Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Some Dive Photos from Truk Lagoon

We have now been here for 4 days, and made 7 dives on 6 different Japanese wrecks.

Sherry Doing the Titantic on the Bow of the Sankisan Maru

Truk Lagoon (now called Chuuk and pronounced Chook by the Micronesias) was a major Japanese hub during World War II. They had 3 airfields and a major supply and repair depot here. On Feb 17, 1944, the U.S. Navy surprised the Japanese here with "Operation Hailstone" and sunk about 60 ships. Over the years, about 40 wrecks have been found and documented. Most of the wrecks are supply ships and other support vessels, but there is at least one submarine and several seaplanes.

We have found the Truk Stop Hotel & Dive Shop to be excellent--a very professional dive operation--great dive briefings, great dive guides, very safe dive practices, and a great diver-to-guide ratio. We have had a few meals at the restaurant, and all have been good.

Many of the wrecks are at the limit of the normal "recreational diver" depths (60-90 feet), but with PADI Advanced Diver, Nitrox Diver, and Wreck Diver certificates, plus a whole bunch of wreck diving last summer in the Marshalls, and I feel very comfortable, even at 120 feet, in the dark, inside the bowels of a ship's engine room.

Engine Order Telegraph from the Kansho Maru

What's different about these wrecks than the ones we dove on in the Marshall Islands is that these wrecks have been (mostly) protected from Day 1. So almost all of the "artifacts" are still there for divers to see...mainly instrumentation and cargo items. In the Marshalls, nobody is administering or protecting the wrecks (except in Bikini), and they get quickly looted by divers looking for souveniers to keep or sell.

Here are some pics that Dave has taken.

A Commemoration Plaque on the Fujikawa Maru

Shell Casings on the Fujikawa Maru

Japanese Beer Bottles on the Rio de Janiero

Medicine Bottles on the Sankisan Maru

Boxes and Boxes of Bullets on the Sankisan Maru

Truck Stored on the Deck of Sankisan Maru

Lots of Soft and Hard Coral Growth on the Outside of the Wrecks

Some Awesome Sponge Formations

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