Annapolis Group DAY 3-“Forbidden Island, Canoes & Cuisine!”

Day 3. This time, Molly leads the morning ritual. I meet the group at 9:00am to begin our day of cultural immersion!

Molly leads the ritual.

We pile into the van and head to my favorite spot to introduce guests: Forbidden Island!

At the lookout spot, I share the cultural significance of Forbidden Island (you’ll have to take my tour to hear me explain it!).

A moment of silence to show reverence for the sacred site.

“Over hill, over dale…”

A pause to enjoy the scenery (one of many)

Stunning beauty

Rappelling is probably second nature for this group

Aidan the Explorer

Molly on the rocks

The Intrepid nine

On our way to the secret cave

Note to self: Perhaps I should learn how to swim…

Having fun!

Back from the secret cave

On the way back up

After a brief stop at Lau Lau Bay Golf Course, we head back to Susupe to meet up with John Castro, Canoe Program Coordinator of the Seafaring Traditions Program under the Commonwealth Council for Arts & Culture.


John S. Castro-Mames welcomes the group

Tony Piailug (Master Canoe Carver and a Master Navigator)

Tony is a recent recipient of the Governor’s Humanities Award for Preservation of Traditional Cultural Practices

John shares the Seafaring Traditions program mission and goals

…and takes tons of questions

…and more questions

Can’t have a cultural experience without food! Pat Calvo, his wife Mel, and staff member Marissa of Kim’s Food Court & Snack Bar, share Chamorro cuisine. On the menu: Chicken, yellow rice, taro, fried breadfruit and more!

Catering by Kim’s Food Court & Snack Bar; left side: Marissa, Mel & Pat 

Enjoying Chamorro-style cuisine

Aldwin from the Saipan Tribune interviews group member

Aldwin & Me

Pat shares local lore, history and culture with Molly

Aidan receives guidance from Orlando, a trades helper

Sydney gathers info for the next day’s adventure

And that was how Day 3 was spent! Members of the group decided to enjoy Saipan’s beach and calm waters for the rest of the evening!

Micro Beach redux



Annapolis Group DAY 2-“Tinian to Hiroshima”

“On Monday, August 1st, Mayor Edwin P. Aldan met with Mr. Walt F.J. Goodridge and U.S. Military personnel from Annapolis Naval Academy. The meet and greet focused on discussions sharing the history of our islands during World War II, the military’s role during the war, the Chamorro Culture, and the famous sites around our island. Mr. Walt F.J. Goodridge is a Jamaican author on the island of Saipan, famous for his many published books, websites, and documentaries, including his tour business…
We thank Mr. Goodridge and all the U.S. Military personnel for taking the time to visit Tinian. Thank you and si yu’us ma’ase.”–From the Mayor of Tinian’s Facebook page
It started with an early morning pickup and a drive to the Francisco Ada International Airport. On the way, Willy suggested a breakfast run at the world-famous Herman’s Modern Bakery, the first post-war business on Saipan and in Micronesia!

“Don’t forget the sweet bread!”

MJ takes in the history of the Herman Guerrero family business

We’ve still got a few minutes before check-in and departure…

Becca leads the morning ritual as we await the charter

Weigh-in for proper weight distribution


On the 10min 24sec flight to Tinian; (I predicted 10min 39sec)

The obligatory pose for a once-in-a-lifetime trip!

Exploring the Japanese Radio Communications Building

To the Japanese Defense Caves

The blow hole (Ava got “travel points” for her request; truth is, I would have stopped here anyway!)

A dip at the blow hole! This was a first, but I promised on DAY 1 that I wouldn’t let anyone leave with any regrets, so this one was for Charlie!


I stressed to the group that despite how critical Tinian is in the telling of world history and the telling of the story of mankind’s impact on civilization (splitting the atom, atomic bombs, etc.) very few people will ever make this journey.
Very few will have these memories and photos to share. So, I encouraged them to appreciate the gravity of where they stood, and to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Here’s a sign you won’t find many other places on the planet

Setting foot on the runway that changed the course of the war in the Pacific

Runway Able, Tinian

Air Administration Building

Inside the Japanese Power Plant; Column failure from shell pounding from above

Power Plant destruction

The next most significant sites on the tour are the bomb pits, from where “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” (uranium and plutonium bombs, respectively) were winched into the bellies of the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car B-29s (respectively) prior to their missions to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki (respectively).

At Bomb Pit #1

Carson shares his knowledge of the fission vs fusion processes

Aidan adds to the discussion

Next, we quickly head south for a scheduled meeting with the Mayor of Tinian, Hon. Edwin P. Aldan.

Welcomed and greeted by Mayor Aldan

Everyone gets a copy of Don Farrell’s meticulously researched book, Tinian and the Bomb: Project Alberta and Operation Centerboard

We spend the next 25 minutes engaging with the Mayor, asking questions about the island’s relationship with the US and with the military, the geopolitical landscape and even Tinian hot peppers!

Let the questions begin!

…and more questions!

A photo for the scrapbook!

There’s still much more to see after bidding farewell to the Mayor’s office!

