Chuuk Atoll (also known as Truk) in the Caroline Islands is infamous for its giant lagoon. The lagoon is the final resting place for more than 70 ships, planes and submarines. The majority of these wrecks are the legacy of a fierce World War II battle between the Imperial Japanese Fleet and Allied carrier planes resulting in the most substantial naval loss in history.
The many islands in this atoll are beautiful tropical paradises. The outer barrier reef has coconut palm-filled sand spits that melt into diverse marine seascapes. The central lagoon has volcanic islands that rise dramatically from fantastically blue waters. Many of the islands have fertile soils that host an abundance of lush flora and fauna, including many rare species.
Weno is the main island in Chuuk and where the majority of the region’s population lives. Here you will find their country’s airport and a few hotels, shops, food and drink establishments.
Tropical, warm and wet climate with no dry season. The average year-round temperature of 26.7°C
The renowned dive destination is famed for being a wreck lovers paradise. If you have a lust for rust, you will find endless dive sites to discover. Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks nearby, situated in shallow clear water. The sheer volume of wrecks is the legacy left by fierce battles during World War II between the Imperial Japanese Fleet and Allied carriers. As such the area is known as an underwater museum.
Truk Lagoon was the headquarters for the Japanese Imperial Fleet between 1914 and 1945. The natural harbour provided a safe anchorage for the Japanese naval fleet. Operation Hailstone was devised by the US to cripple Japan’s Navy in WWII and involved a mass aerial attack on runways, planes and ships. On the 17th February 1944, a 36-hour aerial attack (Operation Hailstone) resulted in the loss of at least 250 Japanese aircraft and 50 ships.
Although many of the wrecks exceed recreational dive limits and require technical diving certifications and experience, there are a lot of very accessible wrecks suitable for Open Water divers. Some wrecks can even be enjoyed on a snorkel. It’s safe to say you will never be short of dive site options. The ships cargoes consist of tanks, trucks, aeroplanes, mines, bombs and machine-gun bullets. Thousands of other artefacts, including beautiful china, are still to be explored. Souvenir taking of relics from the area is strictly prohibited by law.
27°C – 30°C, 3mm wetsuit or rashie
A 132m (436 feet) armed aircraft ferry with six holds, four of which are open. One of the most fascinating dives in Truk Lagoon. There are incomplete zero fighters in the number 2 hold and large deck guns on the bow and stern. Depth to the deck is only 15 meters.
This submarine lies on its port side in about 38 meters of water; it is 104.7m (343½ feet) long. During the April air raid, the submarine submerged to avoid damage. Unfortunately, the valves were not closed during this manoeuvre and the sub sunk.
One of the most colourful and spectacular dives. This vessel is well preserved. Small guns are mounted fore and aft. The ship is upright in about 38 metres of water, 12 metres to the top of the bridge and 20 meters to the main deck.
Destroyer, sub chaser lying on its port side. Bow in 3 meters of water, stern with propellers in 15 meters. Gas masks and depth charges still scattered on the deck.
Rio De Janeiro Maru
A 141 m (463 feet) cargo vessel converted from a luxury passenger liner. The holds contain supplies ranging from beer bottles to guns and other military supplies. The ship is lying on its starboard side with its deck only 15 meters from the surface
Some dive sites can be seen from above while snorkelling.
There's a small museum which is absolutely worth a visit, as it will give you great insight into the wrecks you experience underwater.
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