Chuuk Liveaboard

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Chuuk Liveaboard

To discover the largest collection of WWII wrecks on the planet, head over to the Western Pacific and book yourself on a Chuuk Liveaboard.

Northeast of Papua new Guinea lies one of the world’s largest lagoons, where 822 square miles of tropical waters are enclosed by a circle of barrier reef. Within this safe-haven, an entire fleet of Japanese war-crafts lies submerged.

Whilst it’s possible to shore-dive from many of the 14 islands that rise within the Chuuk Lagoon, by far the best way to experience the treasures below and realise the unique geography of this special region, is via a liveaboard.

A Chuuk Liveaboard will allow you to tour as much of the lagoon as possible, travel easily between dive-sites drop directly down on the wrecks and fully appreciate the vast area covered by this spectacular maritime collection.

Descend down the anchor chain and you’ll enter an astonishing underwater world of sunken ships, aircrafts, vehicles, weaponry and artefacts, each encrusted in its own masterpiece of anemones, gorgonians and corals, and populated by mind-blowing marine-life, which includes turtles, sharks and eagle rays.

A typical day on a Chuuk Liveaboard tends to involve an early breakfast followed by a couple of morning wreck-dives, then back on-board for lunch and a de-brief, during which time the boat move onto your afternoon dive-sites. More dives will then be offered throughout the afternoon, as well as snorkelling, swimming or the option to chill-out on deck. After an evening meal, guests can enjoy drinks under the stars, movies and games, or head back down below to experience eerie night-dives that will give you a whole new perspective of wreck diving.

The proximity and abundance of wrecks in the lagoon make it easy for liveaboards to travel quickly between sites, or pick wrecks that aren’t being visited by other divers – there’s no need to crowd onto a single wreck here, when you have the luxury of choosing one all to yourself. The added benefit of liveaboard diving over shore-diving means that parties of just two of three divers can choose to descend at any one time; it’s not unusual for two divers to be the sole visitors of 500 foot wrecks – just imagine the photo opps!

Itineraries tend to be based around diving abilities, sea conditions and personal preference of the passengers, so it’s worth doing a bit of homework before you go. Here are a few highlights to whet your appetite:

Fujikawa Maru – probably the most famous and popular dive site on a Chuuk Liveaboard’s itinerary. This 40-metre cargo ship carries partly-disassembled fighter planes, all festooned in soft corals, fans and sea anemones. There’s stacks to explore here and divers can choose to stay shallow or descend to depths of up to 36 metres.

Shinkoku Maru – one of the most beautiful wrecks you’ll encounter on a Chuuk Liveaboard adventure, this oil tanker that rests upright and is surrounded by swirls of tropical fish.

Heian Maru – this former submarine tender is the largest ship in the lagoon, at 155 metres in length. Expect to see ammunition, teacups and plates as well as sponges

Nippo Maru – encrusted in sponges and swamped by silver sweepers, this intact cargo ship contains a full battery of five inch guns in its hold, as well as four Japanese antitank guns.

Sutsuki Destroyer – easily accessible to snorkelers, this shallow wreck is best known for its engine room, abundance of artefacts and plethora of fish-life.

Yamagiri Maru – an almost completely intact Japanese freighter, overgrown in soft corals and sponges.

Sankisan Maru – this shallow wreck makes for great snorkelling as well as diving.

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