Animals

Animals of Guam.

Creepy Creatures of Guam: Eel

Ugh I feel grossed out already!!! I’ve never been a fan of eels, maybe due to The Little Mermaid, but they creep me out so much! Previously, I’d only seen them in aquariums and I’d be thankful that I never had to see them in real life. Until now. One day I was at Oka Viewpoint just looking out over the sea and I saw some colorful fish swimming in the coral below me. And then I saw it. An eel!!!!! I screamed and busted out my camera! I know that they are mostly harmless and blind, but that doesn’t mean that I’d want to be near one. This is why I refuse to go diving. I know, super lame, but I am terrified!! Without diving I’ve seen dolphins, eels, a shark, a manta rey, and lots of other fish. So I’m okay with that.

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Creepy Creatures: Monitor Lizard

How could I NOT do a post about the monitor lizards in Guam! I first saw one while on the River Boat Cruise sitting up in a tree catching some rays. I wasn’t too creeped out by it either! The next time time I saw two laying out in the sun on the road to Marbo Cave. These ones were about double the size of the first one I saw and they had bright yellow dots all over. At first I thought they were dead because they weren’t moving, then suddenly they lifted their legs and walked into the jungle. I was so creeped out, they look so much like alligators!

Then on a walk down the steps at Oka viewpoint I heard something big jump into the bushes and Peter, who was ahead of me, said it was a huge monitor lizard that was about 5 feet long from nose to tail!!! It’s a good thing I didn’t see that one!! The one in the photos is from Chamorro Village where they have it sitting out for people to pet. For a small donation Peter held the creature, while I took a few photos while saying “Gross!” That’s probably really rude of me. I did have the courage to touch it though, just once. The claws are pretty intimidating and the tail means serious business. These are harmless creatures, but I’m pretty sure they would eat me if they wanted to.

Things People Want to Know About Guam 3

It’s that time again!

Part 1

Part 2

1. What’s the weather like in Guam?

Always hot & humid. Even though people refer to the summer months as summertime, there are really only two seasons: dry and rainy. Before I moved here I asked someone what the weather was like and she said, “When it’s hot, it’s really hot and when it rains it really rains.” At the time I thought to myself, “What kind of answer is that!?” Now that I live here, I completely understand. There’s no in-between in Guam, it’s either super hot and dry or super hot and rainy. It never sprinkles but always POURS.


 

2. Things to know about Guam?

I think it’s important to know about the history of the island and people. It might explain a lot about life here too. Sometimes the beaches are under advisory, which means there are high amounts of dangerous bacteria in the water that can make you sick.   The people born in Guam are U.S. citizens and speak English.


 

3. What’s life like on Guam?

It’s both relaxed and chaotic.


 

4. Worries living in Guam?

I worry about typhoons during the rainy season, about the cost of flying home in an emergency, and about needing medical care that can’t be found on island.


 

5. Are there any giant animals living in the deep blue sea we didn’t discover?

We shall soon find out. James Cameron was in Guam filming his deep sea dive into the Mariana Trench!


 

6. Is it easy to meet people in Guam?

Yes!


 

7. Vacation Guam or Philippines?

If you’re looking for safety or family vacation, Guam might be more appealing. Personally, if I had to choose I’d say the Philippines simply because money will go further. You can experience both the major metropolitan life in Manila and then take an affordable flight to another of the Phillippine islands, like Boracay or Palawan, and have a more relaxing and laid back trip. Sorry Guam, but you’re just too expensive.


 

8. Russian places in Guam?

There is a Russian restaurant that just opened a few months ago. Other than that, there aren’t really any Russian places, so that might be a great business opportunity for someone. I think people are slowly realizing that there’s been an increase in Russian visitors and hopefully will make things more Russian-friendly.


 

9. Fuji Ichiban Guam menu party tray

Can I come to the party?


 

10. Gun culture Guam

The gun laws are pretty strict here. So I haven’t really heard much about gun culture other than people hunting.


