Let the Diving Begin
July 17, 2012
Originally, I had set up our diving schedule with MDA divers in Guam to begin today. I thought we would do a couple of dives a day from Tuesday through Saturday with our day off on Sunday and then fly home early in the morning on Monday. Then I came to my senses and realized we were going to be VERY tired on Tuesday morning so I decided we would skip that day and just do 4 days of diving. Sometimes I am incredibly smart because I was so right that we were so tired on Tuesday. Our hostess met us at the airport at the incredibly rude hour of 2 a.m. or something like that. She has lived in Guam over 20 years and while I’m not sure how long she has been doing bed and breakfast, we have gone to her house 3 times now and she always meets us in the middle of the night. Her explanation is that the Asian airports close down past midnight so they fly to Guam, which doesn’t’ close in the middle of the night, and then they are ready to go back to their home base when the airport opens the next morning. One of these days I must fly in from somewhere that doesn’t land me in the wee hours somewhere between darkness and dawn.
Our hostess is down one car from the last time we visited so she had to borrow her neighbor’s car and our bags almost didn’t all fit but we crammed into the car and luckily her house isn’t far from the airport. We were snugged into our apartment over the carport within an hour of walking out of the airport and hugging all around. She does a great breakfast but assured us we could wander down whenever we wanted and she’d cook us up something great. Only problem with that is her rooster. She’s a bird person and has some ducks and chickens and geese and roosters and most of the neighbors seem to have roosters as well plus there are some wild ones roaming about the area. Any roosters I’ve ever heard have never been “sun up” kind of birds. They just seem to crow whenever they feel like it; middle of the night, middle of the day, middle of the sleep, whenever. All these roosters seemed to follow this pattern so we did not sleep very late this morning. Would have liked to but were not allowed. Roosters rule and seem to say, you are in a tropical paradise so get up and enjoy it!
Like I mentioned, our hostess was a car down so after breakfast, she took us to the car rental place she likes so we would have transport. This place doesn’t have a spot at the airport so she will have to return us to the airport in the middle of the night again when we leave. In the past, we have actually rented her car but this one will do ok. Next order of business is to check in with the dive shop and make sure we are set up for our dives the rest of the week. On our very first trip to Guam many years ago, we had been set up to dive with them but my husband had an ear problem in Saipan so he could not dive once in Guam. I did one dive in the Pitti Bomb Craters which is just a shore dive and then we did the tourist thing the rest of the time. Now we will be able to do boat dives with MDA. It is a very good thing we went to the trouble of checking in with them a day early because the dive boats leave from different marinas and we had no clue as to where the marinas were located. Luckily our hostess did so she directed us down the road to find the marinas. We are diving out of two different ones. One is quite a drive from her house and will take us about ½ hour to get there or a bit longer if there is traffic. And on Saturday, it is the 68th liberation day celebration from WWII when Guam was liberated from the Japanese. There will be a big parade which might make it even harder to get to the boat but we’ll worry about that later.
My hubby gets his rented BCD and we pick up weights. I won’t do Nitrox diving on this trip because most of the dives are shallow enough and we would have to stop at the shop to calibrate the tanks and transport the tanks ourselves if I wanted Nitrox. Hmmm. Not quite the resort diving that we are used to getting in some places. Transport my own tanks! Wow. Haven’t done that in about – hmm – forever it seems.
Now to the main business of the day – laundry! Oh my gosh! Do we have dirty clothes! Everything is dirty except the swimsuits which we haven’t used yet. No quarters so our hostess gets everything started for us and then we head to the bank to get some good ole U.S. cash and a roll of quarters for the laundry. She’s looking for Wisconsin – one of two state quarters that she doesn’t have yet. Right out of the roll is a Wisconsin! I bring luck! Takes a while to do the laundry because like commercial dryers everywhere, they really don’t ever dry your clothes. We finally get the warm enough and head back to the house to spread them all over our room to finish drying.
Spent the rest of the day just relaxing and getting ready to dive the next day and having some dinner and basically getting re-acquainted with the island. The most popular place to shop is K-Mart. You have never experienced a K-Mart like Guam because it is on the tourist run and has its own shuttles bringing in tourists and shoppers. There are some hotels that pick up their guests at the airport and stop at the K-mart on the way to the hotel. The store is open 24 hours a day and it is never less than throbbing with people and heaving with customers trying to find bargains and crowding the checkouts and the lanes. There are a ton of Japanese customers and they are the ones that like it the most, I would say. We work on trying to find my hubby a pair of shorts and also pick up some vitamins and snacks and such that we have a hard time finding in the U.K. or that are too expensive in the U.K. We figured it would be our only run to K Mart because don’t really like K marts but I was mistaken. bummer