Sugar Dock - where to start! A few years back there was a big movement to save it, a few months back part of it fell into the sea making access to the end a little more difficult but that does not seem to have made it any less popular with everyone from kids swimming and jumping to fisherman trying their luck. Its also only a short ride to one of the best dive spots on Saipan - Ice Cream.
This past Sunday was no different, lots of people enjoying Sugar Dock
That is till we showed up! Ok, everyone still enjoyed themselves but this morning began by giving the water and beaches around the pier a little make over with the collection of trash and debris. Around 9AM folks began to show up and sign in for the big Marianas Dive & Dive Saipan cleanup / scavenger hunt.
Before long we had nearly 50 people sign in before being set loose to scour the grounds for garbage and golf balls! The golf balls were planted here and there and represented prizes from our donors. Of course there were garbage golf balls in there too so if you found one it didn't mean you would win a prize - it had to be an official golf ball!
Now if there was anyone among us that was sure to find a golf ball in the rough it was this man! After all, practice makes perfect - sorry Harry I just couldn't resist after playing golf with you last weekend. Seriously though it doesn't take long to fill up a bag with trash at this popular hang out, thanks for pitching in Harry!
Now I've never played golf with this man but if I have half the motivation and energy that Mr. Olapai has a at 50 I'll be pretty happy! He's dedicated to teaching his family and others about the traditional ways and how it once was in the islands . I'm sure it must be hard to see your land and home treated with such disrespect most of the time but on the other hand I know seeing another 50 people, who truly care out there doing their part must be up lifting to some degree. Thanks for bringing the boys along Leno!
Then of course what Marianas Dive event would be complete without cupcakes! I think Julie started something at the pumpkin carving contest and here's Rose with an extra little twist, look closely at those cupcakes! Look closely in the background - is that a new dance?
So after an hour or so out there picking up trash on the beach and with our kayak surface support team ready to go it was time to give out a few prizes for the land portion before getting the troops ready for a cool refreshing dip.
Plan - there is no plan really! Go that way stay with the dive float and the kayaker and make sure you come back with garbage and golf balls! Watch out for falling golf balls and only one prize per person!
And they're off
Wait one last picture - oh ya that's a keeper! That's Bev and her Cannon!
So why Sugar Dock. It's not really a dive site so why would a bunch of divers want to clean the waters around the pier. The main reason is the scene below is played out nearly everyday with dive shops bringing students to the area for their confined water sessions or for a quick refresher before hitting an actual dive site. The water is not deep especially at low tide but it is always clear and calm. With extremely easy access it makes a pretty good place to conduct a SCUBA course- except of course it is usually littered with trash! I guess it's just too easy to throw things in the water rather than in a trash container - go figure!
So while a few of us manned the fort, the others gathered more trash, an hour later everyone was back on dry land and eagerly awaiting the awarding of prizes!
Unfortunately, for the visual story here, I did the rewarding so there are no pictures of all the winners but in the end everyone won because we did something positive in making the area a better place to hang out or dive and we spent the morning with fellow divers having a good time!
Ok some also won great prizes like a cell phone from PTI, a 40% off shopping spree from Speedy Tertle dive shop, a $100 gift certificate towards polarized sunglasses from Hardt Eye Clinic . There was also a dive trip for two on the Aqua Jet boats, The Underwater World of Saipan DVD, gift certificates from Porky's bar, PHI Pharmacy and Hamilton's as well as dive masks from Dive Saipan and T-shirts from Guam Tropical Dive station! Thanks to all our donors for helping to make the day that much more fun!
(Photo above curtisy of Jacqueline Hernandez)
In the end these dedicated volunteers and a few more who couldn't stick around for the final picture helped rid the beach and water of all this!
Thanks again to everyone who participated! We'll continue to organize clean ups of popular areas topside and underwater every third Sunday of every month so if you missed this one check the Marianas Dive website for details on future events!