 

11. Does Guam get snow?

NO!


 

12. How big are cockroaches in Guam?

Pretty big. I’ve seen one the length of my palm. They also fly around at night 😦


 

13. Why do people hate Guam?

Someone who has lived in Guam for more than 20 years told us that Guam is 15 years behind the U.S. and the other Micronesian islands are like 30 years behind. So I can see why people who aren’t from here might not like it. It’s quite dirty, people seem resistant to change, and the government has been slow at implementing things like basic recycling.


 

14. Best steaks on Guam?

We’ve been to Avenue (Tumon), Sea Grill (Tumon), and Angus Steak and Grille (Harmon) and all three were delicious with excellent service.


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He Did It!

From the time I was born until I was about 16, my family spent the summers fishing. As I got older, it was usually just my dad and me fishing in the deserts of eastern Oregon. I loved it!

Fishing in Guam is very different and challenging. Peter and I decided to take up fishing and bought a pole from Kmart during one of their sales. We fished at Cabras Island near the power plant, the Oka viewpoint cliff, lots of different beaches and the Masso reservoir. We had NO luck. We got fishing advice from everyone, even the lady who worked at Sweet Home who said her husband was a fisherman. We would see people fishing with bread or hotdogs and so we tried that too! I’m sure if we were on a boat out in the ocean we’d have no problem, but the small-time fishing we wanted to do seemed impossible.

It wasn’t really a big deal to me whether we caught a fish, but Peter was determined. About a month ago, we went back to Masso Reservoir and it finally happened. Peter caught a fish. Though it may have been the smallest fish ever caught in the history of fishing, he did it and was so happy. He caught three more and decided that was good enough. We released them all back into the pond and left feeling satisfied. Good job Petey ❤

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Snorkeling and Walking on the Reef

This morning I called my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day. He randomly asked me if I had been swimming and told me to watch out for sharks. I said to him, “Dad, there’s a reef, so it’s hard for the sharks to get in. But now you’ve scared me!”

This whole weekend was spent at the beach. No complaints here. On Sunday, Peter had a gig at Jimmy Dee’s Beach Bar to play during a beach rugby tournament. It’s been SO hot lately, and Sunday was no exception. I had a good time, it was relaxing and fun! That evening we swam in Tumon as we watched the sun set. Beautiful rays shot out through the clouds making another breathtaking sunset in Guam.

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Today (Monday) we had brunch at King’s then headed to Ritidian. As if I didn’t get enough beach time from the previous day, I wanted MORE. And why not? The weather has been perfect, hot, but perfect beach weather. These are the type of days that made me fall in love with Guam. ❤

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We’ve had low tide for a few days now and the usually rough waters of Ritidian were calm, shallow and HOT! Because the water was so shallow and the sun was working hard, the water warmed up. Warmer than I’ve ever felt it.

We snorkeled near the shore and saw tons of cool fish. Then I noticed that the tide was so low that the coral was sticking out all the way to the reef. We decided to walk to the reef. The water went from ankle deep near the shore, to no water at all. For most of the walk my feet were out of the water, that’s how low the tide was. After a long walk, me slipping on all the bumps and crevices in the coral, we made it to the edge of the reef! I’m so scared of going out to the reef because there are so many stories in the newspaper about people being swept away into the depths of the ocean after falling over. I made sure Peter and I stay away, but today was an exception. It was great! If I had a bucket list I would have crossed off “Walking out to the edge of the reef.” I looked back to the shore to see how far we’d come and it was a little further than the length of a football field. I said, “So this is what’s on the reef!” As I looked down at these strange sea plants that had long stems with big things that looked like bubbles on the tips. We walked over them and let some of the water splash on us from the waves hitting the reef. I looked out to the dark blue water  and  got an eerie feeling, thinking about what my dad had mentioned earlier. The ocean is both beautiful and scary to me.

