Gab Gab Snorkel

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gab Gab beach is a lovely place to snorkel. It’s on the Navy Base, and it’s a hard coral reef with lots of beautiful fish and turtles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At first I couldn’t figure out why everyone said it was good. I was trying to snorkel from the beach wading out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However, if you go around to the pool and take the stairs, you can go out past the reef. That’s where the real excitement is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is always dangerous to go past the reef, so make sure that there aren’t high winds. Those will cause currents, and that can be a problem.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However, when it is safe and the water is calm, it’s a wonderful place to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had never been snorkeling until I came to Guam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s a steep learning curve trying to study all the names of the fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After all, in Arizona there isn’t much call to learn fish names.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However, it’s really a beautiful place to check out, even if you can’t name the fish afterwards.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Talofofo Park and Falls

talefofo park four

 

You can’t see Talofofo Falls unless you pay to get in to Talofofo Park. The admission price is steep; it’s $20 per person. I want to say it’s worth it, but it’s not much of a park.

talefofo park thirteen

There is a very small garden of “sexy” statues which is sort of like LoveLand in Jeju, but much smaller and closer together.

talefofo park eighteen

I don’t like to be negative, but if I am honest, it’s a really small area with a few very generic statues. It doesn’t add much to the park.

talefofo park twenty six

There is a very small haunted house under the cable car entrance. In the style of haunted houses worldwide, it has a few things that pop out at you.

When you finish walking through the haunted house, you can go up to the cable car. Take it over the waterfall, and down to the trail head that lets you walk down below the waterfall.

talefofo park thirty

After that, you can walk over a bridge to the side of the pool. At the top of the stairs, you go up and are faced with two choices:

1. You can walk straight and go into a “museum” full of dioramas depicting the Japanese occupation and the US occupation. It’s very small and not historically accurate, but I suppose it’s good for a laugh.

talefofo park forty

2. You can head left and walk down a long path to see a reproduction of Shoicho Yokoi’s Cave. Really, it’s just some bamboo lashed together and a hole in the ground (which you cant get close to.) The most interesting part is the shrine next to the “cave,” where Japanese tourists leave coins and gifts.

talefofo park forty two

It’s not that there isn’t a lot to see. There is a lot of walking and you should bring plenty of water and maybe a snack. The park definitely covers a large area.

talefofo park forty one

It’s just that all the attractions are sort of cheesy and second-rate, so you walk away feeling disappointed even though you have seen a lot of things.

talefofo park forty five

I went with my friend Mel, who had just finished a tour of North Korea with a Chinese tour company. As she put it “There are better amusement parks in North Korea.”

talefofo park two

If you like cheesy though; this is your ¬†thing. Neil Gaimen said in American Gods that roadside attractions are the best part of America. If you are the sort of person who would be excited to see the world’s largest ball of twine or a giant frying pan, then you will probably enjoy Talofofo Park.

talefofo park twenty four

Tumon Bay Snorkel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tumon Bay is in the center of the tourist part of the island.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Most of the large hotels are right on the bay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Because of this, you don’t really see as many fish and coral as you would other places. The coral can often be damaged by tourists.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However, you can still go around and see some nice things.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s very shallow, so it’s a good place to go if you have children.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mostly, you’ll find stag coral and trigger fish. Oh, and a lot of sea cucumbers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fish Eye Marine Park

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Since I loved to Guam, I feel like I spend a lot of my time underwater. One of the best places to do that is Fish Eye Marine Park.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Grab your snorkel and wade out under the bridge. When you get into water that is too deep to stand, start swimming to the left.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is bring you through an ancient forest of coral, and give you the opportunity to see a lot of cool fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Normally, you wouldn’t want to feed the fish in the ocean. However, they already feed them as the fish eye tourist attraction, so sometimes I bring along some rice to give them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They are so used to eating food from humans that they swam all around and it’s cute.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am trying to learn all the names of the fish, but unfortunately the locals want to teach me the Chamorro words. That’s not something I will ever use outside of Guam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once I find a fish guide for this (very remote) part of the Pacific Ocean, I will try to caption future fish pictures with the names of the fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
In the meantime, here are some pictures of things you can see at Fish Eye.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this is a butterfly fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, I know this one is called a flounder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As for this little guy, I know he’s a rainbow parrot fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This seems to have a shape like a damsel fish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, this one I do know. It’s a Picasso Triggerfish. They bite, so avoid them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s a star fish. Ours our blue, but usually they have five arms. I am not sure why this one has six.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, this is a Picasso Triggerfish with a Wrasse. I really enjoy the different kinds of Wrasse, but I don’t know all their names.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Whatever this one is, it has a great pattern. Shame they’re always digging up the sand so it’s hard to get a good picture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is another kind of Triggerfish, but I don’t know its name.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And this is a stag coral forest full of fish. This is to the left of the Fish Eye, swimming into the Piti Bomb Holes. However, there is a lot of stag coral to the right of the bridge as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some of the bomb holes are very deep, but there are lots of shallow places too. Don’t be afraid to swim over the deep parts to get to the shallower parts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can go all the way out to the reef, which is past the Fish Eye bridge and the Fish Eye structure at least another 100 meters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are great views and huge coral forests covering a huge area, so look around a lot!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Where is Guam?

guam-009

Guam is a US territory located in the Pacific Ocean. The United States took ownership of Guam for the Japanese during WWII, and since then the islanders have been trying to work with the US government in partnership.

guammapz

I moved to Guam when my husband got orders here in 2015, and we will make it our home until the Fall of 2017 when he leaves to do a year of sea duty in the middle east.

20141026_063504

At first it was hard to adjust, because it is a very small island and it is very isolated. That means giving up things like fresh fruit and vegetables (which mostly don’t grow here because the island is coral.)

guam-october-2014 333

However, it also means new experiences and being on a tropical island, so that is an exciting change. I had always wanted to be on the equator because I love plants.

20141026_083551

I will make sure to tell you all about the exciting things that I learn about Guam.