At the House of Taga

Touching ancient civilization

The last stone standing

Replicas of Little Boy & Fat Man. Are they they actual size of the originals? See me measuring them:

See for yourself if the replicas are actual sized.
For the group’s battlefield study, a stop at White Beach (Chulu Beach) was on the bucket list, so we squeezed that–and few other sites–into our remaining time on the island before heading to the airport! We still had an important appointment back on Saipan!
Back on Saipan, we headed to American Memorial Park (AMP). Since COVID, the Visitor Center has seen a reduction of tourists, and thus a reduction in its days and hours open to the public, and as it happens, Monday is one of those days closed.
However, Lead Ranger Brooke Nevitt was gracious enough to extend us “by appointment” access, and Ranger Nataline Kaneshi came back in to work on her day off to welcome and host the group!

Ranger Nataline Kaneshi welcomes the group

Thus, we were able to wrap up this critical battlefield study portion of their objective with the Island Called Saipan documentary and a walk through the fascinating and informative display.
After such a jam packed day, we wrapped up just a bit earlier to give the troops some time to unwind. Up next: DAY 3!

A Special Group from Annapolis, MD Experiences Saipan- DAY 1 “WWII Pilgrimage/In Search of Amelia Earhart”

“Thanks so much for going above and beyond my, and I am sure the academy’s expectations in providing a quality tour of Saipan and Tinian. Your attention to detail and ability to remain fluid during the tour was very appreciated. I really enjoyed looking at the images and video clips you captured of the trip, and I look forward to working with you again in the future!” — David Anderson, Outdoor Focus LLC


From July 31 to August 5, 2022, I had the honor and pleasure of hosting a cultural and history tour for a special team from Annapolis, Maryland! Here are some photos and video screen shots from that adventure. We’ll start with some of the local media coverage. (You’ll have to get certain details of the trip as well as the identities of the participants from the local media coverage as I have to be careful about what I reveal in the actual text of my blog.)


Thanks to Zaldy Dandan (Marianas Variety editor) for his generosity!

 Read online

The day prior, we appeared on the front and second pages of The Saipan Tribune! Read online


Thanks to Jayvee Vallejera (Saipan Tribune Editor), and Tribune correspondent Aldwin Batusin, as well as Zaldy Dandan (Marianas Variety Editor) for their generosity getting the stories out in time for the team to grab a few copies of the papers while still here on Saipan as souvenirs of their trip!


“It was a great story and well worth the Page 1 and Page 2 placements.”—Jayvee

We also appeared on the Mayor of Tinian’s Facebook page!

View the post here

Thanks to Mayor Edwin Aldan for making time in his schedule, and Berni Palacios for arranging the Meet & Greet! Thanks also to Mr. Jose Kiyoshi for helping us find our way when we showed up! (More on the DAY 2 blog post)

Stay tuned! There’ll be many more people in the community whose participation and support made it a great success!

The group typically starts each day with a quote and discussion for motivation.

The morning ritual in the hotel lobby


We then loaded into a van and started our tour with an orientation at Micro Beach.

Orientation at Micro Beach


Japanese tank atop bunker at Red Beach (Quartermaster Road)


The team


Follow me!



More details about the landing beaches


Willy K., volunteer driver for the day, shares his thoughts as a Fijian on Saipan


Along the pathway on Beach Road


Susupe Park bunker on the beach


We then met up with Eva Chamorita, who agreed to offer some perspective and insight into Chamorro culture. Eva is also a contributor to the recently-published Latte in the Marianas book.

Eva and the team at Ladder Beach


After visiting a few more cultural and historic sites, we made our way to Mount Tapochau.

A view from the top at Mount Tapochau


Mount Tapochau


Lunch break


Tragedy and beauty at Banzai Cliff


Bird Island

The Last Command Post

In search of Amelia Earhart at Garapan Prison (The Old Japanese Jail)


The team at the Old Japanese Jail

“Golden Hour” Photo by Sunset on Saipan




I have some of the most interesting tour clients! I’ve launched this blog to share their stories–starting with a special group from Annapolis, MD. (You can meet others on the testimonials page and on my Youtube channel) Videos of their adventure are coming soon!
Subscribe to be notified!


About Walt

“Once upon a time, there was a Jamaican civil engineer living in New York City who hated his job. He followed his passion, started a sideline business publishing his own books, quit his job, escaped the rat race, ran off to a tropical island in the Pacific, and started a tourism business so he could give tours of the island to pretty girls every day! He now lives a nomadpreneur’s dream life, while helping others do the same!”

Read more at :

My name is Walt F.J. Goodridge, a Jamaican living on Saipan! Want to know what that’s like and how I ended up 8,706 miles away in the middle of the Pacific? Here’s a recent interview conducted by founder, Xavier Murphy, in which I answer that very question!

What’s It Like Being a Jamaican Living in Saipan???


My resumé: Click here

My Saipan Video Resumé:


Receiving the Governor’s Humanities Award:


America’s Forgotten Colonies  (feat. a certain Jamaican tour guide)