Immersion in Micronesia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to discover the sunken treasures of Chuuk Lagoon, also known as Truk Lagoon, one of the most isolated places on earth. A dive into history…
First, lets start with a little lesson of geography. Chuuk Lagoon is part of the Federated States of Micronesia and lie somewhere in the Pacific Ocean between Guam and Honolulu. There are only few planes to reach this remote group of islands. There is either the weekly and often late flight from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, or the three weekly flights operated by United known as the “Island Hopper”, linking Honolulu to Guam and return via the Marshall Islands and Micronesia capital of Pohnpei.
My flight back home which would take me from Chuuk to Guam, than to Tokyo and on was only late by 22 hours due to a simple faulty light in the cockpit. Here, you want to fly safely when there is strictly nothing else than deep ocean between two little islands!
Most foreign visitors in Chuuk are from only two kinds. They have the American missionaries, and the divers. This place is one covered with history. Micronesia was occupied by the Japanese prior Second World War. During the War, the islands were fortified and used as a linking base for the expansion of the Japanese Empire in the South Pacific.
Chuuk became of full blow military stronghold for the Japanese, used as the anchorage for the Imperial Fleet. But the fortune of Japan changed with the advance of the Allied Forces in the South Pacific. On the 17th and 18th February 1944 the Allied forces launched Operation Hailstone against the Japanese Fleet anchored in Chuuk. The Imperial Fleet feeling the wind turning had already moved away most of their War fleet. But the support fleet, with over 60 cargo ships was still positioned in Chuuk during the attack.
So for today keen and experienced divers, Chuuk is offering the best wreck diving in the world, with over 60 wrecks lying between 20 and 60 meters deep, in clear blue and 30 degrees warm water. This is the time to go, as with anything linked to corrosion, there is maybe a window of 20 years before this piece of history will disappear.
There are two options ahead of you. You could board the Odyssey live aboard for 5 daily dives on a weekly stay, or be more flexible and budget conscious by staying at the only decent dive resort, the Truk Blue Lagoon resort. The aim is clearly to spend as much time underwater as you can. Life is simple, here, it’s dive, eat, sleep, dive, eat, sleep! So relax, and enjoy this amazing underwater piece of history!
How to get there?
You have three weekly flights either from Guam or Honolulu on United. Be careful, even if you transfer, you will require to have a valid US Visa. You can also take the once a week flight from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, but beware of frequent delays.