your feet became almost impossible. I’ve witnessed members of the rescue team holding on to ropes and fighting a losing battle the strong current in search of a lost fisherman. It was hard to imagine that the peaceful and still beach we were on that Saturday noon was the same beach that shows unimaginable fury at times.

Marine Beach is an ideal place to spend a day out. The place has picnic shelters and tables, restrooms, an outdoor shower and BBQ pits and a long stretch of white albeit rocky beach line but the waters speak differently.

There is none of the gentle splashing of the waves on the shores to lull you to relaxation there but waves so strong and huge that could sweep you out to the sea any minute.

And oh, if you dare adventure to that secret cove beyond the rocks, make sure it is low tide and as the locals say, ask permission from the spirits of the land and water first before venturing there.

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