Unmissable Micronesia Wrecks

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Micronesia scuba diving has everything a diver could wish for; from thriving reefs to coral-encrusted WWII wrecks, plenty of large marine life and tiny colourful critters. Palau and Truk Lagoon are the places to go if you’re a fan of wreck diving, with numerous wrecks on offer.

There are a variety of liveaboards to choose from at both destinations. The beautiful Palau Siren is an understandably popular choice with its luxurious accommodation. The SS Thorfinn is great for technical divers and has two special technical diving packages; the Rebreather Plan and Truk Tek Unlimited.

Truk lagoon can be dived all year, thanks to its sheltered nature, and Palau has three main diving seasons:

  • The high season from December to March, offering flat seas and dry weather
  • The shoulder months of April, July, August, October and November, when there is more wind and rainfall
  • The low months of May, June and September which offer fewer visitors and the lowest prices

Here is our pick of the top Micronesia wrecks to explore:

PALAU

 

Palau is one of Micronesia’s main dive destinations and there is something for all interests; with reef dives, drop-offs, drift dives, caves and multiple wrecks to explore. It is best to visit Palau as an advanced diver, with drift and wreck diving experience, to make the most of the dive sites.

IRO MARU

What is it?

This Japanese Navy oiler sank in 1944 and is 143 meters long, with the deck at 25 meters below the surface.

Why dive this wreck?

The Iro Maru is an impressive sight, still sitting upright and giving a complete view of the ship. The deck is covered with clams, oysters and critters and the ship is home to plentiful corals, including black coral trees. There are numerous fish and an array of WWII artifacts, including some live ammunition – so be sure not to touch anything on the wreck. There are two large guns; one on the stern and the other on the bow.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The Iro Maru sits in an area with no currents, making it easily accessible, and it is within recreational dive limits. Wreck penetration is possible at this wreck.

AMATSU MARU

What is it?

This oil tanker came into service just 4 months before being sunk. She is the largest shipwreck in Palau, with a total length of 159 meters.

Why dive this wreck?

This huge shipwreck is also known as the Black Coral Wreck, as the hull is covered in black coral trees. This unique sight is great for photography. The interior still has electrical and radio equipment and you can see damage on the stern from the explosions that sunk it.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The Amatsu Maru lies at 40 meters depth, with the deck at 30 meters, and is best suited to advanced divers. Wreck penetration is possible.

JAKE SEAPLANE

What is it?

The Jake Seaplane is one of the most well-known wrecks and was only discovered in 1994, by a fisherman who spotted it from the surface. It is a WWII Navy Seaplane and is 11 meters long.

Why dive this wreck?

The Jake Seaplane sits upright on a coral head and is mostly intact. The wreck is covered in corals, and there are plenty of coral species to spot on the wreck and in the surrounding area.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

Sitting upright at around 15 meters depth, the Jake Seaplane is easily accessible and suitable for less experienced divers.

TRUK

Truk Lagoon is known for having more than 48 wreck diving sites and waters up to 100 meters deep. It is one of the best places for wreck diving and offers great opportunities for recreational and technical diving amongst World War II wrecks.

FUJIKAWA MARU

What is it?

This cargo and passenger ship had been sent to Truk lagoon for repairs in 1944 when it was caught up in Operation Hailstone and sunk after being hit by a torpedo. It is one of the most popular wreck dives in the area and she is 133 meters long.

Why dive this wreck?

This is another impressive wreck, with the boat sitting upright, and the outside of the wreck covered in corals and sponges. There is a large bow gun and two fighter aircrafts, and the engine room and tool rooms are a must. You can find many artefacts on this wreck, including artillery. Keep your eyes open for large schools of jacks and barracuda, plus grey reef sharks, whilst you dive there.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The depth range of 5 to 35 meters, with the deck at 18 meters, makes the Fujikawa Maru ideal for all dive experience levels.

SANKISAN MARU

What is it?

This 112-meter Japanese army cargo ship was strafed, leading to a fire and explosions that ripped the ship apart. There is a huge 152-meter diameter crater with large metal sections lying around.

Why dive this wreck?

This is a great open wreck where you can see holds filled with machine gun and rifle shells, plus truck frames, aircraft engines and propellers. The aft is missing but the stern sits upright 100 meters away from the rest of the ship. The mast rising to the surface is covered in corals and there is also plenty of coral cover on the deck. It offers some of the best soft coral cover in the lagoon.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The average depth is 24 meters, with a maximum depth of 27 meters, making this wreck suitable for advanced divers.

SAN FRANCISCO MARU

What is it?

This passenger cargo ship is Truk’s most famous deep dive, lying at a depth of around 63 meters.

Why dive this wreck?

The San Francisco Maru contains mines, bombs, tanks and trucks. She is a popular choice in the 40 to 60-meter (131 to 196 feet) depth range and the four cargo holds contain aircraft bombs, artillery shells, tanker trucks, a flatbed truck, and torpedo warheads.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

This wreck is a favourite among technical divers.

SHINKOKU MARU

What is it?

The Shinkoku Maru is around 152 meters long and was originally built as an oil tanker, later converted to a fleet oiler. She survived two days of attacks and two aerial torpedo strikes, until finally sinking.

Why dive this wreck?

This wreck is fantastic for night diving and has plentiful soft corals and hydroids that emerge after dark. This is one of the most colourful wrecks in Truk and truly comes alive at night. You can see into the engine room from the bridge and the galley still holds many utensils on the stove. The medical bay and huge engines are not to be missed.

Who is this wreck suitable for?

The depth range of 10 to 38 meters makes this wreck suitable for a variety of dive experience levels.

This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com

Photo Credits: SS Thorfinn Liveaboard


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