|Diving from Truk Stop: Truk Lagoon Diving|
"Operation Hailstorm", February 16 1944, This surprise air raid attack on the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Fourth Fleet left a graveyard of submarines, fuel tankers and cargo ships sunk by the US bombers. More than 100 vessels and aircraft still lie at the bottom of the shallow Truk Lagoon and many ships are aground on the reefs.
This ghostly fleet remains mostly intact, now a vast underwater war museum, richly encrusted with life and preserved as a monument to Ships, the planes, tanks, guns and all sorts of equipment lay preserved in this aquatic grave where only divers can visit.
The more than 100 large wrecks in the lagoon (some 200 - 500 ft. in length) are covered with brilliantly colored beautiful living reefs of brilliant soft corals and sea anemones. The warm tropical waters are nutrient rich and constantly stirred by the current, providing a home for a kaleidoscope of tropical marine life. These wrecks are now fully incorporated into the environment as "artificial reefs."
Diving from Truk Stop Hotel
In December 2001, Truk Stop Hotel added the Truk Lagoon Dive Center. This new PADI diving facility is only a 30 sec. walk from the hotel.
From the hotel a 50 yard long boardwalk and pier spans the inner lagoon passing over a small mangrove stand. Up to 4 boats at a time can come right up to the pier to pick up hotel guests for their day's diving.
The Truk Lagoon Diving Center is staffed by professional dive instructors and staff who provide instruction, and equipment repair as well as escorting dives.
Wreck, reef and shark feeding dives are offered up to 4 dives per day. The Truk Lagoon Dive Centre has a covered wash and rinse area. Divers soak and rinse their dive gear and underwater camera equipment in fresh water here. There is no need to carry wet suits and equipment back to the rooms as 6 walk-in style storage lockers are located here as well. Divers can store and dry their gear overnight.
The Truk Lagoon Dive Centre's new 0-metre custom dive boats offer daily dives, up to four dives per day. The Truk Lagoon Dive Centre has new tanks and a full range of rental dive equipment. The dive center provides nitrox and decompression gas mixing and offers scuba equipment repair. Boats carry the Dan O2 kits and First Aid kits.
PADI dive courses, such as the PADI Wreck Diving Speciality and PADI Nitrox Diving are available.
Do you need to book a liveaboard for diving in Truk Lagoon? Probably not. Most of the wreck dives are only a 20 min. ride or less from the Truk Stop Hotel pier.
Truk Hotel Packages
Truk Dive Packages
Truk Lagoon Dive Sites
The main attractions for SCUBA divers in Chuuk are the incredible wrecks, ships sunk 50 years ago that are still much as they were when they were sunk. The main change is the growth of marine life on the wrecks that have softened them and turned some of the wrecks from a tool of destruction into a thing of beauty. A few examples of the many dive sites in Truk Lagoon follows.
Heian Maru - 530 ft. long ship, once a passenger liner, lying on her side in 110 ft. of water. Heian Maru was used by the Japanese Sixth Submarine Fleet as their headquarters. Two giant propellers, torpedo warheads and submarine periscopes.
San Francisco Maru - 385 ft. long cargo boat used to ferry equipment and supplies. One of the oldest ships in the Lagoon, the San Francisco Maru was built in 1919. The bottom of the stern is at 210 ft. with the front mast reaching to 90 ft. This is a deep dive, not for the inexperienced diver. Several tanks, a truck, fuel tankers in the hold, an aircraft tug, a steamroller, and mines.
Fujikawa Maru - 437 ft. long Japanese freighter which served as an aircraft ferry. She sits upright on the sea floor with the upper decks covered in brilliant soft corals. Lionfish, blennys, anemones with clownfish make this wreck one of the most popular dives in Truk Lagoon. The cargo hold contains parts for Zero fighters including props, wings, fuselages as well as aircraft guns, machine gun bullets and sake bottles.
Nippo Maru - 353 ft. long freighter sitting upright. Depth 50 to 150 feet. There is little coral due to depth but this ship has the best preserved wheelhouse in the lagoon. Artillery guns, a tank, land mines and 2 trucks.
Shinkoku Maru - 500 ft. long tanker sitting upright on the sea floor. One of the most beautiful wrecks for coral growth. Her wheelhouse and forward deck are covered with soft corals and sponges in shade of red, yellow, pink and white. Expect schools of tropical fish in the shallow areas of this wreck.
Plane Wrecks - Approximately 250 airplanes were destroyed in the lagoon. Shipwrecks are the main attraction of the diving in Truk Lagoon but there are also many warplanes at relatively shallow depths that are ideal for 2nd and 3rd dives later in a diving day. Some of the notable airplane wrecks are: Upside Down Zero, an attack fighter in 60 ft. of water. A Mitsubishi A6M5 carrier fighter give the name "Zero" by the Allied forces. Betty Bomber, a Mitsubishsi G4M1 attack bomber give the code name "Betty". 65 ft. long with an 82 ft. wingspan. 50 ft. of water.
The Emily Flying Boat and Kate Torpedo Bomber are also good plane wreck dives. Emily Flying Boat.
Reef Dives - There are also a number of good reef dives on the other edges of Chuuk's barrier reef. Here you can dive the passes or vertical walls on the outside of the reef. Visibility on the outside of Truk Lagoon is generally very good, often surpassing 200 ft. Sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, tuna and schools of fish are likely sights. Northeast Pass, Salat Pass, Shark Reef and Pisamwe Drop-off are some of the best reef dives in Micronesia.
Dive Operators - Several dive operators are located in Weno. The staff at Truk Stop Hotel can assist you with selecting and reserving dives with any operator you choose or you may dive with our Truk Lagoon Dive Center. The dive shops will pick up and return guests to the hotel.
About Truk Lagoon Diving
Any time of the year is good for diving in Truk Lagoon. Since it is a lagoon, and is sheltered from the Pacific Ocean currents and waves, diving is easy and relaxed.
Visibility varies with the dive site and other conditions, but is normally 60-100ft. The water temperature is 81-86°F (27-30°C) year round. A 1mm wetsuit or polartec suit is adequate thermal protection for most divers. For those doing 3-4 dives per day, a 3mm suit might be best.
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