We wake to find it hot, very little cloud and best of all no breeze and glass out conditions.
We are off and running and first to breakfast, first to analyse our nitrox stages and ponies and the first boat out. Our first dive is the I-69 Sub which is only a 5 minute boat ride from the resort. We pull up and the water is blue – real blue! Its deep and we have 3 daylight dives today so we arrange for a maximum 25 minute bottom time plus our deco and safety stops. The sub has a lot of history and we all read the story behind its sinking which is a sad one as many people died in a tragic way.The Sub was excellent and we were mildly surprised as it doesn’t have the hype and size that the other vessels do. When we get back we talk to Gradvin Isaac the dive store owner and he was surprised we had done it as he said basically no one dives it and we are the first for a while. We smile, don’t say anything to any other guests and keep our little fun secret to ourselves.
At 10am we go and pick up our pre-ordered lunches, pack a day bag each, grab the fishing gear and head out again for the day.
We first stop at the Unki Maru which is an upright freighter in 40m of water. We started at the bow which was very photogenic with its soft corals and large bow gun. The first hold was full of shoes, gas masks and large coils of rope. The midships was great to penetrate and we all had fun exploring the various levels. A few of us went into the engine area which was pretty extensive and found some great tools, glass gauges, spare conrods on the walls, large electrical panels and loads of other neat stuff. After this morning’s deep dive we went well into deco and ended up doing 45 minutes bottom time and over 45 minutes deco making it a long dive.
After the dive we took the boat to Etan Island where we stopped at a point for lunch. The grounds are owned by Blue Lagoon and was a beautiful setting. We ate lunch and did our own thing for 90 minutes. Some went snorkelling in the pristine water – its 30 degrees in the water by the way-at any depth... Some went fishing with lures and soft plastics and some relaxed under the trees, cut open and ate fresh coconuts. Either way it was a great place to have a break and we have decided to do the same again tomorrow, just at a different island.
The 3rd dive was relatively shallow by Truk standards (8-28m) and we used Nitrox main tanks and ponies for this dive. This wreck is the Sankisan Maru and is only half intact with the back half blown to bits and is a twisted mess. The forward few holds had stacks of stuff to see. Hold one had tens of thousands of bullets littered all over the floor. Hold two had trucks and zero fighter plane motors and spare parts and hold 3 had thousands of very small glass bottles and coal scattered over the floor. There were also more trucks on the decks and guns too. The masts and gantry went up to only 8m deep and was covered in colourful soft corals which made for great photos.
Bak on the boat and Rod and Nathan are rigging their rods with soft plastics. Rio and Gladwin surprisingly had never really seen fishing rods and reels up close before and didn’t really understand how they worked. They really spun out at the soft plastics and scoffed at the idea of us using them to catch fish. That was until Rod hook up on a very big fish and got smoked until it busted him off. They couldn’t believe the rod flexed like it did and did not break. The have no concept of composite materials and had never heard of carbon fibre. Rod hooked up again and landed a solid Coral Trout and then a Cod the next cast. The boys where quite shocked but pretty happy as we gave them the fish for dinner. They have asked us to bring the fishing gear every day from now on.....
The internet also is back up and running – it came back on at 7pm and the foyer is packed with people with laptops and there is a queue for the one resort computer with email access. Pretty sad to think they can’t go one day without logging in......the locals think its funny!
More photos on our Facebook Page.