ROTA — A fork on the road leading to a small clearing with a signboard that announced “Poña Point Fishing Cliff” caught my attention the first time I went driving aimlessly here a couple of years ago. I saw the sign again while on the same road last March, but I didn’t have the guts to see it.
From the main road, the path to the fishing cliff was obscured by tall bushes and the downhill road looked soft. I was afraid I’d get stuck all alone in the jungle, but I finally s reached Poña Point Fishing Cliff when I again visited Rota two months ago.
I was with buddy photographer Patrick whose fascination with the island was greater than mine so I was finally able to explore places I was reluctant to visit before.
Following the sign, we drove down the short grassy trail, not knowing what was ahead until we reached a rocky area. We had to walk the remaining distance as our rented car could go no further.
Picking our way among the sharp rocks toward the edge of the cliff was a real challenge, and then there was the blistering heat of the sun and the strong wind that threatened to blow me away.
From a safe distance, I looked out and held my breath at the very spectacular panorama spread out before me. The tide was out and the endless blue ocean merged with the blue sky, the gentle waves rolled against the sharp rocks a hundred feet below the cliff. It was fascinatingly scary. Way down, rocks broken into several huge slabs resembled slices of cake topped with green vegetation.
We were atop a cliff and above the sea, and in the howling of the wind, the chirping of the birds and insects, and the crashing of the waves below, we felt like trespassers in a sacred area. It felt like it was a sin to click our camera shutters.
We were tempted to get closer to the edge of the cliff to capture better images, but the wind was too strong.
Poña Point Fishing Cliff is one of the island’s top destinations and is also one of the venues for fishing derby events each year, along with Malilok and Matmos Fishing cliffs.
As we were headed back to the main road, Pat suddenly stopped the car, grabbed his camera and pointed it toward a dead tree. Following his example, I grabbed my camera and was just in time to see a bird with a huge lizard wriggling and captive in its beak while another bird was about to grab the lizard from the first bird.
If you’re on Rota and want to see Poña Point Fishing Cliff, just drive past the Rota Zoo in Songsong and the Japanese cannon until you see the sign beside the road then make a right turn. Don’t be turned off by the soft-looking ground — there’s a hard road somewhere under the green grass that will lead you to the cliff.
For more articles and photos about Saipan, Tinian and Rota please visit http://wanderlustontheraks.wordpress.com/. –