Shinkoku Maru-Truk 2008
Truk Lagoon Odyssey -- Trip Report
Our expedition to Truk Lagoon in fact was a chance. The destination of our journey would be Bikini Atol, but with the closure of operations of that island diving, the tickets already issued and paid up to Honolulu and vacation already scheduled, we had no doubt to try to find an alternative to Bikini .. . and the gods of diving conspiring in our favor, our destination was changed to Truk LAGOON - THE SHIPWRECK DIVING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!
HISTORY: A place lost in the middle of the Pacific, Truk, Chuuk is the current name and means "mountain" in chuukese language. Chuuk is one of the islands that comprise the Federated States of Micronesia (comprising the states of Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap). An independent country since 1986, through a pact of Free Association with the United States, but completely dependent on the Americans.
During World War II, the Japanese dominated this part of the ocean and Truk Lagoon (the main atoll of the central lake) became the main port of supply of warships Japanese, who were sent there for the rest of the Pacific war against the allied forces.
On February 17, 1944, the United States attacked the Japanese ships in Chuuk - the call operation Hailstorm. There were dozens of ships - more than 60 - (so-called "Maru" - cargo ships) and over 200 Japanese aircraft were destroyed, including 2 destroyers and a submarine. Most of warships were not in Truk.
Facts: Currently, each family has a chuukese motorboat for transportation from an island to another. The curious thing is that Chuuk received a budget to improve their roads and develop the culture of the car. The government made a plebiscite to see if the people wanted to improve the road that bisects the main island. To the surprise of everyone, won the "no", and the government bought a boat motor for each family in the country.
The shipwrecks have become artificial reefs colonized by fish, corals, sponges... an explosion of life.
Truk Lagoon has become the shipwreck diving capital of the world.
We left Sao Paulo to Dallas on October,13th with estimates of 10 hours of flight. From Dallas to Honolulu plus 8 hours of flight and an overnight in Honolulu Airport Hotel. From Honolulu to GUAM, a few more hours in an airplane ... from GUAM to YAP and finally arrived at the Traders Ridge Resort - a charming English style hotel, where we stayed 2 nights and had the opportunity to do 3 dives with the company of many reef sharks and rays of the famous manta-rays (including a rare albino manta, that was one of only two that exist in YAP).
Boarded on October 19 to Guam and then to Truk Lagoon to our destination: the Truk Blue Lagoon Resort, a hotel with 54 rooms and a complete structure to divers, together with the Blue Lagoon Dive Shop - BLDS - with the museum and memorial to the founder Kimiuo Aisek.
A big structure to all types of diving .. from recreational diving to technical and rebreathers, and a team of experienced and courteous guides.