Downey Duck

Travel

Guam, 2005

We were planning a trip to dive some of the deeper wrecks in Truk Lagoon, passing through Guam yet again, so we decided it was time to find out how the diving in Guam is, and get rid of some jet lag in the process, so upon arrival in Guam, after a long day of flying from Pittsburgh, we rented a car, checked into the Holiday Inn, and played tourist for five days. We drove all over the island, which isnít very big, checked out all the tourist sites, and dove for three days.

Weíve concluded that Guam is a less pricey place to stop over than Hawaii, has some beautiful scenery, but not high impact diving. The same volcanic terrain that makes the island so scenic extends under the water surface as well, where there is a vast rocky landscape with little coral, so the fish are spread out over a large area. The area also gets hit by frequent storms.

We dove with MDA and were satisfied with their operation; the boats are well set up and it was fairly easy making arrangements with them over the internet. They deal a lot with Japanese tourist groups that bring their own gear as well as their own guides. MDA doesnít normally put a dive guide in the water, so we were on our own, which was no problem. The Blue Hole, actually a vertical lava tube, was interesting, as was the mound where the Atlantis submarine hangs out; they have feeding stations set up that bring in schools of fish, including huge, well-fed trevellies and giant batfish. Seeing the submarine underwater and waving at the tourists was fun. We did a dive at Guamís version of Cocos Island, which yielded some anemonefish and a lionfish. There is a wreck from WWII sitting on top of a WWI wreck; unfortunately that was not a scheduled dive while we were there. A crew from National Geographic, was filming; if we had been diving one more day, we might have been able to hang out with them.

Guam has a lot of history, from its Spanish discovery through WWII. Thereís enough things to do for a few days and decent diving for 2-3 days, especially if youíre with a large enough group to control the choice of dive sites. Guam isnít a dive destination, but a place to relax and do some diving.