World Tour : Truk Lagoon 2017

MV Oddyssey : Dive Luxury

Long Term Plans have finally come to fruition to dive the Japanese Pacific Fleet – sunk at the end of WWII

If you like “TIN” – this is Wreck Diving Heaven
…. a genuine trip of a lifetime !

So popular has this trip proved to be with everyone, that the trip was fully booked within months of arranging it – so we have had to plan a second week out there : dates have just been released…

For Experienced Advanced Sport Divers and Tec divers :
THIS IS IT !

Truk Lagoon – or correctly CHUUK Lagoon – has to be on the bucket list for every Wreck Diver…
With amazing wrecks in clear viz and tropical waters, this has to be THE TOP DESTINATION.
In 1969, French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and his team explored Truk Lagoon. Following Cousteau’s 1971 television documentary about the lagoon and its ghostly remains, the place became a scuba diving paradise, drawing wreck diving enthusiasts from around the world to see its numerous, virtually intact sunken ships. The shipwrecks and remains are sometimes referred to as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon”. In waters devoid of normal ocean currents, divers can easily swim across decks littered with gas masks and depth charges and below deck can be found evidence of human remains. In the massive ships’ holds are the remnants of fighter aircraft, tanks, bulldozers, railroad cars, motorcycles, torpedoes, mines, bombs, boxes of munitions, radios, plus thousands of other weapons, spare parts, and other artefacts. Of special interest is the wreck of the submarine I-169 Shinohara which was lost when diving to avoid the bombing. The submarine had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

 

Being so geographically remote – the journey to Truk is complex…
We will fly London-AbuDhabi-Manilla(or HongKong)-Guam-Chuuk : nearly 2 days of travel !

On arrival we will have a couple of nights B&B at Blue Lagoon to recover
– with the option to sneak a couple of dives in early before boarding MY ODYSSEY
– by reputation THE VERY BEST LIVEABOARD, with ALL INCLUSIVE Food & Drinks at the bar
UNLIMITED DIVING is a reality here : 4-5 dives / day is usual…

A few dive sites are relatively shallow, but the scale of the wrecks is seriously impressive.
There are a several deeper wrecks – with Tec diving opportunities for all

Commonly Visited Wreck and Reef Sites

Ship Name
Highlights
Length
Depth Range
Fujikawa Maru Lush coral growth. Zero airplane fuselages and wing sections.
439’
0’-120’
Yamagiri Maru 18″ diameter artillery shells of Battleship Musashi.
437’
60’-120’
Nippo Maru 2 man tank and artillery guns on deck. Photogenic wheelhouse.
353’
50’-150’
Heian Maru Torpedoes and submarine telescopes. Massive size.
510’
35’-100’
Sankisan Maru Lush soft coral growth on mast. Machine gun ammunition in hold.
200’
0’-100’
Hoki Maru Trucks, bulldozer and tractor in hold. Massive destruction of bow.
250’
45’-150’
Unkai Maru Photogenic bow gun. Good coral growth on masts.
360’
30’-130’
Rio de Janiero Maru Awesome size. Photogenic propellers. Large engine room.
461’
40’-120’
Hanakawa Maru Lush soft and hard coral growth.
363’
10’-100’
Fumitzuki Destroyer Bow and stern guns, torpedo launcher.
320’
80’-120’
Betty Bomber Japanese small twin engine bomber.
60’
50’-60’
Momokawa Maru Aircraft parts, truck frames and artillery shells.
380’
80’-150’
Shinkoku Maru Lush coral growth. Fantastic marine life. Excellent engine room.
500’
30’-130’
Aikoku Maru Massive destruction of bow. Photogenic stern gun.
270’
100’-200’
San Francisco Maru Tanks on deck. Trucks, mines, bombs and ammunition in holds.
375’
100’-200’
Pizion Reef Wall dive. Large coral heads in the shallows. Sharks
15’-200’+
Not all sites are visited every week. Weather, water conditions, dive skills and experience and guest requests are all taken into consideration on planning the particular itinerary of each trip. Note that figures are in FEET not meters : it’s big – but not that big !

Scubaholics Dive Team World-Tour : Truk Lagoon 2017

TEC DIVER week 5-12 Nov 2017
[ minimum qualification Tec50 or CCR ]

SPORTS DIVER week 19-26 Nov 2017
[ minimum qual. PADI Rescue Diver / Master Scuba Diver ]
– actually this is now a mixed week with several tekkies on board…

International Flights, 4 nights B&B before/after liveaboard
MY Odyssey LiveAboard – All Inclusive food & drinks
4-5 dives possible per day  : Nitrox included
£4400pp cabin share : £250 deposit on booking
– interrim deposit £800 May 2016 [ 18 months pre-trip ]
– flights payment in full 30 Nov +/- £1500
Final Balance due 1st June 2017

 

During World War II, Truk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan’s main base in the South Pacific theatre. Truk was a heavily fortified base for Japanese operations against Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, serving as the forward anchorage for the Japanese Imperial Fleet.

Truk Lagoon was considered the most formidable of all Japanese strongholds in the Pacific. On the various islands, the Japanese Civil Engineering Department and Naval Construction Department had built roads, trenches, bunkers and caves. Five airstrips, seaplane bases, a torpedo boat station, submarine repair shops, a communications centre and a radar station were constructed during the war. Protecting these various facilities were coastal defence guns and mortar emplacements. Due to its heavy fortifications, both natural and manmade, the base at Truk was known to Allied forces as “the Gibraltar of the Pacific”.

A significant portion of the Japanese fleet was based at Truk, with its administrative centre on Tonoas (south of Weno). At anchor in the lagoon, were the Imperial Japanese Navy’s battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, tankers, cargo ships, tugboats, gunboats, minesweepers, landing craft, and submarines. Some have described Truk as Japan’s equivalent of the Americans’ Pearl Harbour.

In 1944, Truk’s capacity as a naval base was destroyed through naval air attack. Forewarned by intelligence a week before the US raid, the Japanese had withdrawn their larger warships (heavy cruisers and larger vessels) to Palau. Once the American forces captured the Marshall Islands, they used them as a base from which to launch an early morning attack on February 17, 1944 against Truk Lagoon. Operation Hailstone lasted for three days, as American carrier-based planes sank twelve smaller Japanese warships (light cruisers, destroyers, and auxiliaries) and thirty-two merchant ships, while destroying 275 aircraft, mainly on the ground. The consequences of the attack made “Truk lagoon the biggest graveyard of ships in the world”.

The attacks for the most part ended Truk as a major threat to Allied operations in the central Pacific. The Japanese garrison on Eniwetok was denied any realistic hope of reinforcement and support during the invasion that began on February 18, 1944, greatly assisting U.S. forces in their conquest of that island. Truk was isolated by Allied (primarily U.S.) forces, as they continued their advance towards Japan, by invading other Pacific islands, such as Guam, Saipan, Palau, and Iwo Jima. It was attacked again from 12 to 16 June 1945 by part of the British Pacific Fleet during Operation Inmate. Cut off, the Japanese forces on Truk and other central Pacific islands ran low on food and faced starvation before Japan surrendered in August 1945.