Chuuk Lagoon 2019

Staying and diving with Blue Lagoon Resort

Chuuk is one of the states of the Federation of Micronesia with Chuuk Lagoon itself being the major part of the state. The islands had been known as Truk as a German territory prior to World War I; it became under Japanese control after that war. 

During World War II Japanese forces heavily fortified the lagoon and used it as a naval base. Intelligence warned them of an impending attack and many of their ships were withdrawn. On 17th February 1944 Operation Hailstone commenced with US carrier based aircraft attack which lasted 3 days. The result was that 12 small warships and 32 merchant ships were sunk and 275 aircraft destroyed ... mainly on the ground.

The attack played a key role in destroying Japanese supply lines and allowing the US to advance closer to the Japanese mainland with little naval resistance.

Descending
Bow deck gun
Jon
The bow
Forward mast
Getting in
Descending
Coral trout
portholes
Galley
Down to the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
Spanners
Work bench and vice
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
In the Engine Room
Leaving the engine room
Ship's telegraph
Camouflage grouper
On the Kensho
On the Kensho
Kensho Maru
Kensho Maru

The Kensho Maru was a 116 metre, 4862 ton passenger cargo ship built in Kobe in 1938. The wreck now lies upright in 40 metres of water.

We dived the Kensho twice - our first and last dives.

Boat's name
Soft coral
Following David the guide
Torpedo storage
Torpedo in a hold
Periscopes
Leaving the wreck
Back along the port side
Plenty of fish
Safety stop
Descending for our second dive
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Propellor
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Swimming along a passageway
Saki and Beer bottle
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Heian Maru before the war
Heian Maru

Heian Maru is the largest wreck in the lagoon. It was 11615 tonnes and 163 metres long.

 

Built as an ocean liner in 1930 the Heian rang regular services between Yokohama and Seatle.

In August 1941 after returning from Seatle the Heian was converted to work as a submarine tender.

The Heian now lies on its port side in 33 metres. We did 2 dives on the Heian.

One of the trucks in the hold
Jellyfish near surface
Descending
Dashboard
Another truck
The front of a truck
Truck
Truck
Truck
Bulldozer
The mast and the sun
Barracuda
View on the deck
Swim along the deck
Vermicular cod
Looking along the side
Gorgonia
Tiny fish under covered spaces
Soft coral
Another deck shot
Tight spaces
Potato cod
Pelagics surround the wreck
Peacock rockcod
Bigeye trevally
Bigeye trevally
Bigeye trevally
Bigeye trevally
Atop the mast
Looking up - safety stops
The Hauraki before the war
Hoki Maru

The Hoki Maru was originally the Hauraki a cargo ship with accommodation for 12 passengers launched in 1921. It was owned by the Union Steamship Corporation of New Zealand. Whilst on a run from Fremantle to Colombo she was ambushed and taken over by Japanese Naval ships. 

Returned to work as a transporter the renamed Hoki Maru carried coal, trucks and other machinery when sunk in Truk Lagoon. It lies in 49 m with the deck at about 30 m

Ship's Bow
Descending
Divers check a torpedo
Anchor
Lantern
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Propellor
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Propellor
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Gosei Maru (before sinking)
Gosei Maru

The Gosei Maru was a 1931 tonne coastal freighter that was sunk by dive bombers on 17th February 1944. She sank on the northern side of Uman Island. Currently rests on the port side with the stern in just 4 metres and the bow in 38 metres.

Batfish
Crystal jelly near the surface
Descending
One the wreck
Coral growth
View of a mast
Loonging up the mast
Type 95 Ha-Go tank
Tank next to #4 hold
Trevally
In the Bridge
Batfish
Cleaning station
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Colour and small fish
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Howitzer
Howitzer
Howitzer
Coral cod
Howitzer
Howitzer
Howitzer
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Ascending
Nippo Maru Kyu
Nippo Maru

The Nippo Maru was a medium sized freighter converted for use as a water transporter. It was 108 metres long with a 15 metre beam. The Nippo sits upright with a list to port in 48 metres of water.

The wreck is notable in tht it has a tank (Mitsubishi Type 95 Ha-Go, 4 field mortars and compass and ship's telegraph still intact in the bridge.

