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World | Micronesia | Truk Lagoon:

Truk Lagoon overview



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Scuba Diving in Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon), Micronesia

Water temperature:

28°C - 29°C (82°F - 84°F) year round


3mm wetsuit


10 - 30 metres (50 - 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Wreck diving for more experienced divers with planes, armed cargo ships, tankers, destroyers and a submarine

Marine life:

Grey reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, jellyfish, reef fish, colourful coral

When to go:

The best time of year to visit Chuuk is during the dry season (December to April), although diving is possible at any time of year and in the tropical climate the rain never lasts long

How to get there:

From the UK - Chuuk is a long trip from the UK but worth it. Weno, the capital of Chuuk, is served by Continental Micronesia from / to Guam, 100km away, with a flight time of 1hr 50mins. There are a number of possibilities for getting to Guam, but expect to change and have waits between flights. Departure tax of $15 US is required on leaving Chuuk

Diving Truk Lagoon, Micronesia - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
Diving Truk Lagoon, Micronesia - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
Ruined building in Truk, Micronesia - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
Tunnel in Truk, Micronesia - courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Truk Lagoon, as it is most commonly known by divers (it is officially spelt Chuuk) has become one of the best places on the planet to visit for wreck divers. It served as a Japanese military and naval base during the Second World War, and would often have over a thousand ships moored in the lagoon at any one time. The deep waters (reaching 100m) of Chuuk combined with the circling barrier reef and high islands provided excellent protection allowing the Japanese to develop it as the greatest stronghold in the Pacific.

However it was the success of Chuuk that would eventually lead to its demise as it was a prime target for attack. Early in 1944 US forces amassed an army of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines to mount a surprise attack on the Japanese, code named 'Operation Hailstone'. On February 16th for three days, the US attacked, catching the Japanese almost totally unaware. A follow-up attack in April 1944 claimed even more casualties with over 70 ships sunk and 400 aircraft destroyed. The Japanese troops that survived the attacks now faced starvation as they were deprived of supplies until the eventual surrender of the Japanese in late 1945.

With 48 wreck dives and very little in the way of topside entertainment, this is very much a destination for the wreck diver - without family! Many of the wrecks are also deep so an advanced qualification is recommended. Nitrox is often available as part of a dive package, so it is advisable to consider either doing a course before leaving or whilst you are on holiday to make the most of you diving. There is a recompression chamber close to Blue Lagoon Resort.

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