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by David W. Asche

We were in Guam, having arrived sometime after the first of the year 1975, and were getting used to living in the barracks as we had to move off the ship while berthing areas were being remodeled.  "Operation New Life" had yet to start, so we were not yet embroiled in that.  Most of the crew were exploring Guam and finding out what was there.  I myself had discovered snorkel diving at Gab Gab Beach, just a short bike ride from the barracks.

The Divers aboard Hector had installed a salt water fish aquarium in the Dive Locker, and J.C. Mayfield had spent a great deal of time with the decorations of the plants and rocks in the tank, and he had done a swell job of it.

I had heard they were looking for occupants for the tank, so I was obliged to see what I could do, since I spent  almost every afternoon snorkel diving nearby.  On one such afternoon,  I came across a strange lump UNDER the sand on the bottom of the lagoon and noticed it was moving along at a good rate of speed.  I was cautious, as we had been told of the poisonous cone shell snails and the like, and this roused my curiosity.

I wore gloves to handle the things I picked up, and I uncovered this thing, to discover a very pretty, pure white snail about the size and shape of a ping pong ball.  The shell was polished smooth from being under the sand.  I figured this would be a swell addition to the fish tank.  I put it into my little net ditty bag I used to carry what I had found and swam on.

A few minutes later, I saw ANOTHER bump under the sand moving along in a good rate of speed.  I dug it up and, sure enough, it was another of these very pretty, white, very round snails.

I finished my dive for the day, and put the two snails in my swim mask with enough water and sand keep them happy until they found their new home.  I went back to the Dive Locker and knocked on the door.  One of them  answered and I said, "I have some critters for your fish tank."  He looked at my mask full of sand and said, "OK. Dump them in." I emptied the contents of my mask into the tank and stayed on to BS a while, not looking at the tank or what was going on inside it.

J. C. Mayfield came in and noticed the plants and rocks were MOVING all around the tank on their own at a good rate of speed.   He had this stupefied look on his face and said, "WHATDAHELLIZAT?"


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