So after catching different airlines flying to Hong Kong the dive group all met for a beer on Monday 6th Feb, in the Novotel in Kowloon, looking forward to the next stage of our epic journey to Truuk Lagoon which was to be started early Tuesday morning. We all met looking not so bright eyed or bushy in tail at the All Nippon Airlines check-in desk ready and sort of excited for the trip ahead but more so for what we knew was to follow.
On we flew to Narita Airport, Tokyo, and waited for a few more hours in uncomfortable chairs for our next flight to Guam, then in the evening off to Guam on a United Airlines flight. We all arrived in Guam the early hours of about 2am with another 6 hours layover and time to chec out more uncomfortable chairs!
The end of our travelling was now in sight, we all boarded the short hop of a flight to Truuk looking like the grateful dead. The flight was packed with locals who come to Guam for their big shopping trip! It wasn’t long before the views out of the windows of the fringing reefs and coral islands soon pepped us up for the landing on Truuk (now called Chuuk).
The airport is a small affair and we were met by the Master Liveabords rep, Aaron, who earned the nick-name “$50” for his entrepreneurial skills! The luggage is delivered to the baggage “carousel” via a fork lift!!! Most of which consisted of large cool boxes containing foodstuffs, which was another interesting view of island life.
Off to the boat which was recently re-fitted and was a pleasure to behold after over 24 hours travelling, we met the crew all of whom were very friendly and one of the best crews that I have been on a liveaboard with. Once allocated cabins and dive kit sorted we had some lunch and a briefing regarding the forthcoming 10 days on board and diving……. Yes we were going diving…. Yippee ! We then actually had a training re the emergency alarm and muster stations which again was well done and a pleasure to see, not had to do one of those on a Red Sea trip before.
Finally we were going to get wet! Into the water we went and dived on the Yamigiri Maru, lying on her port side in 15–33 meters of water. Just a gentle dive with the need to check your weighting which was less arduous than the Red Sea as the salinity of the sea water is less in the Pacific.
Almost all the wrecks in Truuk Lagoon are “Marus” which means freighter in Japanese, all the wrecks were sunk over the 17-18 Feb. 1944 in a devastating attack by U.S. Navy forces, and so each wreck is a time capsule as to what it contained and was doing on those day in 1944. The Yamagiri has massive 14” Naval shells for the Japanese battleships which left the lagoon prior to the U.S. raid, also a road roller and other construction equipment probably for making and repairing runways on the occupied islands. This wreck is also Infamous for the skull of a Japanese sailor who died in the attack that is now wedged into the engine room pi