October 19, 2003

rainbows, waterfalls and an eel


girl from church enjoys the view of cocos island
Greetings,

Well, it's hard to believe that it's already been three weeks since I last wrote. I've still been keeping busy here on Guam although during the week I've pretty much just been working at the radio station. I'm still enjoying my work and have been making some good progress on improving the network and other systems.

During the first week after I last wrote I went snorkeling one evening after work at a place within walking distance from my apartment. I saw a few interesting things including fish and some nice coral. On Sabbath it was kind of rainy so we decided to hike to the waterfall near AWR that we can see from the station when it rains. For the first part of the hike we didn't follow a trail at all which made for pretty slow going. For the later part of the hike we did follow a trail, but it was very steep, muddy and slippery. We made it to the top of the "waterfall" but unfortunately there wasn't any rain while we were there so it didn't really have any water falling.
coast near piti power plant
The view was nice at least and the return trip was fun as we slid much of the way down the trail and tried unsuccessfully to avoid getting cut by the sword grass lining the trail. The sword grass is sharp on the edges so that if you brush it at the wrong angle you get something like a bad paper cut. At least the cuts aren't deep so they usually heal up in a day or two, but they do sting in the meantime. Gloves would certainly be a good idea next time that we decide to go off the trail or grab sword grass to slow down while sliding down a slippery trail.

at left you can see a crab leg that the eel dropped temporarily

On Sunday I went snorkeling again, this time near the Piti power plant. The place didn't really have the best snorkeling but afterwards I explored the area a bit on foot. Most of Guam's coast is fringed by a fairly wide reef so right at shore you don't usually get much
if you look closely you can see a second rainbow
wave action. The area near the power plant is sort of a point though which extends to the edge of the reef. The result is that I was able to walk along the rocky shoreline and watch the waves breaking nearby, which was nice.

Monday evening AWR had a welcome party for me at a restaurant called Simply Foods. This restaurant is actually part of the local Adventist Book Center so they serve excellent vegetarian food. The welcome party actually took place a little over a month after I arrived on the island, but some people were traveling and this was the first convenient time for everyone to get together. It was a nice evening and I even met a few AWR employees for the first time. I hadn't met them before due to the fact that they only work nights or on the weekends.

On Friday I hiked down to the closest beach to the AWR station with a coworker named Matt. Since the station is up on a hill the hike took around half an hour.
sky, clouds and sea
Once we reached the beach we walked along the coast for a ways before heading back to the station. On the beach I was quite surprised to see a 2-3 foot moray eel catching crabs. There are lots of crabs here and as you walk along the beach you can often see and hear them scurry into the water or into a crack between two rocks to hide. Eels on the other hand are sometimes spotted while snorkeling or diving, but I've never heard of anyone seeing one right on the beach before. When I first saw this one he was out of the water and was just catching a crab in his mouth. I was able to stand on a rock above the eel so that I could watch him without scaring him away. I even managed to get my camera out and take a picture before he wriggled back into the water. The crab sort of got away but not before he lost at least one leg. Even after the eel returned to the water we were still able to watch him swim around in the shallows for a bit before we lost track of him.

Also on the same hike we saw two different rainbows and enjoyed watching a
the remains of a thunderhead
thunderstorm approach and then sort of just evaporate into the sunset. The clouds that looked dark and menacing when we first saw them turned light, fluffy and bright orange by the time we headed back to the station. We were glad that we had decided to take the hike and thoroughly enjoyed the sundown show.

On Sabbath afternoon we went on another hike, this time to a place called Tarzan falls. We took some kids from church with us and we all had fun cooling off in the waterfall. Although there is an easier trail from the base of Tarzan falls to the top, some of us took the more direct route using a climbing rope that was installed there. Although we probably could have made it without the rope, it was nice to have the added security, particularly on some of the more slippery parts.

Sunday afternoon I hopped in the car and decided to explore the eastern side of the island a little bit. I drove along the coast a bit and stopped in an area
tarzan falls
where a Japanese soldier hid out in a cave for 28 years after World War II. Apparently he survived in the jungle by hunting and trapping, mostly at night until he was "captured" in 1972. I also drove through the University of Guam campus past a picturesque area called Pago Bay. I ended up stopping at a small picnic/beach area called Taga Chang which is nicely situated in a very small bay along a rocky portion of the coastline. The tide was low enough that I could walk along the coast in the tide pools with rocky cliffs on one side and the pounding surf on the other. Since the water was pretty rough on the eastern side of the island I decided to stop by Gun Beach, which is on the western side, on the way home. It was much calmer there and I was able to get in a little snorkeling before sunset.

It has been raining pretty much this whole weekend so I haven't really done
tidal pools at taga chang point
anything outside so far. On Friday I got a haircut, and Saturday night I invited some friends over and we played Settlers. Three of the six players were learning the game for the first time and they all enjoyed it and want to play again sometime.

This coming week the main thing I'll be doing outside of work is starting a SCUBA certification course. I'm looking forward to getting certified so that I can do some diving here on Guam during the coming months.


more tidal pools
On a side note, you've probably already noticed by now but I finally got my own domain name and moved my web site off of the CUC server I had been using. The new site should be more reliable and the address (www.andrewsupdates.com) should also be easier to remember.

Well I think that's all the news for now so I'll go ahead and post this.

Until next time,

Andrew

For more pictures see my gallery albums.

Posted by andrew on October 19, 2003
Comments

Nice pics! Amazing scenery - lucky dog...

Posted by: lauren on October 30, 2003

i love guam that is my island and i love these pictures. i grew away from guam and i never knew how beautiful life can be on the other sides of GUAM!

These PICTURES ARE GOREGOUS and expecially the tidal pools i really wished i could of went to those! welp nice pictures!!

Posted by: LauarLu on September 17, 2005
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