Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Pagat Point

This is a picture of me about to get hit by a wave.

So many different cultures have ways of saying that you should never turn your back on the ocean. They say this for very good reasons. Regardless of the many ways that humans have developed to tame nature or to make it obey or serve their needs, the unknown, the limitlessness, the infinite and the alterity of the natural world persists. The ocean may look lovely and friendly one moment, but can in what appears to be just an instant, turn on you, and become violent and angry.

I am standing on the lamasa or limestone shelf at Pagat Point in this picture. I have been there many times over the past year while exploring the Pagat area with Halomtano', and by this point I should have learned not to turn my back on the ocean. The first time I came to Pagat Point with Halomtano', we were hit by a massive rogue wave, which surprised us as we were walking on the shelf, slamming us against the cliffs before dragging us over the rocks, nearly pulling one of my friends into the deep water. Since then we've been very careful on the shelf (one of us even refusing to walk again on it), but sometimes the view of the ocean and the beauty of the natural tide pools is just too much for me and I have to explore it.

Such was the case this past weekend when I led 25 people down to Pagat Point as the final hike for the most recent round of Heritage Hikes organized by We Are Guahan. I had warned everyone about the dangers of strolling along the shelf and so when we arrived at the beautiful cliffs and rock formations at the Point, no one wanted to explore much. I climbed down to try to take some pictures of waves as they broke on the shelf. Another student, wanting to take a dip in a tide pool climbed down too and offered to take a picture of me. He was able to get this shot with the wave crashing behind me.

Thankfully, the wave was not massive and simply got me very wet.

It was a great end to our fourth series of Heritage Hikes. I'll be posting some pictures from it here later.

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