Sunday, July 27, 2008

Forbidden Island: There & back again

For the second time this month, I found myself taking some friends (no Hobbits) to Forbidden Island. Rosita wanted to show JP and her cousin, Lino the hidden pool there, and asked if I could lead hike. I asked Laurina and DJ to come and join us, since I haven’t taken them along in an excursion for quite some time now.

The hike almost got cancelled because the day started out quite rainy and there was some worry about the hike being too muddy. I was glad that I was able to convince the group that we can go slowly and that getting dirty on the hike was part of the fun anyway.

Rosita looked a little worried about the muddy trail.
Good thing she had her trusty walking stick! You have to go cut through some sword grass in the sabana to get to the islet.
Happy hikers: Rosita and Laurina
Then you go through a bit of secondary forest. It was pretty muddy and slippery. I thought for a second that maybe I shouldn't be so gung ho or determined the next time it's this rainy.
The hike was nice since the sun wasn’t too intense but we did need to be careful not to slip on the muddy ground. We had to make a few stops just to scrub the mud off the soles of our shoes on roots and rocks along the way. The trail was slowly getting overgrown by the foliage again. Time to bring a machete! DJ actually did most of the leading since this is his fourth time on the hike. I was glad to be at the back this time around, taking my time to look at things and to take a few pictures.

The pretty and fragrant Sumac or Aidia cochinchinnsis

Wild passionfuit or Passiflora suberosa
Dizzying heights

Can you see the fringing reefs? There she is!
There was enough walking sticks picked up on the trail between Laurina and Rosita for an entire cadre of hikers.

Looks quite treacherous!

Easy! Carefull!

Plenty rocks, nei!
Pretty sandstones in the dirt
Our constant seashore companion: Princess Naupaka, the Half-flower.

You can see two types of Screw Pines here: Pandanus tectorius in the foreground with the slimmer, longer leaves, and P. dubious in the background with the wider, shorter leaves. The Chamorros call these Kafu and Pahong respectively. There will be a quiz later.
Lantana camara or Wild sage. It is a pretty flowering shrub with an interesting odor.
We found some Dodder or what the Hawaiians call Kauna'oa growing in the sabana or grassland
Can you see the small white flowers of this parasitic plant?
I blogged earlier about the Hawaiian island of Lanai's official lei made of orange Kauna'oa

I made DJ a quick mwarmwar with Kauna'oa and Lantana .
I asked him to look like a matao: a Chamorro chieftain.

We made it! Laurina, JP, DJ, Lino and Rosita.

JP on location
Nice outcropping where you can see different layers of earth
I see you!
A Polished nerite (Nerita polita)
Some Plicate nerite (Nerita plicata).
These shells are bright yellow inside and can crawl pretty fast.

Are you all ready to go to the hidden pool?

Looking straight down to the opening of the cave

Lino squeezing in the narrow passage
C'mon, Rosita! I'll catch you if you fall!
JP, the avid photographer
The last time I was at the pool, I was a bit disappointed because the water was so low. We trekked out at about 2 P.M. thinking that the high tide would be upon us in an hour to insure enough water in the pool. Man, I’ve never seen that pool so low! It looks like the surf affects how much water there is more so than the tide itself. Oh, well. DJ and I jumped in the stagnant water anyway, and shared the time with the a few flagtail fishes and a lone sea cucumber.
An hour or two later, it was time to climb back out

Tanke Beach, Kagman

After Forbidden Island, I wanted to see Tanke Beach to maximize our time in Kagman. It gave DJ, Lauire and I the perfect opportunity to beachcomb a little for some neat critters. There are usually lots of marine debris on this beach since it faces the Pacific Ocean in the east. All sorts of trash washes up here from all over the Pacfic Rim.
Here's a curious sole with oysters growing in the little spaces or pockets.

A closer look after carefully taking out a few reveals some Isognomonidae, or Tree oysters. The beautiful inside is nacreous or pearly. The ancient Chamorros fashioned fish hooks out of these shells.

Plenty trash, nei!

A little hermit crab in a nice Fine-net Peristernia (Peristernia nassatula)

There are enough signs at Tanke Beach saying that it is a Marine Protected Area, yet we saw this guy obviously fishing there.

Goose barnacles (Lepas sp.) that were still alive attached to an old water jug.

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber


Tamara said...

Hey thats my Auntie Rosita...Hmmm..Im closing in on your identity..ha ha! I have lived here all my life and have never been down to the hidden pools at Frobidden..Looks gorgeous.

The Beachcomber said...

Trust me- the illusion of mystery is more intriguing than the actual reality..heehee!

The pool at Forbidden Island is nice when there is high water. Your Auntie says she will go back soon so maybe you and the familia can come along. I think you'll have to wait for big rain and high surfs for the pool to be replenished though.

Oh, yeah. I better sign up for that life insurance. Thanks for the comment and I'm waiting patiently for your new post.

Chitang said...

Beachcomber, you are right on target about the illusion of mistery being more intriguing than the reality..heehee! Trust me Tamy I know him/her???heehee! Uh oh..I better be nice or I will not be taken to anymore out of this world places in Saipan.

Truly Beachcomber, you are the best..I don't care what anybody are numero UNO in my book! Too bad you are too young for this Chica..hehehe Is that any hint for you Tammy? And Tammy, you know you're Aunt is YOUNG. Right? Right? heeheehee! Come join us on our next trek to Forbidden Is or Old Man by the Sea. Then we will try and take on the southern part of the island. But all that is going to happen after we all sign up for our life insurances. hahaha!