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Diving the Japanese Fleet-wreck in Truk Lagoon

Listed under Diving in Micronesia.

  • Photo of Diving the Japanese Fleet-wreck in Truk Lagoon
  • Photo of Diving the Japanese Fleet-wreck in Truk Lagoon
Photo of Diving the Japanese Fleet-wreck in Truk Lagoon
Photo by flickr user mmichishiro
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Another second World War dumping ground for military hardware, Truk (of Chuuk as it is officially spelled.), was a huge Japanese deepwater port surrounded by a beautiful encircling, healthy reef, which came under profound fire from US forces over a three day period during which about 70 ships and 400 aircraft were sunk or obliterated. 48 dives in and around this hardware have been mapped out around each of the 48 wrecked ships, many of which are in really top shape considering - several very clean sinkings make for easily accessed history lessons - especially when their cargo of tanks and cannons are considered. Hard and soft corals thrive here, most specially huge colourful fans, and moved easily from the natural reef to the artificial reef the wrecks created. It was a deep water port so some deep water diving is involved – best for intermediate level divers and up.

The islands that are the parts of the reef showing above the water level are small and inhabited only by local people if at all, though there are a couple of diving outfits running. Truk really only has appeal for divers, there isn’t much to keep you entertained topside.

Written by  Nick Shaw.

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Japanese Fleet

On the sandy floor of Truk Lagoon is an entire fleet of Japanese ships. The sinking of the Fujikawa Maru, Shinkoko Maru, San Francisco Maru, Nippon Maru and Sankisan Maru and their accompanying planes, small ships and submarines (100 vehicles in all) represents the largest naval loss in recorded history.

It's not just a museum though, the fleet has been covered in soft nets of lace coral and is now home to a diverse range of marine life.

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