I’ve received a lot of great questions about Kwaj lately, and I look forward to blogging about them. One question I got was what are the dark spots along the ocean shore on the satellite image of Kwaj (see yesterday’s post)?
That satellite image was taken during low tide, and those dark spots are tide pools.
When the Japanese were occupying Kwajalein, they dug holes on the ocean side of the island, I guess to make it more difficult for the approaching enemy, but also perhaps to get material to they could expand the island (Kwaj used to be smaller than it is now). When the Americans took over, they too dug holes (or rather, used explosives to create holes). The tide pools are called the “Japanese Pools” and “American Pools”, depending on which set of holes you’re talking about.
While we aren’t supposed to go swimming in the ocean (again, the ocean floor slopes very quickly here and it isn’t very safe), we can go swimming or snorkeling in the tide pools at low tide. Some of the pools are 6-8 feet deep, so they can trap a variety of marine animals when the tide goes out.
I haven’t explored the tide pools yet, but I look forward to doing that soon, and I’ll get some photos to post when I do!