June 1, 2010

Day trip to Managaha

We spent this year's Memorial Day out on Managaha.  It's a great little getaway and it's a free ferry ride for local residents.  For our day trip we brought along our beach gear and a cooler filled with ice and water, fresh fruit, and lunch.  

The first thing we had to do after we got off the ferry and onto the island was to find a nice spot to settle our things.  Since we were on the first scheduled arrival (9 am), we had a lot of places to choose from.  The spot we chose was underneath two coconut trees, it had a large swath of shade, it was about twenty feet from the shore, and the breeze kept blowing throughout the day.  It was perfect.  All that was missing was a hammock and a couple of Coronas (hmm...maybe next time).

As soon as we picked our spot, the kids were clamoring to get in the water, but my wife and I made them wait.  We had to first setup our beach blanket.  Then we organized our things around it like a castle wall to anchor the blanket and to create a boundary of sorts.  Finally, like responsible parents, we put gobs of sunscreen on the kids.  Once that was done, they were off into the water as were we.

We had the beach to ourselves for a little while.  The tourists that arrived with us on the ferry (and other boats) were getting briefed by their tour groups and given their complimentary mask, snorkel, and fins.  Within a half an hour though we were surrounded by young couples, families with small children, and seniors, conversing in Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese.  

The tourists were fun to watch.  There were two elderly women, both lathered in sunscreen, one of them covering her entire head and shoulders with a beach towel while waist deep in the water, and the other barking in Mandarin as if commanding her friend to take off the towel and come out further.  There was a young couple where the man was showing his bride how to snorkel yet she was terrified to stick her face in the water.  Her whole body became rigid as she fought to stand back up whenever he eased her into putting her face in the water.  He was very patient.  There were kids laughing and crying, fathers showing off and mothers doting over their kids.  Like us, they were all having fun in the sun off the shores of Managaha.

Pretty soon it became a little too crowded for us so we left the water and sat in our perfect spot.  The kids played in the sand for a while, and then we had our lunch (bento from Himawari).  Afterwards we just sat there and did more people watching, while the kids did another round of sand castle construction.  When the water wasn't as crowded, we went back in.  This time I showed my eldest daughter how to snorkel and how to lure the fish to you with sand.  We saw trevally, a trumpet fish, some parrot fish, and a trigger fish come up to us as they investigated the sand I was dropping from my hand to see if it was fish food.  She enjoyed it and snorkeling came naturally to her.  

Before long, and after a walk around Managaha, it was time for us to go.  We packed up our stuff and walked out to the dock to wait for our ferry.  The dock was a great vantage point to see fish swimming on either side and boats pulling their passengers in the air on parasails.  Eventually, our ferry came and we headed to the top  level.  On the way back to Saipan, and in that 15 minute span, we spotted two sea turtles.  A nice cherry on top to a wonderful day!

It was a great time once again for the family; a day trip across the lagoon to one of the best beaches in the Marianas, and another reason I Luv Saipan.

Click on image above to see more pics

(hu guaiya hao mama)


  1. We also love this little island. Even after 30 years here I can never get over the beauty of this place- we are so lucky!

  2. Yes, we are... and the free ride over is a nice touch.

  3. Hafa adai Xavier. Can we post a link to your blogsite on our web site (www.islanderview.com)? We are also looking for people/organizations from Saipan-CNMI to feature. They don't necessarily need to reside in Saipan but should be from there and supports/promotes the culture. If you could respond to both inquiries, I'd appreciate your time. Your site is excellent and makes me miss home (Guam).

    Thank you. My email is news@islanderview.com

    Vera Dela Cruz (hubby's family is from Saipan/Tinian)


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