How to dive Truk

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Oldbear

Teaching Neutral Diving
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There was a group of divers from Kwajalien that stayed a week in Truk. Most of them were either AOW or Rescue divers; but none were Tech. But I know all of them had a great time and came back to Kwaj filled with happy dive stories.

I believe they stayed at the Truk Stop; but I do know that it was land based and priced very reasonable.

Like others have said I echo the suggestion "Do our training at home then dive within the limits of your training and have a good holiday."
 

WetPup

Weedy Sea Dragon
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Wetpup, I have been to Chuuk six times now and I would say that going all that way from Australia for only one week is not a wise expenditure of money. As the largest cost is the airfare to get there, staying longer is not that much in real terms. Since we get four weeks annual leave, lack of holidays should not be a reason to only go for a week.

I would say that a minimum of two weeks is required. I have done Chuuk liveaboard and land based and believe that land based is best. The cost for one week on a liveaboard (with airfare) is similar to staying for three weeks on land. The advantage is that you are only doing two dives a day instead of four (safer), you will do more dives and do more wrecks (the liveaboards tend to stay on one wreck for multiple dives).

Again, I would stay at Blue Lagoon as they have more boats, closer to the wrecks and are far more flexible in their diving. As to doing a course there, do it here before you go, that way you will enjoy better all the dives. The San Francisco Maru is an easy dive so long as you are good on air and a competent diver.

Yes, the wrecks are breaking up, but the wreck that was leaking aviation fuel stopped many years ago and is now diveable. The oil leaking seems to have not got worse in the almost 25 years since I first went there. In any case, the tankers are empty and any fuel is only coming from the few oil powered ships that actually had a significant amount of fuel in their tanks when they sank (most had little fuel due to Japan's dire state in 1944).

For more information about Chuuk and the wrecks see my web site: Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site

Thanks for the info. For me though, time is more important than money. The nature of my job makes it difficult for me to get any more than 1 week off at a time unless I organise it a year in advance. I was hoping to do this trip in a few months, not next year :)

I will look into doing the tec course in Australia before I go, but my experience with my LDS hasn't been good. So I'd still want to travel elsewhere in Australia to do it, probably Cairns. I like warm :D
 

dvankirk

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I would second doing the trip land based unless you specifically want the amenities that come with live-aboard diving. Me, all I need is a rack to sleep in, good fills, and a ride to the wreck. Below is a good contact for somebody who can help you set everything up and save you some money along the way if you are interested.

Matt Ladmirault
--
MDA Aquaquest Travel
Em1: matt@mdaguam.com
Em2: islands@mdaguam.com
Office: 671-472-6325
www.mdaguam.com/travel
 

KevinG58

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Wetpup I spent 10 days diving Truk to recreational depths (100cf cylinder with 28% EAN). Without looking at my log, hit limits just twice; on I-169 and I think the other was Amigasan Maru. No I didn't dive the San Francisco, still had a great time, I'm planning to get back in a couple of years and doubt I'll go any deeper.
 

Doubler

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My wife and I Did a trip on the Truk Odyssea 2 years ago. Without a doubt the best live aboard I have ever dove from. You can get 100's or doubles if you request. You can dive on your own or with a very knowledgeable guide. We did the San Fransico Maru with a 6 minute BT. Pushing it in my opinion but I'd never have a chance again so we did it. One of they things they do is hang a tank at about 90 ft in case someone needs it, they dive in small staggered groups on this dive. If someone in group one takes the hanger and you are in group three you are out of luck so be aware. I got back on board with 300 psi. I was not impressed at all with the food, blue Lagoon had much better food. I would definetly the Truk Odyssea again.
 

Kevrumbo

Banned
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I've been diving Truk every year continuously since 2007, sometimes multiple trips of two weeks or more per year (last year June/July I combined a near month-long Bikini Atoll and Truk excursion back-to-back, and then returned again to Truk just last December). The diving is that good, but with the unfortunate caveat being the wrecks now undergoing stages of imminent final collapse after 70 years.

Best time to go is before the prevailing winter season NE winds & swell/chop --up to late Fall before November. Still tropical climate, but can be a cold wind chill, rainy, boat slamming & jarring ride out & back from the wrecks during the winter. (The very deep wrecks of the Oite Destroyer at 60m and the Katsuragisan Maru at 67m near the Northeast Passage are divesites too rough to dive safely in these conditions)

If you want to maximize your potential dives per day for a one week trip (you can possibly do 4 recreational dives plus 1 night dive if you wanted to, dive guides willing, weather & sea state permitting), then go with the Odyssey Liveaboard.

But if you're doing deep and long mandatory decompression dives (San Francisco Maru, Aikoku Maru, Nagano Maru etc -all the deep technical wrecks of Fourth Fleet Anchorage @ 45m average), I tend to prefer only two per day with at least a three hour surface interval between them. The best & most economical operation for technical dive trips of this kind is Truk Stop Hotel/Truk Lagoon Dive Center. Better than Blue Lagoon Dive Ops in terms cylinder support (six to ten sets of assembled 11L/AL80 doubles; with 5.5L/AL40 & 7L/AL63 deco bottles w/ proper sling kits); and gas supply & blending support --Truk Stop is the only dive ops in all of Micronesia that has Oxygen and especially Helium readily available for blending trimix and deco gases for the traveling tech diver. (Blue Lagoon can only guarantee a supply of O2 & He if you order through them in advance, or ship in your own supply. To be fair though, they did finally get an oxygen generation system).

See how you like it first and then take serious tech training afterward should you want to make a return visit to fully explore the deeper wrecks like the San Francisco Maru; depending on how much time you have until your Truk trip, IMO the recommended courses that you should take right now are UTD Essentials or GUE Fundamentals type classes to work on gas management, trim & clean non-silting finning techniques; Advanced Nitrox and Deco Procedures; and a wreck specialty class to learn & practice contingency scenarios.

Or if you've got the extra holiday time & budget, do all of the above training along with Trimix with Rob McGann -Dive Ops Manager at the Truk Lagoon Dive Center/Truk Stop Hotel.
 

Kevrumbo

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ev780

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I have done the Odyssey twice! Great way to dabble in Tech and learn a little about decompression diving. The staff will keep you safe but you are treated like adults and as JJ said, "If you die on one of my trips, you will not be allowed to dive with us ever again!"
 

Donnah

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We did the Truk Aggressor on the 50th anniversary of the bombing. Everyone was using al 80s. I don't remember any other options then. Most dives were 100 ft. I think the deepest we went was 120. We are recreational divers, AOW, wreck-certified, but definitely not technical divers. We probably did 4 dives a day (we were much younger then!). It's great being on a liveaboard. Dive, watch your computer, dive, eat, dive, watch your computer, dive, etc. Most of our dives were 45-60 minutes. We'd go to the deck, look around, then work our way up. If our computers went into deco, we'd just start going up a bit. During our deco stops, we would stay at about 20 ft. until down to 300 psi. Boat manager said we were on our own, he would not tell us how to dive, and that after the first day everyone would be on a different profile . I did see the crew checking computers one night, however. Some of the liveboards don't move much and you dive off zodiacs (at least it was that way then.) What the Aggressor did was tie off at a wreck and just stay there for part of the day. We dove off the boat whenever we wanted as long as we got back before they moved the boat! Total freedom and great diving. I would not do it from land, too much hassle and less diving.
 
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