Pagat cave and coastline
Pagat Cave gives us a peek at the water lens: the underground water supply of the island. The cave formed when a more readily soluble part of the limestone dissolved away, leaving a hole with a pool in the bottom.
We will walk down the cliff through some beautiful limestone forest (review of Limestone Forest and Lost Pond trips). We go past the cave and pass through an ancient Chamoru village (latte stones, grinding stones), arriving at the northern coastline (cut benches). Finally we return to the cave and go in to explore the water lens.
Bring a flashlight. The cave is dark, as in no light. Waterproof: while you need only get wet up to your knees, swimming is pleasant. Or you might drop your flashlight. Also remember that wallets and watches may not be waterproof.
You will need sturdy footwear. The hike is like Tarzan Falls -- the terrain is like the limestone forest around Lost Pond.
You can take your time on the way out. However, if you thought the Tarzan Falls trip was too much for you, this one will be, too. It's further and steeper (but shadier).
Carry at least one quart of water—and drink it! Hat highly recommended.
On the positive side:
The trip will take up the full lab period. Be at the lab sharp at starting
Stay with the group at all times.
At the shoreline, don't go across the arch over "the washing
Permission to pass:
On the way down (or resting on the way up!) look at the orb web spider communities. These are communities -- not populations -- The domed webs are like condos, and have several inhabitants. Compare spiders in the centers of the webs and look for different spiders around the edges -- these are web parasites that don't build webs but use the other's web to catch food. How many different ones can you identify? Males and females of orb spiders and the parasites are quite different from one another (dimorphic). The web builder is Cyrtophora mollucensis, big female in middle of dome, with egg cases; males much smaller, same shape but orange front. The thin silvery parasite is Argyrodes sp. -- larger are females. They build small egg cases with flared openings on the lower side, always near Cyrtophora egg cases. There is also very small second species parasite.
Pemphis forms a bonsai-like carpet across the terrace closest to the sea. Behind that you will see the plants of strand zone 1, especially Scaevola. Notice the size of the Pemphis here (also at Saluglula Pools).
The back of the cave. The water there is over your head. There are cracks and
fissures leading right through the island .... Lost Pond is also part of the water lens.
Do not climb down to the water. The surf can be dangerous!! Here's what it looks like down there on a calm day:--
Revised 7/15/00. Author & webmaster Dr. Chris Lobban