Swingin' on a Star

Ship's log for the circumnavigating Saint Francis 50 catamaran, "Swingin on a Star".

01 April 2010 | Palau
13 July 2009 | Palau
05 July 2009 | Yacht Harbor
03 July 2009 | Peleliu
02 July 2009 | Palau
01 July 2009 | Two Dog Beach
30 June 2009 | Mecharchar
29 June 2009 | Mecharchar
28 June 2009 | Ulong
27 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
17 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
16 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
15 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
14 June 2009 | Ngeruktabel
13 June 2009 | Ngerutable
25 May 2009 | Yacht Harbor
30 April 2009 | Malakal
29 April 2009 | Koror
28 April 2009 | Malakal
27 April 2009 | Malakal

Shopping Guam

26 February 2009 | Guam
Guam gets our vote for #1 place to restock and buy gear in the Pacific (so far). You have to have a car to get around, but hey, what's new, it's America. Armed with a car (as little as $125 a week), a cell phone ($20 for a GSM sim) and a laptop (free wifi internet is everywhere) you can move mountains.

For food I would visit Cost-u-Less. Two to choose from located just down from the Premiere Outlets and a couple blocks past the Micronesian Mall, Cost-u-Less is like Costco with a great selection of food (boxed, canned, frozen and fresh). It is a perfect place for provisioning a yacht. There are many great US style grocery stores around as well. Payless is a US style grocery store a block behind Premiere Outlets (open 24 hours). California Mart is located next to the Premiere Outlets and has a lot of Asian stuff. Tokyo Mart is a Japanese grocery and is next to the Cost-u-Less, also just down from Premiere Outlets.

Electronics are not the islands strong point compared to a yachty type town in the US but you can get by. There is an ICOM dealer up by the airport with hand held VHFs, fixed mount VHFs and SSBs in stock. They will have or can get anything ICOM in about a week. They are also real radio professionals and can sort out problems and make cables, etceteras (I discovered that they work on island time though). They also do big solar and wind installations and have yacht suitable wind generators and solar panels.

For general chandlery there is the Coral Reef chandler. They are like a small West Marine. You can get most of what you need there and they can order anything you want (most shops lean on West Marine Port Supply pretty heavily). There's also a Mercury repair/dealer on the main drag (Marine Corp Drive) that has a fair stock of boat bits and they fix outboards for cheap ($35 for Eric's 8hp repair).

For general stuff there is a huge Home Depot and a big Kmart. This particular Kmart is also open 24 hours. There are two malls, the Micronesian Mall and the Primiere Outlet Mall, not to mention the huge tourist district shopping area. There are several well stocked Napa stores a big True Value Hardware and a larger Ace Hardware. You can easily get any kind of welding and other types of fabrication done here.

Several dive shops can supply your scuba and related gear needs. I found the perfect 1mm full suit that I had been looking for at Micronesia Divers Association (MDA) on Marine Corps Drive. MDA is a great place to get your gear serviced also.

You can get dinghies, surfer boards, and lots of beach wear in the tourist district. DNA is a great shop for beach cloths and water sports stuff. You can also eat to your heart's content at Tony Romas, various Sushi spots, Outback Steak House, Teppanyaki, Planet Holywood, Vietnamese, Hard Rock Café, Korean Barbeque, Steaks and Shakes, Mickey Ds, BK, California Pizza Kitchen, Taco Bell, or any number of fancy hotel restaurants or Mall food courts.

Tie all of this to the spectacular hospitality of the folks at the Marianas Yacht Club and you have a perfect setting. Guam is the US so you can ship anything that can go air here from the US for cheap, and with no customs! US Mail has been taking us about 2-3 days. You can ship to the yacht club's PO Box and then pick it up at the post office. This kind of cheap shipping means that products from the entire West Marine catalog, Harken catalog, and others, not to mention Amazon, are close at hand.

The down side is that there is no real cruiser friendly marina. There is a marina in Agat but they are pretty much locals only, full up and not interested in big boats (50' or more). There is a beautiful marina in the Navy base but you need a base pass for that one (I considered joining the Coast Guard Reserve for that one...). There is a small derelict marina in the harbor of refuge and a larger commercial marina in town but neither is a place that would welcome a cruising yacht. The Marianas Yacht Club is really the best spot for transient cruisers.

The island at large doesn't know what a sail boat is. This last point means that you will not find a rigger, sail loft or that bit of deck hardware you were looking for. Fiberglass work, engine repair or anything else needed to support the power boat world will be no problem. There is also no real haul out facility. You will read about hiring a crane in the old cruising snippets but this is a project you would need a fair amount of time to arrange and it could be very pricey (not to mention dangerous) unless you have the right contacts.
Vessel Name: Swingin' on a Star
Vessel Make/Model: Saint Francis 50
Hailing Port: Las Vegas, NV
Crew: Randy Abernethy
Home Page: http://swinginonastar.com
Swingin' on a Star's Photos - Swingin on a Star (Main)
Selected photos of Swingin' on a Star at anchor.
7 Photos
Created 18 September 2007
31 Photos
Created 15 September 2007
copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Randy & Hideko Abernethy, all rights reserved