snorkeling in guam

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

 

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Step, Step, Slide.

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! This is what I did on Monday to celebrate and enjoy my day off from work.

The past month Guam has been experiencing some heavy rain and thunderstorms so I haven’t been able to spend too much time outdoors. On Sunday the storm seemed to get worse with loud thunder and heavy rain again. I was hoping for some sun on Monday, but I had no idea what I would wake up to. When Monday arrived, the sun was shining through my blinds and it seemed as though the storm from the night before was just a dream…a bad dream.  Immediately I dressed for hiking and knew exactly where I wanted to go. I packed some snacks, lunch, camera and bug spray and hopped on the scooter. We drove to the village of Mangilao, down a dead end residential road, passed between two large cement boulders, through some bushes and parked in a very secluded parking lot. Here we began our journey down the 256 steps to Tagu’an Point (also known as 1000 steps).

Much like the rest of Guam, this park looked like there was a lot of effort put into it to make it accessible but then forgotten about. There is a large parking lot, steps, trails, benches and picnic tables. The only thing missing…a road that leads to the parking lot.

We headed down the trail, under mystical looking canopies of palm trees and various shrubs and bushes. The heat from the sun was blocked out by all the trees in the jungle. There were so many lizards and crabs and probably monitor lizards hiding around us. We hit the first set of stairs which then turned into a slippery pavement (thus the name of this blog post). We walked slowly because of the slippery pavement and the massive cobwebs surrounding the path. Finally, we reached the last set of stairs which had the best view of the ocean and jungle. The hike was roughly 1.25 miles and the only hard part was the heat/humidity.

As soon as we took the last step, the entire landscape changed. It almost looked like we were back in Oregon, with what looked like pine needles scattered all over the ground. There were some really interesting leafy, green plants that I wish I knew the name of (if you know the names of any of the plants in the pictures, please let me know). In the middle of the path there was this oddly-shaped tree stump, which formed a perfect seat. After the last “pine tree,” we reached the large coral formations and found a nice, flat spot to sit on. On good days like Monday, you’re able to snorkel and swim around on the ledges that formed along the shore. I don’t know how to explain it, but it really is amazing and I wonder how these platforms are made. The water is very shallow, but there isn’t a reef to break the waves so swimming can be dangerous.

After awhile the sun became unbearable and we ended our hike. Of course the hike back up the 256 steps was hard!