The Nippo Maru is always a great dive due to its relatively shallow depth providing plenty of coral growth, its proximity to the main islands providing pelagic action and the huge amount of war memorabilia and ship remains including tanks, trucks and stacks of guns and ammunition.
So this morning, after some preparation, we made the 10 minute boat journey to the Fourth Fleet Anchorage to find that a mild current was running from the north.
Having previously not met much current in the lagoon, I first thought of the annoyances that such processes bring, however, after descending onto this phenomenal dive site, such things were completely forgotten.
The divers were first guiding towards the fore ship which holds the trucks hanging over the port beam and light tank on deck, and were again intoxicated by the fish life the lagoon has to offer. The usually schools of game fish were present amongst the high masts rising up to shallow water, and with tuna circling the bow, playing in the current, we knew this dive was going to be a good one!
A quick look in hold #1 revealed mines and shell casings and moving aft onto the machine gun we could see towards the stern, two large sized grey reef sharks being followed by schools of jacks.
As they circled above us on top of the bridge, the larger one made several close passes allowing us to get some fantastically close photos. Still surrounded by life we made a final stop to see the artillery guns on the aft deck and made our ascent along this spectacular mast.
Usually eagle rays are seen on the bow but with the current running, we saw them hovering behind the stern, capping off one of the best dives of the trip so far.