Truk Lagoon & Palau ( May 2000 )

On February 14th, 1944 US forces commenced "operation hail-storm" on the Japanese Supply base Truk, in the Caroline Islands much to the detriment of the Japanese supply fleet stationed in the lagoon. The heavy losses sustained, now provide divers with an incredible collection of wrecks. Having been submerged now for 56 years the ships are decorated with soft corals that rival the world’s best reefs and their structures are now home to a vast array of colourful marine life. Blue lagoon resort overlooks the clear, calm waters of the lagoon and the dive boat departed each morning from the resort’s wharf, a mere 2 minutes walk from our rooms.

Clown fish clown.jpg (40068 bytes) Artefacts on the Kiyozumi Maru cup.jpg (40641 bytes)
Tank on Sanfrancisco Maru frisco tank .jpg (15396 bytes) Bow gun on Sanfrancisco Maru frisco bow gun1.jpg (7535 bytes)
Palms at Blue lagoon resort palm.jpg (42262 bytes) Looking out Kiyozumi Maru window.jpg (36956 bytes)
Engine room stairs on Fujikawa Maru stairs.jpg (16330 bytes) Jim on the San Francisco Maru jim.jpg (18283 bytes)
Sunset at Truk lagoon sunset1.jpg (14971 bytes) Bow gun bow gun1.jpg (19374 bytes)
Telegraph telegraph.jpg (56278 bytes) Part of  the Kiyozumi Maru kiyozumi.jpg (39163 bytes)
Our dive guides knew the wrecks well, they were relaxed, friendly and happy to guide us or let us do our own exploring. As a result we had some fantastic dives - many of the wrecks are upright, their holds and decks filled with evidence of life aboard ship during wartime. Together with the galley’s, bathrooms and cabins you can see huge torpedo bodies, boxes and boxes of ammunition, medical supplies, sake bottles as well as beautiful china. One wreck in particular, the San Francisco Maru has 3 tanks sitting on her deck, another the Sankisan has at least 6 trucks strewn along the decks, the Fujikawa has the remains of a Japanese zero plane in the cargo hold and the Aikoku has the most awesome stern gun and this is just a small part of what we saw. During our 10 days of diving, the water was calm, crystal clear and 31 degrees ( not unlike Wollongong in our imaginations ). Good restaurants in downtown Truk are nonexistent except for one good Japanese restaurant a short walk up the road but the hotel’s dining room was terrific and meals could be eaten here or at the lovely waterside bar. Aside from a near riot one evening when the beer was warm the whole group was in favour of an extended stay. Then on to Palau