Destination Fact File
The best place in the world for wreck diving, dive the huge wrecks left over from WWII.
Diving in Truk Lagoon is world famous for the quality of its wrecks. There are over 100 ships and planes under the water within a few square Kilometres.
From their watery grave, these ghostly skeletons give shape to a unique underwater museum. Giant ships of war rest in eerie silence among bombs, torpedoes, guns, tanks, planes, telegraphs, china, bicycles, shoes, trucks and giant 18” warheads.
Nature and time have softened and transformed this graveyard into living shipwrecks of incredible colour and marine life. Brilliant soft corals in all colours, anemones, daisy corals and sponges now cling to rusted remnants of military glory and many species of tropical fish play amongst once lethal weapons.
The majority of the wrecks lies off Dublon, Eten, Fefan and Uman Islands and represent the largest naval loss in history. Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks in close proximity, situated in shallow, clear water. Many of the wrecks are visible to snorkelers and there are many on-shore wartime locations to visit.
Reef diving is one of Truk’s best kept secrets because the focus and thrill of diving Truk Lagoon is the wrecks. Truth is, Truk has miles and miles of mostly unexplored reef and on the rare occasion a diver decides to dive a reef dive they see a wide variety of big and small fish, turtles, and vibrant corals. It is further to the reef than any of the wrecks so it is usually a single trip in the morning
or the afternoon.
It is a really long trip from the UK but so worth it! There are daily flights from London Heathrow to Manila in the Philippines with various airlines. On arrival in Manila, depending on flight connection times you can take an evening flight to Truk via Guam, the central hub for all Continental Micronesia flights. Please note that transit times through Manila and Guam can be long and sometimes in excess of 12 hours. Overnights and day rooms can be arranged to make your journey more relaxing.
While in Guam, there’s a really good Irish Bar for sitting and chatting, a TGI’s for those less adventurous in eating out and some really good local restaurants. The beach is also really close to the hotel so you can just relax and unwind, visit the local shops and restaurants all along the promenade. Be sure you check the pedestrian access as it isn’t well sign-posted. You can also go swimming and snorkelling during your stop-over.
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You can see sharks on many of the wrecks on any given day in fact, the Shinkoku Maru has what we call “a resident shark” that can be seen on most dives. But, Shark Island just a 15-minute boat ride from shore, is the best shark dive in Truk.
Fujikawa Maru is a 135 metre 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 is a 108 metre 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 is a 153 metre 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 18 metres of water. A Mitsubishi A6M5 carrier fighter given the name "Zero" by the Allied forces. Betty Bomber, a Mitsubishsi G4M1 attack bomber given the code name "Betty". 20 metres long with a 25 metre wingspan in 15 metres of water.
“Shark Island” - Just a 15-minute boat ride, this is the best shark dive in Truk. This area is actually a cleaning station for sharks and a great dive to watch the activity and behaviour of sharks during this process. Submerged in 18 meters of water dive up close and personal with some dozen or so sharks.