Today is a public holiday in Chuuk. The local ladies are baking and the internet’s not working. The westerners are spitting chips that their Wi-Fi doesn’t work!
We have news today that the planes are running again. After our dramas on the flight in, no other flight has come or gone as the 737 we flew in on went onto Hawaii leaving the broken one as the only one left in Guam. Some people are rapt at being stranded here while others are pretty angry. But for us – we're going diving!! We had our breakfast in the restaurant and asked the girls to scale the banana pancake stacks from 1 foot tall to 6 inches. They have been big enough to feed an army and all for $4.50US per serve.
This morning its a bit windy and while the lagoon is always relatively flat its a wet ride to our first dive the Hoki Maru. The Hoki is deep and upright but has the whole rear half blown away when a large torpedo hit the stern. The debris is staggering. In the holds of this freighter there is a stack of heavy earthmoving equipment for building the airstrips. We got great photos of the graders, trucks, bulldozers, rollers, tractors, etc.. There were also heaps of other interesting things to see such as lights, bottles, fuel drums, amazing soft corals, etc... As per normal we dive with two tanks and most of the group do a 80-95 minute dive with 30m visibility. Rio our guide is a legend! He put the achor down so that when we where doing our 40 minutes of deco under the boat, it was sitting right over the lagest mast which came up to about 10m. There were large school of jacks swimming around the mast for the whole time on deco. Not bad for using a few trees on the islands to use as a guide when anchoring up. There are no mooring buoys and no GPS’s.
That arvo we dive a shallower wreck called the Kiyozumi Maru. This wreck is intact and lying on its side in 35m of water. The top of the wreck is in only 12m. We still keep the twins and get another long dive of 95 minutes. This wreck as a lot of history and has fought in many campaigns throughout the world. It was actually in for repairs in Chuuk when a torpedo stuck the bow and it sank very quickly. We entered thru the torpedo hole and it is massive and interesting to note that all the watertight bulkhead doors are all in the open position. I suppose the Japanese Sailors just did not have time to close them to try and save the ship.
The ship has holds full of artillery shells, drums, push bikes and a spare set of blades for the main prop. They are massive! Rod and myself break away from the group and decide to explore the engine room and engineering section. I is massive with 3 entire floor of the mid section devotes to this. With the ship lying on its side it is very easily to get confused where we are and whilst we had a blast in the with all the amazing stuff, we felt we were right on the edge of our comfort zone. We spend over 20 minutes in this area and had hi-fives all round when we got out safe and sound. We giggled like school kids all the way back to the deco area.
After such a long dive and a possible short surface interval we are stuffed and decide to postpone the night dive until the Thursday night. It turned out well as on the way home we see the Truk Odyssey Liveaboard on the wreck and when we get back to base a rain squall and windy storm hits the area. It was a decision well made.Rod and Nathan grab their fishing rods and head out in the resort kayaks to try their luck. Rod chooses the soft plastics and Nathan uses lures and poppers. They both get a few fish with Nathan landing the biggest a Trevally. They both let them all go. The rest of us retire to the balcony for beers, bourbon and nibbles whilst watching the 2 boys fishing and downloading the days photos.
Once again we are all spent by 8:30pm so we hit the hay. Tomorrow we have 2 daylight dives planed. The I-169 sub in the morning and a freighter and destroyer in the arvo. We are having lunch on a little island tomorrow for something different and a great place to de-gas between dives 2 and 3. Should be a blast!!