Our mission: To dive the ghost fleet of Truk Lagoon, the world’s best shipwreck destination.
Our flying ships delivered us from Denver, CO to the Confederated Islands of Micronesia via Hawaii and Guam. Before we would make it to the wrecks of Chuuk (Truk), we first paid a visit to the Island of Yap. As soon as we stepped step off the plane, we were greeted with smiles and handmade lays from the locals. Here we stayed five days acclimating to our new island life. Yap boasts pristine reefs and abundant marine life and is known internationally for the giant manta rays that inhabit the islands. This part of the trip exceeded expectations as the quality of both the diving and our dive operator (Manta Bay Resort) were excellent. We divided our time between exploring the incredible walls, caves, and coral gardens of the outer reefs with the cleaning stations that bring the majestic mantas into the lagoon. When not underwater, our group spent time exploring the Island. The historical richness of Yap cannot be overstated. Giant stone money, WWII aircraft, and the “interesting effects” of the betel nut were just a few of our encounters. I could not have picked a better place to start this adventure and prepare us for the main event!
We then boarded the Odyssey as she sat moored in Chuuk Lagoon. The water was calm and clear and would stay this way for the entire week. After we met the crew and settled into our spacious rooms, we were called up to the main salon for dinner and a story. The dinner was the first of many fantastic meals we would enjoy and the story told how all of the ships we would explore came to rest on the ocean floor. This format would continue every day.
While in Chuuk, we dove over a dozen different wrecks- from the Sankisan, with her holds filled with ammunition, to the wheelhouse of the Nippo Maru. We ventured into the operating room of the Shinkoku and touched a Japanese tank on the deck of the San Francisco Maru. These wrecks were once the backbone of Japan's WWII fleet. Now they are a vast underwater war museum, richly encrusted with life and preserved as a monument and a symbol of a dark history. But from the spoils of war comes life, in its abundance. Incredible tropical fish, anemones, gorgonian corals, eagle rays, and even sharks have become the commanders and deckhands of this fleet.
I could not imagine exploring the wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon any other way than with the Odyssey. It was truly a trip of a lifetime!