I've been nervous about diving the Grotto ever since I earned my Open Water certification back in May. People die there. It is supposed to be one of the most intense SCUBA diving experiences in Saipan. You have to climb down 116 stairs, jump over to a big rock without falling into the waves, jump down six feet to get into the water, and then dive really deep before you can swim out through the underwater channels. I won't even mention the current.
...and that is where Adam and Josh did there first dive EVER. And their second, third, and fourth. That's right, they earned their certifications at the Grotto. How frickin' cool is that?
The underwater cave is a lot larger than it looks from above. You could spend an entire dive exploring the inside of the cave with a flashlight, which is what we did for our 2 dives on Saturday. At its deepest point the Grotto is about 65-70 feet, thus making these my deepest dive to date. On both of those dives we saw 3 small white tip sharks sitting on the bottom, just hanging out. They were each about two feet long. On the second dive there was a five foot long white tip swimming around. He was the biggest shark I've ever swam with. He swam right up to the big rock that people use to get in and out of the water. Holy crap! I've never seen a shark get that close before!
We went outside the cave on our two dives on Sunday. We swam out through the cave on the righthand side and then swam along a wall and reentered the Grotto through the cave on the lefthand side. We were at over 90 feet for a few minutes! Holy crap! We didn't see any sharks, but we swam within 5 feet of a green sea turtle, saw some of the biggest (and tastiest) parrotfish I've ever seen, by far the biggest trigger fish I've ever seen (at least 2 feet long, maybe 3), some tuna, some bluefin trevalies, and many fish that I've never even seen before.
If only I had a speargun! Just kidding.
So the boys are now certified. I finally dove the Grotto. Not a bad weekend, huh?
We made plans with their divemaster to go on a boat dive some time this week. I can't wait.