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Thread: Rhonda's gone to Rota! (CNMI, not Spain)

  1. #1

    Rhonda's gone to Rota! (CNMI, not Spain)

    Headed out with about a dozen of my MDA beach diver buddies in about an hour for a weekend of diving and other fun on our neighboring island of Rota!! Super excited!

    Hasn't been easy finding information about the island or the dive sites....it's definitely lower on the list than Palau or Chuuk for most divers, but I'm hoping for some great adventures!

    Happy weekend to all!

  2. #2
    Barracuda
    Join Date
    08/20/2009
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    The less known often turn out to be the best. Hope ya'll have a great weekend.

  3. #3
    Megalodon
    Join Date
    11/12/2007
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    Wichita, KS
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    Have fun!

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  4. #4
    oh gosh - what a fantastic trip! We dove two days and toured the island for one - I'd say that was just about perfect. Pretty certain that if our group was there any longer (there were 15 of us total) we'd have really stressed the resources of the tiny island!

    The Coconut Village was rustic but completely awesome if you like the bohemian atmosphere as I do....we had thatched roof bungalows with no tv or phone - but the AC worked great! A breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and tropical fruit was included (tried an actual passion fruit for the first time!). We were about 15 minutes from the village and the dive shop - vans come to pick you up for diving or for the restaraunts.

    Blue Palms Dive Shop was just ok. Two small boats took us out to the mooring buoys and back in for lunch (bento boxes eaten back at the shop) or SI between dives. The guide, Megumi, was a friend of our tour coordinator and is supposed to be the most famous guide for the Japanese market. We liked her, and she spoke a whole lot more English than I do Japanese, but we didn't like the way our bottom time was limited to 30-40 min on every dive. I always hate getting back on the boat with more than half a tank! Not sure if that's typical of the market, but if I go back I would definitely try one of the other shops.

    The diving was awesome though the water was very rough and our tiny boat got swamped a couple of times. The corals/animal life were similar towhat we have in Guam, but the water was so clear it was amazing! We saw huge fish in incredible numbers, including a giant Napoleon Wrasse and several sharks and rays. We dove Rota Hole, Senhanom Wall and a couple of other shallower spots for a total of 6 dives. Dive sites are very close - the rides were usually only around 20 minutes or so. I am now an official master of the back roll/negative descent though I am still sporting many bruises from those bumpy boat rides.

    We ate at all three of the restaraunts in the village of Song Song - the Pizzaria was decent but expensive and not worth it, Barefoot Tavern (new) took over four hours to get half of us any food (even yakisoba!) but the strangely named As Paris was pretty great. Good atmosphere, good food and good prices. The grocery stores were expensive, a six pack of miller lite was 9 bucks, but we only needed snacks and beer so it was ok. I did notice, though, that the Kraft Singles were 7 bucks - eep!

    We got our rental car for Sunday and did our land tour, following the one mostly unpaved road around the entire island....there were several beautiful overlooks and the bird sanctuary was amazing (to someone living on birdless Guam, at least). The highlight of the tour, oddly, was the Rota Zoo. The owner took us around and gave us the story of each bird/animal and every plant. I've never eaten such delicious star fruit in my life! We also had a great time feeding the fruit bats.....it was well worth the 5 bucks admission donation....

    It was definitely an awesome 3 day weekend trip and I totally would recommend Rota to anyone spending time in Micronesia! Now, we're trying to decide if we want to do Palau or Kosrae next......we have time for both before we PCS in 12/12 - but we may have to flip a coin to decide what to do first!

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