Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is reputed as one of the best dives in Guam. It is located on the southern coast of Guam. I picked a night dive to go there. The hole is just that, it’s a natural limeston vertical shaft going down into the reef on the side of a sheer cliff. You can enter this tube from the top at about the 60′ level. It is about 20 foot across. As you decend you can see all kinds of sar fish and urchins on the walls of the shaft.

The trick is that you have to go down to about 127′ level to look for the exit hole. There is another hole much deeper but that’s beyond my diving ability. And of course it’s night so you can’t see anything but what is in the light from the flashlight in your hand. I had rented a pretty good halogen flashlight which did not implode on me. I was able to find the exit hole. It was not claustrophobic as you would expect. There was so much to see on the walls that it kept you busy. The wall itself did not seem more than a foot thick. I swam through the 5′ opening and found myself on the side of a cliff. To my left was a steep sloping cliff wall. To my right was what might as well have been a bottom-less pit.

I followed Raul as we proceded along the cliff face. We were still at the 120′ level but without any horizontal surfaces, it was hard to stay at one depth. I soon realized that I had drifted down to 130′. I paniced a little when I started to notice my lips tingling. It wasn’t unpleasant at all. The panic came because I realized that it was nitrogen narcosis setting in. I had gone too deep, too long. Raul had gone on without me and though I could see his light, he was not looking for me. I decided not to die just then and swam up a bit. My training kicked in and I remembered not to rocket to the surface — that would be bad. I made a gradual accent to about 90′, now hovering above my buddy by 30′ or so. The entire narc episode was only 7 minutes but it left quite an impression.

I eventually got back up to the 60′ level where there was a shelf. I could see other lights off in the distance of those who had not ventured all the way down the hole. Despite the darkness, visibility was quite extrodinary. It was so completely different from my Lake Travis night dive years before.

I swam along the shelf and found a huge boulder the size of a VW Beetle perched precariously as if its trunk was straight up in the air. Around on one side and underneath, I saw a huge lion fish. I had seen them in stores an knew them to be poisonous as well as beautiful. It’s hard to judge the scale but this guy had to be 18″ long including all his plumage. He just sat there under the boulder and watched me pass.

Upon returning to the dive shop I looked for a t-shirt. I bought one that states “I Dove the Blue Hole”. Tammy later asked my why my shirt read “I Dove…” with Dove pronounced like the bird. Not the best choice for t-shirt.
I don’t have any pictures because it was at night and the camera rental was so pricy. It didn’t make sense to rent the camera for just one dive.

Max Depth:

130

Avg Depth:

60

Air Temperature:

79

Water Temp at Surface:

78

Water Temp at Depth:

75

Pressure In:
Pressure Out:

300

Visibility Horizontal:

30

Visibility Vertical:

60

Weight:

11

Gab Gab II Hot Dogs

What a fish-o-rama. There were tons of fish. I saw a foot-long angel fish. The 500 yard swim on the surface was the only tiring part of the dive but it is worth it to get out to where the fish are. The sky had turned overcast and we got a slight sprinkly of rain.

This was probably the best dive location as far as being able to see the fish for the longest time. It is certainly the cheapest since all we had to pay for was the tanks of air. It’s more dangerous because you only have your compadres to help you if you get into trouble. If I remember right, Raul was new to diving. While I am not new, I have not logged many hours.

Max Depth:

80

Avg Depth:

30

Air Temperature:

80

Water Temp at Surface:

79

Water Temp at Depth:

79

Pressure In:
Pressure Out:

3400

Visibility Horizontal:

50

Visibility Vertical:

50

Weight:

11

Gab Gab II

Raul got us onto the Navy base which is accessible to US citizen but not really sanctioned for scuba use. It is the Clinton administration so don’t ask, don’t tell. There is a little park with a concrete pool right in the side of the bay. It is obviously used for training. Apparently this is known as Gab Gab. If you go about 500 yards out into APRA Harbor to a bouy, you come to what is known as Gab Gab II. The bout itself marks a cliff that goes from 50′ down to abut 120′ leading out to the channel. The bottom of the cliff is a sandy bottom and not very interesting. It would be a good place to see a shark. I was with Raul and 3 other friends from work. Raul brought chees wiz, some hot dogs and a camera. I really question the smarts of feeding hot dogs to a morea eel. Don’t hot dogs look a lot like fingers? I was swing around looking at stuff when I came face to face with this huge morea eel. Later I found out that he lives there and expects to be fed.

So we’re swimming around having a gran old time when all of the sudden there’s a submarine cruising by. It was so close that we had to get out of it’s way. Then we decided to stand in front of it to take pictures. The submarine itself was full of tourist who had come to see the morae get fed.
Max Depth: 120′
Avg Depth: 50′
Air Temperature: 80º
Water Temperature: 79º at surface/79º at depth
Pressure: 3500#/500#
Visibility: V-100’/H-50′
Weight: 11# (no wet suit)

After about a half hour of bottom time we returned to shore for a little barbecue dinner.

Max Depth:

120

Avg Depth:

50

Air Temperature:

80

Water Temp at Surface:

79

Water Temp at Depth:

79

Pressure In:
Pressure Out:

500

Visibility Horizontal:

50

Visibility Vertical:

100

Weight:

11

Eel’s Garden

The Micronesian Dive Shop put on a great lunch for us between dives complete with sushi. For the second dive of the day, we made a short boat ride from Shark Pit to Eel’s Garden. It is named that for the Sand Needles which are eels living in the sand swaying in the tide like blades of grass. I also saw a small morea eel hiding in a coral. I saw a sea slug, many trigger fish, and angel fish. This was my deeped dive ever going down to 120′ for the first time although most of our time was spent at the 40′ level.

On the boat ride home, we had a pod of dolphin escort our boat. By then it was getting too dark in the evening for the picture to come out very well.

Max Depth:

120

Avg Depth:

40

Air Temperature:

78

Water Temp at Surface:

78

Water Temp at Depth:

80

Pressure In:
Pressure Out:

500

Visibility Horizontal:

100

Visibility Vertical:

120

Weight:

11

Shark Pit

With my dive buddy, Raul Estravit, I went on a trip to the Shark Pit, just off the southern coast of Guam, on the Orote Peninsula. Raul drove us to the boat dock. The boat “Scuba Roo” was pretty good size with probably 40 people on board. We sailed out into the pacific to an area that was like an old dumping ground. I presume the sharks liked all the trash.

The boat ride around the penninsual was very memorable. Each wave was bigger than the last. at one point the wave were bigger than the boat. I could not see over the crest of the oncoming waves. The boat rode up an down these monster waves. Just when I thought the next wave would swamp us, we rounded the penninsula and the waved died down to nothing.

The military used to dump their trash right off the cliff into the water. This trash included tanks, trucks, trailers, you-name-it. I only got about 15 minutes of bottom time but we got to a depth of 90 feet averaging about 60 foot. Visibility was better than any lake dive but not as good as the Florida Keys. I saw grouper, str fish, sea urchins, lots of tyes of coral. I used an underwater camera to take a few pictures.

In this picture you can see the pit that has been blow away in the side of the cliff. There is no way to know if this shot was fired in anger or in boredom.

It has been a while since I went diving so I had to keep asking to make sure I remembered everything. I almost jumped in the water without my regulator ready or my BC inflated. That would have been bad.

Max Depth:

90

Avg Depth:

60

Air Temperature:

78

Water Temp at Surface:

80

Water Temp at Depth:

75

Pressure In:
Pressure Out:

600

Visibility Horizontal:

100

Visibility Vertical:

60

Weight:

11