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Viz (last reported 140691h ago)
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Obyan Beach, Saipan
Snorkelers will enjoy the yard/meter-deep shallows near the beach, but shouldn't venture beyond the drop-off, as coming back over the reef can be difficult. For SCUBA divers, this long, long beach has at least 5 entry points and an endless variety of hard and soft corals, frequent white tip sharks, shells, turtles, and napoleon wrasses, eagle rays, sting rays, and depths from 15'/5m to 60'/18m. Large patch of garden eels. Visibility is excellent (50 to 70 feet) at all times unless there's a typhoon warning on the radio. It's endlessly fascinating, if you have the right vehicle to brave the roads. I've heard a golf course will be built nearby-- which will mean bad things for viz, but great things for the access road. Perfect for day, night, advanced, and beginner diving. Go the airport, and go rightward along its fence (by car). The road will become littered with huge potholes. The airport will soon become invisible through the vegetation. Continue carefully along this road, looking for a right-hand turn and a wooden sign labeled "Obyan Beach", or just wait and follow one of the many, many divers' vehicles headed there. Obyan Beach, and the nearby "Secret Beach", are the only dive sites near the airport, and they are both accessed via this path. As you turn off to the right, you'll go down a washed-out road made of eroded white coral and sand. At the bottom of the road, you'll see a WWII Japanese artillery bunker and a large coral-sand parking lot. Directly beyond the bunker is Obyan Beach.
Oct 6, 2005, 12:00 AM
Obyan "Ob-john" is a wonderful site with a lot of life and great vis. It is best done at high tide for an easy entry and exit. Like most Saipan shore dives there is a rope to help when the rip is strong. The best diving is to the left after you reach the end of the rope. It goes over lots of fingers and sand channels. If you follow the sand away farther from shore you will find lots of Garden Eels. Octo's are very common.
Originally posted on shorediving.com