Friday, January 30, 2015

we flew to Tinian

You can see the island of Tinian from Saipan.  It doesn't even need to be a particularly clear day; it's just three miles away, to the south.  We went there for a week recently, tagging along while Daddy worked at the hospital temporarily.

It is about a 7 minute flight, since Saipan's airport is on the southern end of the island already.

That plane there on the right was ours

Maybe we were a little nervous...

(coast of Saipan) 

(coast of Tinian)
We do not get tired of visiting new places with stunning ocean vistas.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Shark Attack (by BR)










Latte Stones, part II, on Tinian (by AM)


We walked to the Taga House from our hotel (in the rain!), and saw the gigantic latte stones there. In the Marianas, Tinian is famous for this site because it is one of the only places where ruins of latte stones are easily found, and they are the largest.  The latte stones there are the actual ones left over from the Taga House that chief Taga is believed to have constructed.

I am surprised that they have not all crumbled away! Only one latte stone is still standing.  The others toppled over because of earthquakes, wear and tear, or perhaps battles.

The latte stones are made from coral rock, taken from the quarry at Taga Beach, where the ancient Chamorros dug into it. No one really knows what they dug into the coral with, or how they carved the stones.  The latte stones at the Taga house are between 15 and 17 feet high.





top view of capstone









On the sign at the entrance of the Taga House site, they posted the legend of the Man of Taga and how he became the chief of the ancient Chamorro village.  He was believed to have been a giant, and tremendously strong.

FACTS:

  • The latte capstones were constructed in such a way where they curved; one of the theories of why this is so, is because it prevented rats from climbing into the buildings.
  • There is a quarry at Taga Beach, as I have already mentioned, across the street from the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino.  Some people believe that the ancient Chamorros floated the cut-out latte stones on rafts over to the Kammer Beach area, 1 mile away and carved them there. Other people believe that they carried the stones on their shoulders and necks back to their houses.


There are a lot of unanswered questions about the latte stones and the buildings they made with them.  We don't even know for sure what the houses looked like, although some folks have made some guesses.  What we do know is that they are unique to the Mariana Islands and were an impressive accomplishment in their day.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

from here to there

This is what happens when you Google directions in a place where there are no street names:
Head south
56 m
Turn right
850 m
Turn right
46 m
Turn left
300 m
Turn left
 
Destination will be on the right

Sunday, January 18, 2015

daytrip to Managaha

Managaha is a tiny islet just off the coast of Saipan, about 1 1/2 miles away or so.  It is probably 1 sq mi. big.  Teeny tiny tropical paradise.  It's definitely got the best snorkeling around.