swimming

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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

 

A Rainy Beach Day…

Hope you enjoy the video! Ritidian on a rainy day.

I’ve been craving beach time a lot lately, so we loaded up the car and drove on that beat up road to Ritidian Beach again. There was a giant, ominous cloud drifting over the island. Being optimistic, I thought it might just pass us without a threat to our beach day. Half way through the drive the rain poured and didn’t stop for about 1 ½ hours. We waited in the car until the humidity was so intense that we were drenched in sweat. So we ran, umbrella in hand, to a shelter outside. Then the thunder and lightening began and we thought it would be safer in the car! The thunder was so strong that it shook the car! The rain slowed and we couldn’t take the humidity in the car anymore so we took a walk on the beach. As usual, once the storm passed it turned out to be another beautiful day on Guam. During our walk on the beach, we gathered shells and then decided to jump in the warm water. Ritidian really is a beautiful beach. The sand is also different than any other beach I’ve visited on Guam. If you were curious about the weather in Guam, this is a perfect example of what the rainy season is like. I think it rained in one day what it would rain in one month back in Oregon. It will just pour down, seemingly out of nowhere, and then suddenly clear up and the sun will shine again. As you can imagine, the heat and rain combined make for a HUMID day!

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Lost Pond

Well, hello there readers! A few posts back I mentioned that on a failed search for Lost Pond, I fell upon an incredibly beautiful beach near Tanguisson Beach.  A couple of weekends ago, we decided to give the search for Lost Pond another try. I’d researched videos online to  find out where the entrance into the jungle was. We still managed to get lost! We entered the jungle too soon and ended up deep within the palm trees and coral. We also stumbled upon an old Chamorro village!  As we passed through the village, we spotted a few deteriorated latte stone and continued on.

30 mosquito bites later, we were nowhere in sight of Lost Pond. I was beginning to get angry. The coral became very jagged and dangerous so we decided to head back to the beach. We felt as though we’d failed again, but as we reached the end of the secluded beach, a few military guys burst out of the jungle! They told us that Lost Pond was just through that part of the jungle and that there was red tape that led the way! By this time we were itchy, hot and frustrated so we decided to take a quick swim and snorkel before heading into the jungle again. The same military guys found a blue starfish that they gave to me to take photos of.

     
Once we rested, we headed into the jungle again! This time, we were successful! The path was sooo easy and fast. Along the way someone spotted a giant monitor lizard! Just as we turned the corner you could see the water between the trees. It was beautiful! Lost Pond is a sink hole/sunken cave which then formed a freshwater pool.

I, of course, did not swim. Peter went in  and said there were some deep spots and lots of jagged rocks. After our successful journey we headed back home, satisfied 🙂

Marbo Cave

If you don’t know already, I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat. So visiting Marbo Cave for the first time was scary to me on its own, but doing it at night while my friends were talking about being attacked by wild pigs and being in the jungle just set my nerves nearly over the edge! Walking down to the cave was a bit slippery and very hard to see, amazingly we found two Coconut Crabs along the way (post about that to come soon)! I’m not quite sure what the plan was for Marbo Cave, but it looks as though the beginning of a park was built. As you walk down to the cave entrance, there is a platform just over the blue water (I have an obsession with blue, clear water in case you haven’t noticed). BUT! The best part is just to the left and over the large rocks. Behind that you will find the deepest part of the pool. Looks like the water is at least 30 feet deep. Perfect for jumping in and swimming. You can also swim under rocks and onto the other side. How can a scaredy-cat  jump into water this deep you ask? Well, I was pushed in! I swam around until I found a part of the cave wall that was suitable for holding and I hung on for dear life!

This is a fresh water pool so after swimming in the ocean for the last few months, it was quite a work out. It’s also very deep and very dark. We brought along candles and waterproof flashlights and snorkel gear. The pictures you see are from my second trip to the cave, during the daytime and minus the swimming.

If you walk into the jungle a bit you will come to a cliff that looks out beyond the ocean. Beautiful view!

Update: I recently found out that the fresh water in the cave was used for the soldiers during WWII .

Ritidian Beach

Hey everyone! Wanted to tell you that I just returned from a vacation (from my vacation) to the Philippines! I’m working on a blog post for that adventure; meanwhile, here is a post on my favorite beach in Guam!

The journey to Ritidian Beach was a long and bumpy one. Most of the road is polluted with potholes and not very well taken care of. The first time I went, the park was closed due to the holiday. Luckily, the second time I went it was a Sunday afternoon and opened. The sky looked a bit sketchy but we thought, “We’ll just go and hope for the best.” I’m SO glad we did this. It turned out to be a beautiful, perfect day. After dodging the potholes and passing through the gate, the most beautiful view of the beach below welcomed us into the park. Down the hill to the other side we drove, finally reaching the parking area. This is a nice place to go with your family. The park has areas that can be used as daytime campsites. Many people were barbecuing when we arrived. We packed a picnic, radio, snorkeling gear and sunscreen. That day it felt as though the sun was hotter than ever before. As you can see from the pictures, the water matched the sky and the sand was white. It was a nice day for swimming and snorkeling because the waves were not rough at all. Most areas in Guam are great for swimming because the waves are broken by the reef that surrounds the island. As a beginner to snorkeling, I don’t like to go too deep into the water. Even in the shallow areas closer to the shore, there was an abundance of sea creatures and tropical fish! There are only a few beaches in Guam that I really enjoy swimming in because I prefer crystal-clear blue water where you can see to the bottom. So, this limits a lot for me. This is by far my new favorite beach and I look forward to visiting again.

The park does close at 4pm, which felt too early and I wasn’t ready to leave. I snorkeled a bit then lounged around the rest of the time until a parks worker drove by in his ATV and kindly told us that it was closing time. This park is also a wildlife reserve. There are newly built fences to keep out Boonie dogs and cats, snakes (not sure how) and wild pigs to protect the natural vegetation and birds of the island. There was a swarm of black butterflies that I tried to capture in the photo, which I’ve been told cause seven years of bad luck if caught!