Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some Cool Discoveries

I was doing a dive last week that I had never done before on Saipan. I know that probably seems very hard to believe that there could be anywhere around this island that I hadn't already been exploring many times, but there are quite a few areas actually that I still have yet to explore. The thing that grabbed my immediate attention about this place was the way that there was a wall on the other side of the reefline that dropped off to about 30-35' and went down to a sandy bottom. One minute you are within inches of the surface and the next, you're in 35' of bright blue water looking down on a sandy bottom. The wall was honeycombed with all kinds of holes and little caves, so I was having a blast squeezing in and out of those. Then all the sudden I came across this very old rusted chain draped across this rock. I gave it a tug, but it was attached, so I started following it to see where it would lead. After about 30' of chain, it led me to this.Can you make it out? I had to swim around it a couple times and then do a double take. It was badly rusted and had obviously been in that exact same spot for many, many years. Here's another look at it from another angle.It's an old anchor, from the looks of it, a very old anchor. A friend of mine looked up the anchor design online and found a fisherman's anchor from the 1800's that looks very much like it. There were a few other metal odds and ends close to the anchor, and there were some things that looked like petrified wood timbers that were now mostly surrounded by coral. From the placement of the anchor, it is quite obvious that whatever kind of boat or ship it was sailed straight into the sheer wall of the reef and sank right on the spot. Because there is a fairly deep sandy bottom there, who knows what might be buried under the sand. I do know that it has me asking a lot of questions and very curious as to what type of ship it might have been. So have you seen this anchor in any of your dives? Do you know where it is? If you ask really nice, I might be willing to take you out with me on my next exploratory dive of this area to do some more investigation.