Cargo ships, bomber aircraft & much more......
Truk Lagoon was high on my bucket list of must do dives. I’d pondered taking a group there but was under the impression that the dives were more for those into tech diving. So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to join an educational trip, I grabbed it and discovered there is plenty for the Recreational diver to dive on.
We spent 6 days diving all sorts of wrecks including passenger liners, cargo ships, flying boat, Bomber aircraft. We dived these wrecks in depths of 20 and 30 metres and we only scratched the surface of what there is to see there. Sea temps were a beautiful 28 degrees at dive depth and visibility an easy 20 metres.
Chuuk Atoll (Truk) in the Caroline Islands is infamous for its giant lagoon. The lagoon is the final resting place for more than 100 ships, planes and submarines. The majority of these wrecks are the legacy of a fierce World War II battle between the Imperial Japanese Fleet and the Allied Carrier Planes resulting in the largest naval loss in history.
Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks in close proximity, situated in shallow clear water. Although many of the wrecks exceed recreational dive limits, there are a lot of very accessible wrecks and I would be happy to take those with their Advanced Open Water Dive certification and recommend having your Deep Dive Specialty. It’s safe to say you will never be short of dive site options. The ships cargoes consist of tanks, trucks, airplanes, mines, bombs and machine gun bullets. Thousands of other artefacts including beautiful china are there still to be explored. And it goes without saying that these wrecks are covered in stunning corals and fish life!
The island itself has not much else going on. There is really only 1 resort and a couple of hotels on the island to stay at. We stayed at Blue Lagoon Resort who have their own dive operation and found them to be excellent, knowledgeable on the wrecks and their history as well as the history of the island and its past as the secret base for the Japanese. Set in nice tropical grounds with its waterfront location and a good restaurant/bar for post dive catchups.
Getting there is a little bit of a mission with flights out of NZ not aligning well with the flights up to Truk via New Guinea – which means an overnight in Sydney at each end is needed. But it’s all very worth it!