Guam Stories and Tips

Guam

We landed in Guam, and rented a car from National ($44 US). I was pretty disappointed with this company. The car we got was a "typhoon" car. That means dents, scratches and pretty beaten up. I was not happy paying full price for this vehicle. There is a company called Cars Unlimited; they have the same "typhoon" cars for $25 US a day.

We decided to start diving as soon as we arrived in Guam, so we drove to a dive shop called MDA (Micronesian Divers Association). The place is very big. We rented our gear ($15 BCD, TANK, WT BELT and REGS) and booked a charter for the next day. We could not get a dive charter that day with MDA. By chance, someone mentioned to us a new dive shop called Pro Divers. This was about 11:00 am. We drove to the shop and asked if they had any afternoon charters. Turns out, they did! They were very friendly (down home friendly). We paid for two dives ea ($58 pp) and were out on the water in an hour.

Their boat was great! The perfect dive boat, state of the art, it held maybe 6-10 divers. The Captain and the Divemaster were knowledgeable. We told them what we wanted to see and they knew just where to find it! We went to Hap's Reef and Anae Island. Hap's Reef is a beautiful reef covered with anemones, coral and a variety of fish. If you rub your thumbs together, hundreds of fish will come up to you thinking they will be fed. Anae Island was a nice sight. This dive had so many shells, odd sea cucumbers, scorpionfish, shallow caves, hard coral and blue starfish. We ended our day very tired and satisfied. Mental Note: When flying eight hours and then insisting on doing a dive immediately, eat lots of bananas and drink plenty of water. Dehydration sets in quickly, causing bad leg cramps. Don't chance it!

We drove to Anderson Air Force Base to check into the lodge. ($17-$32, nice kitchenettes). The hotels on Guam are very expensive. However, if you check the paper, they may have specials. After we checked into the lodge, we drove around the base. As the sun went down, we saw two Stealth B-2 Bombers coming in for a landing. What a rare sight we were fortunate enough to see! We have never seen anything like these aircraft. They lit the whole sky and gave a majestic effect with the clouds shadowed behind them.

The next day we got up early and went to the boat dock for our boat dive. We checked in and waited for the other divers. I wanted to get acquainted with our divemaster before the dive. It turns out, MDA did not supply a divemaster. The price $40 was only for the charter. MDA, it seems only charter the boat to tour companies. These companies have their own divemasters. As 40 people loaded on the boat and 40 more people loaded on another boat, I did not have a good feeling, and we loaded our stuff OFF the boat and left. I did not feel comfortable with maybe eighty people in the water at the same dive site! I sure did not feel comfortable without a guide to show us the best parts of the dive. MDA understood the situation and cheerfully refunded our money.

MDA is a company that sells and rents equipment, gives instruction, handles travel service. (They handled our trip to Palau, and did a good job.) They get you started; you do the rest. Pro Divers does the same and more! They do all MDA does and they have kayaking as a plus. The location where they are at has beautiful beaches and reefs for kayaking. Good rates too! See Professional Sports Divers www.psdivers@kuentos.guam.net We went back to Pro Divers and they happened to have a charter that day. They took us to Blue Hole and Barracuda Rock.

Blue hole is a vertical chimney that goes to a depth of 130 feet with hard and soft corals, sea whips, moray eels and fish. Barracuda Rock reminded me a lot of Hawaii's "Shark's Cove" -large rocks everywhere with fish darting in and out of the shadows. The current picked up and it turned into a drift dive. We drifted over another dive site, "The Crevice", which looked more impressive than "Blue Hole", bigger too. The Crevice was lined with corals, sponges, sea fans and big fish. When it was time for our ascent, we reached the surface and the boat Captain was waiting for us. I guess he knew where the current would drift us. I would recommend this dive company any day!

After our dive with Pro Sports Divers, we went snorkeling on the Navy base in the Harbor at a place called Gab-Gab. It was beautiful snorkeling. The water was very clear and the variety of coral looked untouched! Gab Gab Two is just beyond Gab Gab. Just look for the boats and Atlantis submarine and snorkel out. It would make a nice dive too. (2-90 ft)

The next day we booked with Pro divers to dive the Tokai Maru and the SMS Cormoran wrecks. I would highly recommend these wrecks. These are two ships from two different wars lying next to each other, at one time, touching. At first the dive was very disorientating, the wrecks were at an angle. After our brains got used to the idea. The wreck was rather enjoyable. It was like going back into time and history. It was almost eerie, yet exciting! Experience it for yourself.

Our final dive in Guam was the dive shop's little secret. The price was the most beautiful coral gardens I have ever seen in Guam. A small wreck was there too! Better than pictures. This was awesome diving!

After our dives we decided to head for the Naval Base and do some snorkeling. he snorkeling we did was maybe one hundred feet from The tour guide, Atlantis Submarine. This was the most beautiful and pristine snorkeling! Undamaged coral was everywhere, and we took care not to be the first to spoil it. It was an underwater wonderland.

We headed back to Anderson and took the long way around the island. When darkness fell upon us, we searched for the famous brown tree snake. We searched for hours and never came across one. Just as we gave up we drove on the back wood deserted road and the biggest most beautiful snake I had ever seen was right in the middle. This was the Brown Tree Snake. He stretched across the road and was as thick as my fist. What a specimen! I was so awed by this snake that stupid me forgot to get a picture. He raised about six inches off the ground to check us out. I guess he realized we were not a threat and headed into the woods. Too cool! After we realized we had not gotten a picture, we got out to try to pull the snake back out so we could take a picture, but quickly changed our minds when the snake turned on us. Ha! Ha!

Guam was a very nice place, it reminded me of a growing and developing Hawaii. For a tourist, the prices were very reasonable for everything except hotels. I would suggest going before May, after which, the heat is unbearable! We went in March and the climate was perfect. Hafa Adai!

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