As we walked back to the shore we found a deep pool of water that we thought would have some stuff to look at. We put our snorkels on and saw that the pool was filled with sea creatures. I saw a very LARGE spiky sea urchin, tons of black fish and some other larger multi-colored fish with lips that looked like they were kissing, baby needlefish AND my worst fear of all a small sea snake! After that we walked back over the coral and headed into the shade.

What a wonderful weekend. All the worries that had been on our minds were cleared away as we explored the waters of Ritidian.

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 Note to self: First trip back to Ritidian (just the two of us) after our engagement. 6-16-2014

 

Creatures of Guam: Butterflies!

I used to love chasing butterflies when I was a little kid in Oregon. They were usually very small, yellow, maybe they were actually moths. I thought they were so pretty. In Guam, I don’t need to chase butterflies because they seem to be everywhere and will land on me if I’m still. I had never seen black butterflies until I moved here. It sort of feels magical when you walk through an area that hasn’t has been walked through in awhile, and tons of butterflies flutter around you.

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Things to Do in Guam: Underwater World Aquarium

There’s something about aquariums that make me feel calm and peaceful. It’s probably the low lighting, the reflection of the water, and the sea creatures swimming by. When I lived in Oregon, my sister and I loved visiting the Oregon Aquarium. I always thought it was the best aquarium I’d ever been to and it was once home to Keiko the whale! That’s why I was a bit uninterested in visiting the Underwater World in Guam. I didn’t think that any other aquarium would be better than the one in Oregon, so why bother. During my parent’s trip to Guam, we decided to check out the Underwater World Aquarium one rainy morning. We were able to get 50% off of our entrance fee with our local ID, so it turned out to be about $11.50 per person (slightly cheaper than the Oregon Aquarium but that aquarium also has a zoo which is included in the fee, Guam does not). Maybe I’m a cheapskate but every attraction on Guam seems to be double the price of what I think it should be. If it weren’t for the local discount, I probably wouldn’t do anything!!

I think I was expecting Guam’s aquarium to be the same as the few aquariums that I’ve been to, Oregon and London. At those aquariums, I saw similar or the same type of sea animals in both. Guam’s Underwater World is about double the length of the Oregon aquarium, is home to many different types of fish found in tropical waters, and for an extra fee you can dive in and swim with the sharks. I was surprised, in a good way, by the variety of tropical animals it housed and the length of the aquarium. If you’re new to Guam, this is a great place to go! Some people will never get to see most of these animals in the wild, so the aquarium is the perfect place to go. There are sharks, sea turtles, manta ray, and other tropical fish throughout the aquarium. They were all very active and easy to see. Once we finished walking through the aquarium, we entered another section that had separate displays of sea creatures including sea horses, eels, water snakes, and TONS of other fish that can be found in Guam’s waters. It took us about an hour to get through the entire aquarium. Definitely a great experience. In the evenings, it opens up as a bar so you can have drinks inside the aquarium and watch the animals swim by! I enjoyed this and had a great time. It was actually better than the two other aquariums I’ve been to!

 

Cute Creatures of Guam: Baby Boar!

For some reason I’m fascinated by wild boars. I’ve heard stories about them, but have yet to see one in the wild. Whenever I’m hiking, I’m always looking for boar tracks and can usually find a few. I’ve hiked along their trails in the jungle that seem to lead nowhere and often wonder if they’re buried somewhere under the boonies watching me as I walk by. If I ever saw one during a hike, I’d probably be terrified and not know what to do. But just the thought of them, out there, has me very curious about what they’re like. I’ve seen a few tame boars at the Talofofo Falls park, but recently I met this cute little guy at the beach! His owners had saved him from becoming someone’s food and were trying to find a good home for him (someone who wouldn’t eat him). He was as small as a kitten and, surprisingly, his fur felt soft. Isn’t he adorable?! I’m sure the wild boars I’d find in the jungle wouldn’t be so cute!

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