After such a brilliant end to last year, here on the Thorfinn we will endeavor to make 2011 another special year and already into February we have begun in spectacular fashion. So that everyone interested in Truk Lagoon and the SS Thorfinn can get regular updates, I will write Divemaster Logs for you to read every two to three days. This will be descriptions and photos of some of the more popular dives we have made during the week. Then, at the end of the month I will write a monthly trip report which will be a review of the past months goings on and a preview of months ahead. These articles will be posted onto our new Facebook page entitled ‘SS Thorfinn, Truk Lagoon’ and on our website www.thorfinn.net. Also, all photos from the staff on board and from any guests visiting us will be posted onto these same sites as well as our new Flickr site (ssthorfinn), so feel free to find us on Facebook, ‘like’ our page and join the family, or just add pictures through Flickr which can be viewed on our webpage.
One of our main projects this year will be the running of our Pan Micronesia Tour which is starting to take shape. Recent booking/enquiry activity has obviously been extremely high with the Thorfinn being the only vessel in the Pacific making such trips around Micronesian outer islands. Our trip will run throughout June making the trip from Truk Lagoon, Chuuk through the outer islands of Yap and coming into Palau two weeks later. After any maintenance work and taking whatever rest is needed, a week later we will do it all again eventually finishing back home in Truk Lagoon at the end of the month. We expect plenty of pelagic encounters and coral reefs never dived on before so please email us on the ship to find out about our availability if adventure is something you enjoy.
Truk Lagoon has seen increasing numbers of pelagic species and interactions between them and divers have become regular occurrences in the last few months. Specific instances have been Manta Rays seen regularly on the Shinkoku Maru, Bottlenose Dolphins in various places throughout the lagoon and very excitingly, Bowmouth Guitar sharks resting on the sand next to the Fumitzuki Destroyer. Sharks have always been common sightings here in Truk Lagoon with extremely healthy numbers of white-tip, black-tip and grey reef sharks and others such as Leopard and Nurse sharks. On the outer reefs and walls, more pelagic species can be expected with Silvertips, Oceanic White-tips, and even sometimes Tiger Sharks are encountered.
With Technical diving and Re-breathers becoming increasingly popular, more and more guests have come to Thorfinn with technical requests. After spending the last months making deeper dives using mixed gases here in Truk Lagoon, it is my opinion that we should not focus on depth, but simply extending dive time on these wrecks. Conditions are very favorable for divers, especially for those wanting to explore beyond recreational limits. There is no concern of temperature with the water between 28-29oC year round, only very mild currents are ever experienced, and entries/exits are made simple by diving from custom dive tenders with rarely more than a light breeze.
Taking all of this into consideration we have specifically designed the ‘Truk Tek Unlimited’ package to cater better for mixed gas diving in this tropical paradise. It is truly a wreck divers dream to explore such spectacular WWII wrecks in such luxury and comfort, and by using simple technical procedures; divers can see the best of Truk Lagoon without spending a fortune! We will give people the option to do either 5, one hour dives a day or with a few interested divers, we would introduce a second boat giving guests the freedom to complete a reduced number of longer, deeper dives.
The ‘Truk Tek Unlimited’ package will include bonuses such as rental of one banded twin set with isolator manifolds, two 80 cubic feet cylinders for sidemount riggings or two (x1 Oxy & x1 Dil) AP Diving re-breather stages 2L or 3L. However, we believe the best part of the package is the inclusion of unlimited air fills and up to 50% off set Enriched Air Nitrox fills of 32%, 50%, 80% and 95%. Our two onboard oxygen generators powered by a Haskel booster, can even allow custom blends if numbers onboard permit.
Trimix is certainly not essential due to all wrecks being within air limits, however we keep supplies on board for those whole may require it and re-breathers wishing to enjoy lower PPO2’s and E.N.D’s. Also new for 2011 is the option to use either Sodasorb, which has been the best option in the past, but also Sofnalime 8-12 grain for those willing to spend a little extra. For full details on all of Thorfinn’s packages and options for Technical and Re-breather divers please see our ‘Bookings’ page or email us directly onboard at [email protected].
Finally, here on the Thorfinn we will be making some changes to our website which will include a lot more information for divers but also people just interested in Truk Lagoon. I have already mentioned the Divemaster Logs and this monthly trip report but also keep an eye out for new wreck descriptions giving people a better idea of exactly what the dives are actually like here which will be complimented by our new wreck map painting a great picture of what we have to offer here in Truk. Please also keep an eye out for a new ‘Crew’ page will we feature pictures of all of our crew and dive guides, and information that will put you at ease before stepping foot on the ship. Our aim here on the Thorfinn is to provide all guests with the trip of a lifetime so as time goes by you will see us add more and more features and services to our already established liveaboard.
Thanks to all and see you next month. Ed Cardwell