Wrecks, dolphins and sharks!
Wrecks, dolphins and sharks!
The Truk Siren and her crew welcomed for her first trip of the year a group from Australia and UK for seven days of fantastic wreck diving in Truk Lagoon!
Once on board, the guests were quick to get their gear unpacked and jump into the water for a check dive at the Heian Maru. No one needed to be told that Truk Lagoon is widely considered the world’s premier wreck diving destination, but few expected the special treat that awaited them on their first dive! A dolphin that swam to within a meter of our divers!
The following day we did two more dives at the Heian, giving our guests ample time to cover the entire ship , which features a cargo of torpedoes, periscopes and other war materiel. The Truk Siren then moved to the Kensho Maru, where our guide David led divers through the engine room before finishing up the dive by exploring the lush soft corals on the exterior of the wreck.
The next day began with a dive at ill-fated Japanese submarine known as the I-169. The Truk Siren then moved on to the 6-hold freighter the Kiyosumi Maru, which is remarkable for both the clear evidence of bomb damage in one hold and the mortal remains fused to the hull in another.
Although almost all of the wrecks in Truk Lagoon were launched as cargo-passenger vessels, there is no shortage of military equipment on display. For example, the Nippo Maru, site of our next day’s diving, features four 7-cm guns as well as a Type 95 Japanese tank. Our second wreck of the day, the Yamagiri Maru, was another treasure trove of war materiel, with numerous 14” shells in its 5th hold.
For our next day of diving, the Truk Siren moved to the Fumizuki, a Japanese destroyer and the only true warship on our itinerary. Afterwards, we moved on to the Shinkoku Maru, one of the true gems of Truk Lagoon. With the Shinkoku, you know that the wonderful bow and stern guns, the galley and the engine room are sure to impress any wreck enthusiast. But you also know that anything is possible in terms of marine life. This visit to the Shinkoku did not disappoint, as we enjoyed a visit from a leopard shark on our first dive and a couple of grey reef sharks on our last.
By this point in the trip, our guests were becoming pretty good at maneuvering through cramped engine rooms, so it was no surprise to see them at their best inside the Rio de Janeiro Maru, examining the switching panels, gauges and telegraph repeaters without kicking up any silt. A tip of the hat to each of you. Our twilight dive at the Betty Bomber wasn’t nearly as challenging, but our guests relished the opportunity to pass through the aluminum fuselage of the “flying cigar” all the same.
With so much great diving already behind us, it was hard to say we saved the best for last. But our final day beneath the waves was certainly a great one. We started with a descent to the San Francisco Maru, our deepest dive of the trip and, with its spectacular bow gun and three Type 95 tanks on deck, worth every meter. Then, we concluded the cruise with three dives on the legendary Fujikawa Maru, which features a hold of disassembled Japanese “Zero” fighters.
What a great ending to our first trip of 2015 aboard the Truk Siren. I’d like to give a big round of thanks to all of our guests for making this trip special. We can’t wait to see you again!