Wreck diving at Micronesia’s Chuuk Atoll (formerly Truk Lagoon) features the most World War II fleet wrecks worldwide! Chuuk is a shallow volcanic valley and part of the Caroline Islands. Chuuk lies 3,200 miles southwest of Hawaii.
- Air Temperature: 82 – 89 F (28 – 32 C)
- Water Temperature: 81 – 86 F (27 – 30 C)
- Visibility: 60 – 100 feet (18 – 30 meters)
- Dive Types: reef, shallow, deep, sheer wall, drift, cave, night, live-aboard, wreck, nitrox,
- Marine Life: red, yellow, pink and white corals, soft corals and sponges, lionfish, blennys, anemones, clown fish, sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, tuna, jack fish, unicorn fish, barracuda, sweet lips, pyramid butterfly fish, manta rays, jellyfish, seahorses, mandarin fish, nudibranchs, porcelain crabs, shrimp, damselfish, orange mollusks, and dramatic stalactites.
Chuuk Atoll in Micronesia
Micronesia is a giant in the dive world. It includes many small islands. Chuuk is part of the area called Oceania. It is north of Melanesia and northwest of Polynesia. A number of islands and island states in the area are the main scuba destinations. These include Palau, Yap, Guam, Chuuk. These islands offer world-class undersea adventures.
Chuuk is a diver’s paradise, because it features some of the best wreck diving in the world. No other site has more World War II wrecks than those that lie at the bottom of this lagoon. Chuuk offers wreck diving in shallower waters (50 feet) and deeper waters (130+ feet).
Operation Hailstone in Truk Lagoon
In 1944, U.S. Operation Hailstone became the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. This mission dealt a devastating blow to the Imperial Japanese Navy and sank over 45 vessels. Armed cargo ships, huge tankers, small destroyers, a submarine, and several planes sunk to their final resting place on the floor of Truk Lagoon. The name was changed from Truk to Chuuk. The WWII wrecks spread across 77 square miles of ocean floor.
Chuuk Atoll World War II Wreck Dives
Since the war, vibrant coral reefs cloak the wrecks creating beauty from destruction. Strong, constant currents within the lagoon carry the necessary nutrients for healthy marine life. The current moves these nutrients from the islands through the channels and out to sea. Many species of marine life thrive around the wrecks. Over 300 varieties of hard and soft corals exist here. The outer reefs offer a variety of pelagic and reef dwelling fish. Divers explore cascading coral walls that stretch into the abyss of the Pacific Ocean.
A ship ripped in half offers a cutaway view of life and death on the high seas. From cabins and boiler rooms to onboard assault tanks and airplanes, barnacles encrust every wreck. Inside some wrecks, divers view gas masks, sake cups, and other fascinating antiquities. The ships are corroding quickly. Most are full of coral reefs. Corrosion prevents divers from penetrating some wrecks. The Chuuk wrecks are often called the Ghost Fleet. They are a startling reminder of the ravages of war.