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More Dive Trips

DIVING AT TRUK LAGOON by Andrew Falconer

 

Truk (or Chuuk) Lagoon is a tiny landmass in the Pacific Ocean, just north of the equator and is part of the Federated States of Micronesia. During the Second World War it was a supply base for the Japanese as they spread out across the Pacific as it provided an ideal sheltered harbor for them. In 1944 as the tide of war turned against them, the Americans carried out a surprise attack over several days, which sunk about 90 Japanese ships, mostly armed merchantmen.

As a result Truk Lagoon is a wreck diving location like no other……

 

Location of Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon in the Pacific Ocean in relation to SE Asia and Australia

 

 

Getting to Truk is not easy and is expensive. In 2004 I flew from Cairns to Guam (overnight) and then on to Truk with Continental Airlines. In 2017, it appears that there are no direct flights from Cairns (or anywhere else in Australia) to Guam. There are two options for diving at Truk: liveaboard or land based resort. The former is expensive, but is more convenient as the ship can provide close access to the wrecks, avoiding lengthy to and from boat rides. In 2004 I dived from the Thorfinn, a converted icebreaker, which has been at Truk Lagoon for many years and is still there. Thorfinn is large, roomy and is still powered by steam driven pistons! The ship itself does not move much, remaining anchored in the vicinity of most of the wrecks, with RIBs to access the dive sites. The wrecks range in depth from the surface to plus 50metres. There are about 25 wrecks that are commonly dived. On Thorfinn you can dive up to five per day, although for me three was enough.

 

 

Welcome sign at the airport

The liveaboard dive boat Thorfinn

 

Propeller and cargo gantry of one of the wrecks

 

Diving along the deck and inside one of the wrecks

 

There are some interesting walls covered with marine growth

 

Deck gun turret and barrel and tank on the deck (San Francixco Maru)

 

An old rubber boot

Engine room gauge

 

Tea pot and container with bottle

Bottles of sake lying everywhere

 

Fuel tanks

Fuselage of an aircraft

 

Mobile anti aircraft gun on deck

Small tank on deck

Passageway

 

Sankisan Maru & Seiko

Kansho & Kiyosumi Maru

Shinkoku & Shotan Maru

 

Amagisan Maru & Betty Bomber

Rio de Janeiro & San Francisco Maru

Heian & Hoki Maru