Arrival in Guam

Monday, March 29, 2110 (Sunday in US) – 1330 Guam Time


7521nm logged since departing Seattle

We arrived in Guam mid-day on Monday. A US Coast Guard Cutter (named The Washington) was patrolling the entrance to Apra Harbor. Don had a conversation with them on the VHF and they asked if they could do a courtesy boarding; we said “yes”. Four young Coast Guard men, with a young woman in command, came alongside Starr, boarded and very politely made a safety check of our vessel. Starr passed with flying colors. This initial contact with America in the Pacific as represented by smart, professional young men and women in the service of our country was a terrific welcome to Guam.

The US Coast Guard

We tied to Foxtrot 3 dock at 1330 and were met by Customs, Immigration and Quarantine who helped us tie up. We were processed by 1400; an example of American professionalism and efficiency.

Immigration, Customs and Quarantine at Foxtrot 3

We proceeded a short distance to the anchorage off the Marianas Yacht Club, where based on our cruising guide we thought we would be staying. There were about a dozen moorings sandwiched within reefs and coral heads, but all too lightweight for Starr and a couple of derelict-looking sailboats. There was a huge Naval shipyard immediately adjacent to the “yacht club” with a Navy security boat patrolling its perimeter. We hailed the patrol boat and questioned Starr anchoring in such close proximity to the reefs and coral and the young man in charge told us that we had to stay at least 500yds away from the perimeter of the Navy Yard or when ships came in they would call us (even in the middle of the night) and ask us “What are your intentions?” This anchorage did not feel good so we questioned our alternative options.

Our cruising guide had mentioned a “new marina” about 4nm south of Apra Harbor. We asked the Patrol Boat what he knew about it and the answer was “not much” but that he thought that the Harbor Authority managed it. He tried with his cell phone to help us find a phone number, which he did and which he called for us. Don talked to someone who said that they were not the marina but that they knew a little about it and that it was a good secure facility with a 15’ breakwater. Don then tried to call the Harbor Authority to ask about the marina and was given another phone number to call, which answered with a loop of messages and seemed to be a management agency of some kind. When asked for the latitude and longitude of the marina, the Harbor Authority didn’t know because their charts didn’t go further than Apra Harbor. We decided to head south and see what we could find.

Agat Harbor Marina is a very small, shallow draft marina, full of mostly day charter boats, with a very winding passage through reefs well marked with buoys. It looked full but we carefully entered, while monitoring our sonar and depth sounder. It didn’t look as if there was any space available, but wait there was a concrete pier with a very dilapidated wooden floating dock with a rescue boat moored alongside. Don backed in, we tied a stern line to a piling and while I held Starr in place with the thrusters, Don went ashore to see if he could talk to someone at the Guam Fire Dept Rescue Base at the head of the dock. At this point we met Matt Poppe, Chief of the Rescue Guys, and he said “Sure, its fine to tie up and stay” and later “if you need to borrow my car go ahead” and “come up to the base and use our WiFi” and etc., etc. We checked depth and at low tide we would have an inch to spare under our keel (and it was a soft bottom).

The Rescue Guys at the end of the dock

Starr’s Home in Guam

We had found our home in Guam and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It is in a quiet, mostly residential area, with a grocery store a mile down the road. There is a park with a swimming beach immediately adjacent and good snorkeling outside the breakwater. If we want we can take our tender out into Agat Harbor and swim with the dolphins. How much better can it get than that?

May and Kevin, age 3

Well, shortly after we tied up and got settled in a woman with a 3 yr old child came down the dock and knocked on the hull. It was May Forshee, Guam liaison person for Shell Oil, the fuel company that Kevin Clark at Clipper Oil in San Diego had made arrangements for us to fuel Starr. She and her son, Kevin, were just passing by on their way home from work and she saw Starr and wondered if it was the boat they were expecting to arrive in Guam. She suggested that instead of going back to Apra Harbor and mooring at the big commercial concrete dock to fuel, that the fuel truck could come to us. She would send the field man to see us the next day and check out the logistics. In turns out that we had ended up at the only dock (other than Foxtrot3) in Guam where a boat of our size could moor and take on fuel. Did I say before SERENDIPITY? Yes!

Very Convenient

The best part of our arrival in Guam is that everyone that we have met has been welcoming, generous, and over-the-top friendly. Guam is Great !!

Note: Our friends Tad and Joyce Lhamon arrived at midnight on Tuesday and we are happy to have them with us all the way to Japan.

Note2: There sure are a lot of blue uniforms in Guam
  • Doug & Marlene Easton
    Posted at 21:25h, 31 March Reply

    Hi Sharry & Don
    Happy to hear that you have arrived safely in Guam.
    If Tad and Joyce are the good folks we met on Bainbridge Island please say a BIG HELLO from us.

    kindest regards
    Marlene & Doug

  • Kat
    Posted at 02:54h, 01 April Reply

    Aloha Don and Sharry,
    Glad you made it!
    Thanks for sharing pics.
    Best wishes,
    Kat & Jim

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