Piles of bullets in a hold
Descending onto the Sankisan
The damaged stern end ...propeller
Exploring the hold
Tractor
Exploring
Colour
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The bow
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David blowing air-rings
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Sankisan Maru

The Sankisan Maru was build in 1942 as a transport ship and in 1943 was taken over by the Japanese Navy and converted to military cargo. It was 112 metres long and 4776 tonnes. 

The Sankisan sits upright in 46 metres of water. Much of the stern section was destroyed in an explosion.

Descending
Swimming through the fuselage
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Cockpit broken off the main wreckage
Fish in the cockpit
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An un-crashed Betty Bomber
Betty Bomber

Code named "Betty Bomber" by US Navy pilots the Mitsubitshi G4M was the main land-based long range bomber used by the Japanese Imperial Navy. The plane sacrificed all armour protection for the crew to ensure light weight and long range - it got the nickname "Flaming Coffin" crew had no parachutes and vowed to crash to cause enemy damage starting the kamikaze idea. This bomber is sitting in 18 metres.

San Francisco Maru

The San Francisco Maru was a 117 m, 5,831 ton Passenger/Cargo ship built in 1919. She lies in 64 metres with the deck at 50 metres.

The San Fran was loaded with war materials including 3 tanks and a truck, holds contain mines and other warfare supplies.

One of the highlights of any trip to Truk!

Type 95 Ha-Go tank
Descending
One of several different trevally
Divers on the wreck
Front view of the port side tank
Looking over the hold to the tanks
Diver checking the truck
Tanker truck
Truck front
Hold loaded with war materials
Hold loaded with war materials
Looking out of the hold
Piles of stack mines
Another trevally
Forward gun
Some coral colour
Some coral colour
Trevally on the bow
The bow
Looking back from the bow
Another hold!!! And so much deco already???
Starboard tanks
All 3 tanks
Another trevally
Starting deco
San Francisco Maru
Shinkoko Maru

The Shinkoko Maru was built in 1939 as a modern tanker. She went to the Imperial Navy as fleet oiler. The Shinkoko was 10020 tons and 152 metres long.

She was sunk by torpedoes during Operation Hailstone.

The top of the superstructure is just 12 metres deep, the deck at 20 metres and sitting in 40 metres.

Soft coral colour
Coral on deck
Swimming towards the bow
Engine room
Furnace
Engine room
Ladder
Engine parts
In the engine room
We didn't need the stairs
Follow the guide
Looking up through floor plates
Through the engine room
Through the Engine Room
Through the Engine Room
Through the Engine room
Swimming along the deck
Following the guide (David)
Bath
Life on deck
Masked rabbitfish
The Heads
Operating room
Operating table
White soft coral
Port hole
Inside the Bridge
Deck view
Ascending
Shinkoko Maru
Yamagiri Maru

The Yamagiri Maru was built in 1938 as a passenger/cargo ship but was converted by the navy in 1941 as a military transport ship. 133 metres long and 6439 tons the Yamagiri leans towards its port side. 

 

One of the features of the wreck is 3000 pound 18 inch shells found in one of the holds - the largest shells ever made. 

Diver checks 3000 pound 18 inch shells
Diver descending
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Near the propellor
Gathering of Divers
Ship's crane
Wash basin?
Not just wrecks but colourful fish
Fish and Oil drums
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Descend to the lagoon floor
Masts help stop the ship rolling upside down
Shell carting gear
3000 pound 18 inch shells - the biggest used in WWII
Superstructure
A ship's mast going down to the sand
The start of a journey through the engine room
Dark spaces - big machinery
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Can't think of anything more fun
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Generator?
Deeper Darker
When the control panel is the ceiling
Lots of electric cables
Horizontal stairs
Ways to get through they never had when it floated
Avoid the valve on the way through
Damaged machinery
A distant exit
Finding ways through
Ascending over the deck
Looking out through bomb damage
Deck beams
Leaving the hold
Passageway out
Fish layer
Coming up off the deck
Damsels and Fusiliers
Peacock and Micronesian damselfish
Micronesian damselfish
Checking out the life in the shallows of the starboard side
Looking back along the starboard side
Looking forward along the starboard side
Yamagiri Maru
Chuuk - Blue Lagoon Resort - sun and sunsets

Chuuk Lagoon is beautiful ... lots of islands, the sea and Blue lagoon has a bar that overlooks it all.

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