I checked out the Malesso’ Crab Festival yesterday and it was CRAZY. Just look.
Reminds me of the times my dad would sneak into the house very early in the morning after a night out fishing and let crabs loose in the kitchen. Then he’d wake us kids up by calling us to the kitchen for breakfast. There was a lot of screaming those mornings.
Huffington Post has posted a nice feature about Guam.
“In many ways, Guam is a wonderfully unique contradiction. It’s a remote island and an international melting pot; it’s an American territory, but the gateway to Asia; it’s home to an intensely local culture, but it’s filled with outsiders. And to top it all off, it’s insanely beautiful.”
Off the shore of Agat, about 45 feet underwater, rests the amtrak. This personnel carrier, sunk in WWII, was part of the U.S. invasion force that stormed Guam in 1944. I had a surreal moment as I hovered there and took this picture, wondering how many American soldiers were in the amtrak when it was sunk, how many lost their lives, how many mothers saw their boys come home.
Rick and Melanie are both physician’s assistants in Atlanta, Georgia and met each other at work. After falling in love, their conversations turned towards how much they’d both like to leave the big city for a simpler, quieter way of life. When Melanie got an email about a new position in Guam, she was already pregnant with their first child and decided to recommend Rick, who got the job. Now they’re off to Guam to live a less stressful life where Rick gets to work fewer hours and spend more time at home.
After a grueling day in the water Saturday (5 confined dives and 2 open water dives, all in surging, choppy ocean waters), yesterday I completed 2 more open water dives and I’m proud to say I’m now a PADI certified open water diver.
Hello from 50 feet under the sea
A couple of thoughts from a newborn certified diver: Diving completely frees my mind from everything but what’s in the water. I need more of that. Also, finding that neutrally buoyant sweet spot where you neither sink nor rise is the closest thing I can imagine to being suspended in outer space. It’s so peaceful.
My father was an avid free diver and spear fisher back in his day. When I told him I was certified he wrote, “You are so so so lucky. My best days will always be about the ocean…never ever enough. I don’t need to catch fish–just being there is pure peace. Enjoy it.”
I am my father’s daughter.
If you’re interested in scuba diving in Guam, I highly recommend signing up with Micronesian Divers Association (MDA). It takes less than a week to get certified–you have to attend two classes (book work) and then do two days of diving. There is an option to do the book work online but, having experienced both methods, I would persuade you to go to the classes. So much information comes up during class discussion that you won’t benefit from working solo online, and it’s nice to meet new people and get to know your classmates. Each class was only about two hours long and you only meet twice before the actual diving. The cost is $169 and the only equipment you’ll need to purchase separately is a mask, snorkel, boots and fins.
The actual diving part, where you learn the skills and scenarios and execute them properly at the surface as well as underwater, is not exactly a walk in the park but it’s not that difficult, either. The first full day of diving was exhausting and, truth be told, I felt seasick right before the very last dive of the day and threw up. But I was determined to finish with everyone and powered through (somewhat miserably). I guess what I’m saying is, if I can do it, you most certainly can.
Make the time and go for it. PADI certification doesn’t expire so once you complete the course you’ll be an Open Water Diver for life.