TRUK LAGOON 2008 Pictures
In July this year 23 CCR divers (and one open circuit) set out to extensively dive the wrecks of Truk Lagoon. Below is a small snippet of the wrecks we dived. Click on the Gallery link above to get larger pictures. Also we have spent a lot of time to get the most comprehensive information on truk available today. Because of the sheer expanse of the consistent, top quality wreck diving in truk we have dedicated ourselves to running specialised trips there annually. Check out the "trip details" for next years trip. .
Click on the above image to see the amazing images that Legendary
Wreck Photographer Leigh Bishop in action in Truk
Trip REPORT 2008 TRUK LAGOON by Pete Mesley
Undisputedly truk is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best wreck diving destinations on the planet! Most divers have this destination at the top of their “MUST do - Hit List” but yet, few people actually go! It only took me 16 years into my diving career to go! What a place! This was my second trip to Truk this time with 23 rebreather divers and three quarters of a ton of sorb in toe!! We set out to focus on exploring the lesser dived deeper wrecks of Truk.
The Japanese really got hit hard in what was dubbed “Operation Hailstone” by the Americans. With the ferocity 6 times greater than Pearl Harbour on Feb 17 1944 the Japanese suffered massive loss of life and with a swarm of aerial bombardment put over 60 ships to the bottom of the Lagoon.
One of the wrecks really high on our list was the Destroyer Oite. Blown in half, the stern sits perfectly upright in 63m of water with the bow section almost turned turtle some 25meters away. You can always tell when wrecks get dived infrequently when the dive guides spend a while finding the wreck. This trip we were not taking any risks and I bought along a portable chart plotter and high res depth sounder – just in case! Hooked on to the wreck finally, we were greeted by crystal clear water being so close to the mouth of the lagoon, we were also poised for unpredictable currents. This dive wasn’t a breath of current. What a pleasure! Descending into the welcoming 30degree water, the wreck came into view at about 25m down and soon was on the deck by the stern section. Something that never seems to amaze me is how narrow destroyers are and how disproportioned their props are to the rest of the ship. Both props are half buried into the white sand Totally built for speed reaching 37 knots. Now that’s impressive! They don’t like being hit by torpedoes though!!!
A depth charge deployer sits upright poised ready for loading. The springs can still be easily seen. Live depth charges still lie in a line on the stern section of the ship waiting for deployment. Swimming towards the 4” gun along the starboard side of the ship I notice a vice mounted to the wall! Something that looks totally out of place on a destroyer but when you think about it if something needs repaired they are hardly going to go down into the holds for a quick repair job while being attacked! Antiaircraft guns point skyward heavily encrusted with beautiful corals and sponges. Heading round to the port side of the main superstructure we came across something that you don’t see every day – a ships bell!!! She sits there in all her glory. Untouched, unfased, safe – for now!!!!
During our relatively sort decompression we were met by a passing school of jacks and batfish. Sharks, and more sharks!
Another amazing wreck was the Nagano Maru. A passenger/cargo ship just a little over 100m long and weighing in at 3800 ton.Sitting upright 50 meters to the deck and 67 to the sand. Sheer amazing stuff. We took another wee while trying to find it, even with the GPS. Cheni found it eventually and I remarked it so I now have the marks on the midship. We were moored initially aft of the bridge. Descended down into the forward hold into #2 where the flatbed truk was situated. I really wanted to get some good pictures of this as the last time I was taking video and all I had was a little housed sony point and shoot! The viz was good and we spent some time taking pictures. Below the deck were more mangled truks. Not as clean as the flatbed. The engineroom is really impressive. Triple steam expansion engine and massive pistons. I would have loved to see them in operation in her day! We headed through the superstructure through the starboard bulkhead. Inside was fill of saki bottles, a few helmets, and then turning left into a room where there were tons of porcelain. My camera stopped working so I spent some time with Rob fossiking in the silt gently uncovering great specimens of porcelain. Carefully being placed back in the corner so no careless fins would damage the historical artifacts. Out the door, turn towards the port side and into another room. It must have been a storage room. Ships lanterns still sit on the shelves some lay on the floor.
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