The Amagisan Maru was a passenger cargo freighter built in 1933 by Mitsui Bussan Kaisha. She was hit several times before she was sunk in Truk. The first time was a torpedo hit (14 Feb 1942) by a submarine just of Davao, Philippines. The second time was an air raid in Balikpapan, Indonesia (17 Aug 1943) with a bomb hit to the bridge that killed the Captain and one man. She went to Rabaul to be hit again (8 Oct 1943) with a submarine torpedo in No 6 hold on the port side, The Japanese wanted to bring her up to Chuuk for repair. Rabaul had daily air raids from the Americans than. The convoy going up was ambushed. (Amagisan, Kiyosumi, Yamagiri and Seiko). She arrived in Truk on the 14th of February 1944. 3 Days later she was the largest ship at her anchor side and got hit and sunk by and 500 kg bomb and a solid torpedo hit. Within 30 min of being hit she went down.
It is the first dive we are doing on the west side of Uman and just the ride there is very pleasant. The water in the Lagoon is like a mirror as we zip along.
We circle till we find the mooring and then get ready to descend. As we descend and the wreck emerges I need a second to understand how she rests on the ground. She sits there with a list to the port side and looks amazingly intact. One Grey reef shark disappears being disturbed by us and all the batfish come close to inspect the new arrivals. A school of barracuda also comes close to check us out. We descend in the No 3 hold and find lots and lots of barrels. Making our way to No 2 hold we come around a corner and nearly collide with a truck frame sitting there. The housing is gone but the bumper and steering wheel are there, as is the battery. A little further away a passenger car can be seen in the gloom and its front sits in the white haze the water sometimes gets from the oil.
In that same haze I find 4 bicycle frames full intact and I really want to take one back up to fix it up. The frames look still usable =). Betty Bomber wings are next and then more barrels and debris. We come out of No 1 hold and are greeted by the bow gun. With the sun shining in through the water it makes an amazing halo around the gun. Coming over the bow we realize that our 15 min are nearly up and make a swim back to the mooring. But we are still quite deep and have to slow down not to get out of breath. Resting and glancing around a bit more I realize the batfish stayed with us and will escort us all the way up. A quick glance towards the bridge makes me realize, that I want to come back and explore this part of the ship.
As we ascend to our stops the batfish swim in and out of sight and are joined by two small remora, one tries to get into the pants of one of your divers. It causes a lot of giggles and amusement.
It is a good note to end a dive on and I hope we will be back soon.