HAVE you ever seen or wondered what the other end of Tinian looks like from up in the skies?
plying the Saipan-Tinian routes only fly above the North Field and into
the airstrip, and if you search, you can find aerial images of these
areas online posted by thousands of passengers who have flown to and
from Tinian for decades.
Some weeks back a rare chance to fly
above and around the whole island came up and I did not waste a single
minute to grab the chance.
We flew from Saipan toward Tinian late
in the afternoon, and since we took off, my finger never stopped
pressing the shutter. I’ve taken hundreds of photos from the plane
window in this route countless times before, that flight was different.
Instead of landing at the Tinian International Airport, my pilot flew
over and made circular route around Tinian. We talked to each other
though the headsets from time to time, but most of the time I was
was a totally new experience for me. For the first time, I saw the
beauty of the southern end of the island with its lush green vegetation
creating a wonderful contrast to the pristine cerulean waters of the
sea. The access road snaking across the deep jungles toward the Suicide
Cliffs was completely deserted. We flew directly above the cliffs and I
couldn’t help stop a slight shiver that ran up my spine. If the Suicide
cliffs look menacing when you stand on the view deck, looking down on it
from the skies increased the tremor at the pit of my stomach tenfold.
up there, the cliffs look ten times as dangerous and the waves crashing
on the rocks seem to scream of death. Maybe it was because of the
tragic history connected to the Suicide Cliffs where thousands of
Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths, but still, I
couldn’t stop but gape at the postcard-perfect scenery below.
It was also my first time to see what the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino looks like from up there, and the coastal areas.
sun was slowly making its way down to its resting place for the day and
the golden reddish skies added more drama to the images I was
capturing—both with my camera and with my memory.
Tinian several times before we headed toward the direction of Managaha
Island where another stunning wonder awaited us. I watched the sun
setting behind the fiery skies with Managaha in the foreground. I had to
remind myself to keep shooting and stop gaping at the amazing streaks
of colors the sunset left along the Beach Road and all over Saipan.
Sometimes you have to see the place you’ve always taken for granted from
different perspectives. You just don’t know what surprises await you.