Family Beach

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Submitted By:
Seth Bareiss

Submitter Comments:
At the end of the road is a small white sand beach called "Family Beach". There are no phones or showers or indeed any other facilities, but there are plenty of nearby people should you have an emergency. Suit up at your car, and walk 30' over fine tan sand into the waist-high clear water. You can snorkel the 2o yards to a small, 30' deep valley that runs parallel to the beach. Turn North-West (the way you drove), and enjoy this little valley. It's brightly lit, with few divers, lots of animals and corals, no currents, and only a tiny problem with easily-stirred-up silt on the bottom. It's the perfect dive or snorkel, if you want something tame but exquisitely beautiful for beginners. No currents, no big animals. Always safe. DO NOT be tempted to dive at the nearby "Outhouse Beach". Outhouse is popular with dive shops, but I cannot imagine why. It's got horrible viz, and little life of any kind.

Directions:
 Drive South-East from Tumon Bay. Pass Hagatna (the capitol city) and look for the road leading Northwest along the thin peninsular north edge of Apra harbor. Drive slowly, because there are many large container trucks and police on this road. The road is wide and well paved. On the way out, you'll pass "Outhouse Beach" on your left, marked by the presence of a stony beach and many divers' vehicles. Don't pause. Keep going to the end of this road.


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05/07/2010 Kirk Huff (Avg: 2.86 Review) - Since early 2010, the Port Authority of Guam security has begun stopping divers and demanding that they show a permit issued by the port general manager. This is a bit of silliness as it apparently was put in place for all the dive classes at Outhouse Beach but has been extended to every diver, who must now submit their certification and certificate of insurance for approval. Bizarrely, people say they are never challenged at Outhouse Beach because there are so many classes that security assumes you are part of one, while challenge the occasional group of shore divers at Family Beach. Hopefully saner minds will eventually triumph. If you have said permit, have evaded the authoritarian grasp of bureaucracy, or if security has gone back to not caring, this is the perfect beginner shore dive - easy entry, relaxed, stuff to look at in a reasonable depth. I typically take a heading on the buoy or ship out the right of the beach and, after dropping down, go right over the top of Dogleg Reef (1-3'). ('Dogleg Reef' is another name for this dive.) You drop down the other side of the coral to where the sand begins at 60' or so and then turn left and go around the tip of Dogleg Reef at a very leisurely pace and you should have plenty of air to follow the wall all the back to your entry point. You could easily just follow the side until you reach halfway air and turn around. Never more than 60-65' deep if you stay on the coral, at a slow pace with a surprising amount of fish. For the adventurous, Harley Reef, which has a pre-war or WWII-era Harley-Davidson motorcycle on top is supposedly very close to Dogleg Reef, though nobody has ever given me decent directions.

03/19/2008 Shirley Schmidt (Avg: 3.05 Review) - Another way to dive this site is to kick straight out until you come to a wide sandy bottom. Keep kicking and you'll come to another reef. Drop down and head to the left. One downside to this site is you have to tow a flag because of the jet ski action there. I know an instructor who was fined around $600 for not having one.


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Diver Averages for  Family Beach  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.50
Bottom Conditions:  3.00
Reef Conditions:  3.00
Animal Life:  3.00
Plant Life:  2.50
Facilities:  1.00
Solitude 3.50
Roads:  2.00
*Site Average:  2.95
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.50
Beginner Scuba:  4.00
Intermediate Scuba:  3.00
Advanced Scuba:  3.00
Night diving Scuba:  3.00

Number of reviews for this site: 2

1329-8-7-3


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