This extremely large wreck sits on its starboard side in shallow water meaning coral growth is heavy on the port beam and marine life is plentiful. With the largest bow and stern guns on offer in Truk, the Rio De Janeiro was the after lunch dive on this particularly beautiful afternoon on the lagoon.
As always, the journey over to Uman island was a little wet with the wind in our faces but being close to the island, upon arrival conditions were good. We geared up, cameras ready to go and with lights fully charged the target was the engine room of this huge ex-passenger/cargo liner.
Usually 30 minutes is needed to fully explore this monstrous diesel engine room, powering twin screws with over 7,500 horsepower each, but with only 3 divers, penetration was made easier and after 25 minutes of weaving through the devastation, we were out and on our way to the stern and the propellers.
The holds of the Rio contain items such as artillery and china, but it is hard to overlook the infinite supply of Saki and wine that the Japanese military seemed to hold. After the holds we were heading for the stern and there it was, the 16ft/5m long stern gun mounted high, and covered in corals and sponges.
Further on we made our way to housing covering the stern and below the telegraph that seems to have been placed in an upright position and shell casing sitting next to it.
Once at the stern, ascending onto the starboard beam, we made our way back to the boat, making necessary stops on our way up, still able to see the outline of this truly enormous underwater shipwreck.