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Truk Lagoon - Page V
Jul 30th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck City Baby
Build  Steel
Location

 Micronesia

Depth  40-210 feet
Length  stinkin huge
Built  Vintage World War II
Sank  1944
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Beginner to Technical
Orientation

 Every which way you can imagine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truk Lagoon - Page IV
Jul 30th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck City Baby
Build  Steel
Location

 Micronesia

Depth  40-210 feet
Length  stinkin huge
Built  Vintage World War II
Sank  1944
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Beginner to Technical
Orientation

 Every which way you can imagine

I hear you asking, "So what is it like to dive in Truk Lagoon?" Good question, I’m glad you asked. It’s easy. Most people see the area on either of the two liveaboards, Truk Odyssey or Truk Aggressor. These fairly luxurious ships ferry you all over the lagoon, hitting the best spots and staying on the premiere wrecks for multiple dives so you can explore them properly. The Aggressor, being part of a chain, is better known but without hesitation I’d choose the Odyssey again in a heartbeat: it’s longer, has larger rooms, and carries less passengers (I’ve never been on the Aggressor but the owner of the Odyssey is a former captain of the Aggressor and I’m guessing knows the ship rather well). I’m not sure I could say enough good things about the Odyssey, so I won’t even try. Suffice it to say Odyssey is one of the few liveaboards in the world of that class where the owners are the captain and first mate (along with husband and wife) - they have a vested interest in making sure the customers are happy and have won BEST LIVEABOARD IN THE WORLD honours several times which demonstrates how well they’re doing.

Other options include the Thorfin (a ship which doesn’t move much), and some shore-based dive operations, which use small boats to get people out to the wrecks.

The water is warm, 82ish degrees year round, so most dive in 3mm wetsuit. Four or five dives a day is quite common, with the night dive always taking place on the same wreck as the afternoon dives so you’ll know your way around better. There is plenty of wreck penetration potential (for those properly trained) and you can get deep inside many of the wrecks, but most divers during our two weeks there didn’t venture inside and still raved about the trip. Wrecks ranged from 60′ to 200′ deep, with the vast majority of diving done at 100′ or less, so there was something for all comfort levels. Throw in a well orchestrated shark feeding dive and it is a hard trip to beat. On the non-diving days you can go on tours of the islands and see the remnants of the Japanese fortifications (pill boxes, canons, underground shelters, a sea plane base and more) which really bring history to life.

 

 

Truk Lagoon - Page III
Jul 30th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck City Baby
Build  Steel
Location

 Micronesia

Depth  40-210 feet
Length  stinkin huge
Built  Vintage World War II
Sank  1944
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Beginner to Technical
Orientation

 Every which way you can imagine

That Truk had great wrecks was not a surprise, they’re everywhere, it’s what the place is known for. The shocking part was the small stuff, the critters of every shape, size and colour. Pipefish, clownfish, lionfish, crabs, nudibranchs, blennies and gobies abound. If small stuff isn’t to your liking they also have the usual large stuff like sharks, napoleon wrasse, and even the odd manta.
 

 

Truk Lagoon - Page II
Jul 30th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck City Baby
Build  Steel
Location

 Micronesia

Depth  40-210 feet
Length  stinkin huge
Built  Vintage World War II
Sank  1944
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Beginner to Technical
Orientation

 Every which way you can imagine

It is disappointing at first to discover Truk Lagoon is mostly full of merchant vessels and not warships, but it has to be remembered they were carrying the implements of war. Most ships were retrofitted with sizeable gun for self defense, some carried tanks, trucks, artillery, landmines, ammunition, torpedoes, fighter planes, and more. And they’re not ALL merchant ships. There’s a destroyer, submarine and Betty bomber which sound like they should be highlights of the trip but aren’t. In comparison to the other wrecks these military vessels are smaller with vastly less penetration potential and character. It’s believed the sub was not hit during the attacks but tried to escape by submerging but in their haste not all hatches were closed in time and it went down with all hands. It was later depth charged so it could not fall into enemy hands.

 

Truk Lagoon - Page I
Jul 30th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck City Baby
Build  Steel
Location

 Micronesia

Depth  40-210 feet
Length  stinkin huge
Built  Vintage World War II
Sank  1944
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Beginner to Technical
Orientation

 Every which way you can imagine

Technically the place is called "Chuuk", the name it used to have before it was occupied by hostile forces that couldn’t pronounce it right and changed it to "Truk", but divers still generally call it Truk Lagoon, or just "one of the best places to wreck dive in the world".

Courtesy of World War II this was the site of one of the pivotal naval battles of the entire war. Truk was one of the most prized locations in the world’s oceans: almost halfway between Japan and Australia, pretty close to the middle of nowhere. This is where Japanese warships and supply ships would meet to refuel, reload, and repair. The land based fortifications were considerable - if the allied forces had tried to take the islands by landing on them there’s a good chance they’d have gotten slaughtered because the Japanese had been building and digging in for years.

American forces had no plans to wage the battle on land - this was an air to sea battle of the highest order. An early American scout plane was spotted by the Japanese forces who raised the alarm and hurried many of the vessels out of the lagoon before the battle even started, but the ones left behind, mostly merchant ships, were sitting ducks.
 

 

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