Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cooling off at Sugar Dock

Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol

IF it’s a quick dip in the shallow waters, a few minutes or a whole day of rest and relaxation you want right in the center of Susupe, the best place to go to is Sugar Dock, located a few meters just across from the Mt. Carmel Church.

The long, wide stretch of cement road leads to the end of the dock which is a favorite of many especially in the early morning and evening hours where many just hang around to enjoy and breathe the salty tang of air from the sea.
Anytime of the day, the sight of people casting their lines in the water is common.
The beach at Sugar Dock is ideal for swimming especially for children with its crystal clear waters and fine, white sand. The beach has an open shower to rinse off the salty water when you have had enough, but if you are not in the mood to frolic in the sand and sea, the benches and cottages provide an idyllic spot to picnic with family and friends. You can pass time watching banana boat riders or jet skiers who leave huge splashes of waves behind them. Or you can daydream, laze around, meditate or just cool off on a humid day.
Sugar Dock beach is one of Saipan’s beautiful beaches and you don’t have to go far to get there.
Oh, one more tip for sunset buffs—Sugar Dock is one of the best places to go to on Saipan. If you have not experienced spending those few marvelous moments watching the full round sun making its downward journey and finally dipping and disappearing beyond the horizon, you have been missing a lot. Grab a few minutes of your time one day and be fortunate to enjoy and witness one of nature’s spectacular wonders unfold.

This article was first published HERE

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lazing away at Laulau Beach

I first visited this gem of a beach in San Vicente late in the afternoon a few months back. Dark clouds hung in the skies, threatening to let loose a dam of water anytime.

Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol

When I downloaded the contents of my memory stick, all I got were bleak-looking photos. I vowed to return and my next chance came last Friday.

Deadbeat on the way back from an unplanned hike to Mt. Tapochao, my buddies and I decided to drop by Laulau Beach to catch our breath, and it was a good decision.
Laulau Beach is not your ordinary, everyday beach where people can easily gain access to and picnic anytime of the day. The distance and accessibility makes it remote and you have to really allot time to be there, hence the absence of the usual crowds.
You should also prepare to rough it out there, because there are no bathrooms, no telephone, and no man-made facilities to save for a couple of cottages with benches and barbeque pits.
But Laulau Beach is a popular attraction and one of the best dive spots on Saipan. Nothing beats the pleasure of wading in the warm and shallow waters of the beach.
Interesting lava rock outcroppings provide an added attraction to Laulau Beach. Standing on the shore facing the ocean, you can see Naftan point at the far end to your right. On the left, the ongoing construction of the Laulau Bay Resort can be seen from a distance.
Prepare for a slow, rough ride if you plan to go to Laulau Beach. You have to navigate several bumpy twists and turns amid bushes and trees, but a treasure await you at the end of the road.
The rough road to Laulau Beach from San Vicente snakes its way all the way to Kagman, traveled much easier if you board a four-wheel drive, or an all- terrain vehicle. The drive to Laulau beach is an attraction by itself where you have to pass by huge rock formations, hanging vines and thick foliage. Got a day to spare? This is an ideal place to laze away.

This article was first published HERE.
More fotos HERE

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A short respite at Tanapag beach

Satisfying a beach bums thirst on Saipan is not that hard, with the numerous pristine beaches available just minutes away from each other.

Looking for a place to grab a quick lunch led me and a buddy to this serene beachside in Tanapag, just a few meters across from the church one day. Although the beach was located near a few residential houses, it gives the impression of being secluded in a sense that nobody populated the beach at that particular time, or for the succeeding times that I dropped
Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol
by the place for a few minutes of relaxation.

Unlike the other beaches on Saipan, this particular spot makes you feel as though you own the place. Time seemed to stand still as I sat on a protruding root of a tree, with the blue sky and the crystal clear sea stretched out endlessly before me.

What a relief is it to shed off the thought of work and daily deadlines from my mind for just a few minutes!

This is one beach where you can freely dip your feet in the warm waters and feel the gentle lapping on your skin without thinking of huge waves rumbling and rolling in an eternal race against each other to the shore.

If you feel an urge to get away from it all without going away, this is the place for you. Albeit residential houses are nearby and you can hear the happy shouts of children every now and then, it does not interfere in the privacy and the feeling of seclusion the beach gives you.

Late afternoon hours spent at Tanapag Beach is also “the thing” especially for sunset buffs, an ideal place to watch the sun cast spectacular splashes of reds, oranges, yellows and vermilions as it sets for the night.

Grab a snack pack, a bottle of water, and your camera and drop by this strip of Saipan’s treasure for a short respite anytime.

To get to Tanapag Beach, you can either go by the main road or opt for a more leisurely drive at the back road via the Lower Base, passing by the Tanapag cemetery.

This article was originally published HERE