Chuuk is best known for its world-class wreck diving and with over 60 wrecks, from supply vessels to planes and a submarine, tightly packed in a coral reef lagoon
Chuuk (or Truk) Lagoon is a remote atoll in the central Pacific and is a part of the Federated States of Micronesia. It was a Japanese naval base in World War II. During the US-led Operation Hailstone in 1944, which was a vast naval air and surface attack against the Japanese fleet anchored in the lagoon, more than Japanese 60 ships and 200 airplanes were sunk. Today, the lagoon has more than 48 wreck dive sites. The wrecks are covered in soft and hard coral growth, but they are still largely intact.
There are several wrecks in the 18 to 40 meter (59 to 131 feet) depth range and more wrecks in the depth of around 40 to 60 meter (131 to 196 feet). Probably the most interesting shipwrecks to dive on are San Francisco Maru, Fujikawa Maru, Aikoku Maru and Fujisan Maru.
San Francisco Maru is lying at a depth of 63 meters (206 feet) with the deck at 50 meters (164 feet). The forward part of the wreck contains trucks, tanks and mines as well as ammunition. In front of the hold, there is a magnificent bow gun. The corals here are quite small due to the depth.
In the Fujikawa Maru’s forward cargo hold, it is possible to see some disassembled Zero fighter planes, including fuselages, radial engines, and spare parts. The massive gun on the bow is overgrown with soft corals, and there is lots of marine life on top of the wreck.
Aikoku Maru rests at a depth of 64 meters (210 feet). The entire bow of the ship has been blown off, but the stern is still intact. The anti-aircraft guns are still clearly visible.
The 156 meter-long (512 feet) oil tanker, Fujisan Maru, is sitting nearly upright at around 65 meters (213 feet) of water. It is a huge wreck with the deck covered with oil piping and valves.
Apart from diving on wrecks, there is superb diving at some of the outer reefs of Chuuk Lagoon. These sites are busy with pelagic marine life and magnificent coral reefs with steep walls.