Situated in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,800 kilometers north east of New Guinea, you will find Chuuk State. Chuuk is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and is the most populated state with over 50,000 inhabitants. In the Chuukese language Chuuk means mountain and it is not difficult to see how this gem in the ocean got its name. The main population center is Chuuk Lagoon or also known as Truk Lagoon; a large archipelago with mountainous islands surrounding by a string of mangrove fringed islets on a barrier reef. This barrier reef, enclosing the natural harbor, is around 225 kilometers around in circumference. Weno Island in the lagoon functions as the state capital and is FSM’s biggest city.
Chuuk lagoon, is the shipwreck capitol of the world. If you are a wreck lover, or love history, a visit to Chuuk lagoon is a must. It should be on the divers’ bucket list. Chuuk Lagoon is the home to an entire Japanese fleet that was sunk in 1944. Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks so tightly packed into a coral reef lagoon. To experience the best diving in this unique dive destination and to dive the superb wrecks of the Japanese WWII fleet which lay in a variety of depths join a liveaboard trip on the MY Truk Master operated by Master Liveaboards. This vessel offers comprehensive support for open-circuit extended range divers and CCR divers enabling exploration all of the wrecks including the deeper wrecks on the perimeter.
In 1969 Jacques Cousteau and his team explored Chuuk lagoon and following his documentary in 1971 about the lagoon and its ghostly remains, the place has become a divers’ paradise. The shipwrecks and remains are sometimes referred to as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk lagoon”. From their watery grave, those ghostly skeletons give shape to a unique underwater museum. Many of the wrecks are “Maru” or merchant vessels had been at anchor, some had been fortified with anti-aircraft weapons and may carried important supplies including zero fighter aircraft parts, tanks, torpedo shells, trucks and road supplies. As the lagoon has been declared a monument, salvage and souvenir taking of relics are prohibited by law.
Chuuk Lagoon is undisputedly a wreck divers mecca. The calm, clear, sheltered lagoon is one of the largest in the world and being relatively free from currents, provides relatively easy and safe diving conditions. Nature and time have softened and transformed each graveyard into living shipwrecks of incredible color and marine life. There is beautiful coral growth on every wreck in a kaleidoscope of colors. Brilliant soft corals, anemones and sponges now cling to rusted remnants of military glory. There is an abundant variety of schooling tropical fish life smoothing the wrecks and playing amongst once lethal weapons! Even people who are not wreck enthusiasts will find it cool to see bicycles, pick-up trucks, tanks torpedoes, guns, airplanes and much more from World War II.
To get to Chuuk there are daily flights from across Europe to Manila and from Manilla you can take a flight to Chuuk via Guam. Guam is the central hub for all Micronesia flights and is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States, as such all passengers travelling via Guam need to complete an Electronic System for travel Authorization (ESTA). This must be done online in advance of your trip by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
Chuuk lagoon is fortunate to be able to offer diving all year round as it is a tropical country its climate is fairly even all year round. The average high is 30 degrees whilst the average low is 25 degrees throughout the year. The more humid climate is during the summer months (June – Sept) whilst trade winds come mainly from the northeast between December and June. The dry seasons are between November and April, May to October has a higher humidity and rainfall, with July through to October having the highest rainfall.
The wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon provide the greatest playground to either begin your overhead environment diver training or to learn advanced penetration techniques to explore every internal part of these majestic wrecks. Register and join the SSI Extended Range Wreck program to explore the inner parts of the wrecks while remaining in the overlapping light zones provided by the multiple entry and access points provided by each wreck. Alternatively, if you already hold the Extended Range Wreck certification and engine rooms are your fascination, register and join the SSI Technical Extended Range program, learn, develop and master penetration techniques that will allow you safely explore these complexed massive intetnal structures, heading into darkness to witness and taste the history.
You can find out more about the overhead environment programs available here.
You can find more about the dive site Chuuk Laoon here.
You can find out more about the trip by heading to https://www.liveaboard.com/de/search/micronesia