Scuba Diving the Chuuk Lagoon
The 50 by 30 mile Chuuk Lagoon is among the largest lagoons in the world. Due to it’s geographical placement, its enormous size, and attractive conditions it was deemed a great spot for the Empire of Japan to house its main naval base during World War II. In 1944 the United States visited the area and sunk dozens of warships and other vessels as well as destroying hundreds of aircraft.
The great battles and tragedy that was experienced in the lagoon in 1944 can now be witnessed by scuba divers in what is one of the greatest concentrations of shipwrecks on earth. There are almost 70 wrecks within the lagoon alone.
While the wrecks are usually the main draw there is also no shortage of marine life that can be found in the area. A wide variety of fish as well as schools of sharks and a good variation of corals can be found as well.
DIVING FROM THE SS THORFINN
Scuba Diving Chuuk (Truk)
The many islands that make up this huge atoll are rich with natural beauty. The outer barrier reef is full of sand spits with coconut palms. The central lagoon features high islands which rise into the blue skies.
The pace of life in Chuuk is very slow and allows time to revel in the natural beauty. Many of the islands small islands are very lush and home to beautiful migratory birds. Bird watchers gather and camp in the high hills to see the bird life.
Chuuk, with its huge, shallow, and beautiful lagoon is a major shipwreck site from World War II, Truk Lagoon is, without a doubt, the world’s best shipwreck diving destination. In the lagoon lie more than 80 hulks (inside reef :40 hulks, out side reef :40 hulks) which have been transformed into shipreefs, offering fantastic marine life as well as history. The wide assortment of both hard and soft corals in magnificent colors make both day and night diving a delight. There remain a vast selection of artifacts still found on the wrecks after six decades and are a testament to the unique history of the Micronesian Islands.
The historical aspect of Truk Lagoon is not totally hidden by the jungles. Japanese lighthouses, perched high atop the lagoon’s finest overlooks, can be reached by hiking or driving. Old runways, command centers, gun emplacements, cave networks, hospitals and libraries can be found with the help of a knowledgeable guide.
The very best way to explore Chuuk is on a liveaboard dive vessel. Often overlooked are the outer reefs which offer a great variety of fish, both pelagic and reef dwelling, and also feature cascading coral walls that stretch into the blue abyss of the Pacific Ocean. Windsurfing and sailing in the lagoon are also popular watersports during the tradewind season.
A major WWII battle (Operation Hailstone) left the lagoon floor littered with WWII Japanese freight and armed military ships. Decades later, they have become natural reefs, adorned in coral with homes for fish but with all of the war artifacts still aboard. They are fascinating sites to visit and many are shallow enough to make them accessible to almost all experience levels of divers. The ships, now thickly overgrown reefs, are now home to over 700 fish species and nearly 400 corals plus numerous invertebrates.
Chuuk Atoll, (also Known as Truk) in the Caroline Islands is infamous for its giant lagoon. The lagoon is the final resting place for more than 100 ships, planes and submarines – the legacy of a fierce World War II battle between the Imperial Japanese Fleet and Allied carrier planes. The lagoon has been declared an underwater museum. Souvenir taking of relics from the area are prohibited by law.
Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks in close proximity, situated in shallow clear water. Many of the wrecks are visible while snorkelling and there are many on-shore wartime locations to visit.
The majority of the wrecks lie off DubIon, Eten, Fefan and Uman Islands and represent the largest naval loss in history. Their cargoes of tanks, trucks, airplanes, mines, bombs, machine gun bullets and thousands of other artefacts including beautiful china are there still to be explored.
Highlighted Dive Areas
The best time to vacation to Chuuk is the dry season which is December – April, but diving is great year round! .
In the lagoon is about 40-60 ft. If it is outside the lagoon, it can reach over 100ft.
Most days it is around 81°F (27°C) – sometimes it gets up to 90°F (32°C), sometimes it drops to 70°F (21°C). It is a little drier, cooler and breezier between December and April than it is the rest of the year. The wettest months are October and November and annual rainfall is about 140 inches. Typhoon season is between August and December but Chuuk rarely gets a direct hit from a typhoon.
All skill levels of divers will have dives available to them. Several of the well known wrecks are deep dives which require advanced training and certification.
What To Expect to See:
Coral encrusted ship wrecks from WWII plus sharks and massive schools of reef fish
SOME OF THE MORE POPULAR DIVE SITES INCLUDE
SAMPLE OF PHOTOS FROM PAST TRIPS
PACKAGES TO SUIT ALL DIVERS
The SS Thorfinn is pleased to offer an exciting range of new all-inclusive packages for divers seeking the broadest site selections at Truk Lagoon.
View top attractions of wrecks, reefs, and emerald islands at this huge dive emporium, via non-stop 7 value-packed diving days on Saturday itineraries from the longest established and most experienced live aboard cruiser in Micronesia.
Full Ship Charter
A great bargain for a group of 12 or more divers and up to a full ship of 20 passengers.
THORFINN. A SHIP DESIGNED AND BUILT TO OPERATE SAFELY IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS
MEET THE CREW
AN EXPERIENCED AND PROFESSIONAL TEAM
SS Thorfinn is one of the world’s best equipped live aboard dive cruisers, having cruised / explored Micronesian waters since 1982.
From operating base at Truk Lagoon, continuous non-stop diving is conducted 7 days per week, with up to 5 dives per day, on 5 differing sites – giving opportunity to view 30+ wrecks during a one week visit. Thorfinn’s structures and safety gear comply with IMO (International Maritime Organization) standards.
More Wrecks. More Daily Dives
Operating as Eco-Friendly, this ship utilizes island power plant waste lubes for its primary heating fuel under boilers driving it’s steam propulsion system. (pls note.. a ‘green ship’ )
Twenty-two island staff provide cheerful personalized service on a 1:1 crew to guest ratio. They range from individually assigned dive crews attending each diver’s needs, to full time hostesses, deck maintenance staff, large machinery staff, and 2 chefs preparing varieties of tasty international cuisine. Special dietary requests are catered as available food supplies permit.
All diving is conducted from well designed, covered 30ft tenders with each craft diving separate sites to avoid crowding over a single mooring. Diving in small groups, experienced local guides will show the very best attractions at each site. Many have been with Thorfinn for more than 15 years.
We’re accustomed to working with technical and rebreather divers by supplying banded double cylinders, 3-4 ltr pony bottles, and special rebreather bottles as may be requested. Both SodaSorb or Sofnolime are freely supplied, Optional Helium should be advance requested to ensure sufficient on-hand quantities. Partial pressure blending via an efficient series of electric and air driven gas boosters produce various mixes of Enriched Air Nitrox and Trimix to meet individual requests. Aboard Thorfinn, you’ll receive rewarding experiences in technical diving with ability to extend diving at many deeper sites.