Micronesia

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Guam

An American island in the mist of Micronesia, she like your friends little sister that you hardly noticed until one day you realize what a find she is. Most of the divers that dive the waters around Guam are those who live there or are members of the military stationed there. Guam has a number of dive shops including one of PADI oldest and most productive dive center in the world, however there are no dive resorts. The dive centers offer boat diving but many of the islands 60 plus dive sites are shore dives. Guam was the center of action in both WWI and WWII so you will find dive sites with ship wrecks from these wars. In Apra Harbor, Tokai Maru and SMS Cormoran touch each other in about 100 feet of water. The shore dives provide a wide range of sites for different skill levels,Some of the shore dives lead to rich walls. The boat dives can take you to sites such as 11 Mile Reef and the Blue hole. 11 mile reef is located 11 miles off shore and is a reef structure that raises from the deep to less than 100 feet from the surface. Pelagic marine life of a wide variety come to the reef top to feed. On a poor day visibility will be 100 feet.  The blue hole starts at 50 feet and drops and exits at 130 feet. So next trip to Micronesia, add some transfer dive and a few dives in Guam. 

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Palau

The three major Pacific currents converge in the area of the Caroline Islands. The western end some 530 miles from the Philippines forms the Republic. While further to the east are Guam and the Federation of Micronesia. Palau has about 250 islands, however, only 8 are inhabited. Just about each f the islands have their own fringe reef and the deep Pacific waters are never far away. Water temperature vary little from 84°f (26°c). While all experiences levels can dive here advance divers have some very special treats. There are a couple of deep blue holes at the limit of recreational diving as well as some tunnels. Some of the most famous sites include:

  • Blue Corner. There is a plateau about 60 feet (18meters) down with a current across it. Most divers use a reef hook to position themselves near the edge of the reef and drift out over the depths to watch the deep. When ready they release the hook drop below the plateau and drift around the wall.

  • Big Drop Off  Less current than Blue Corner and the reef starts at just about 1 meter. Great variety of sponges and coral.

  • Ngemelis Wall easy way to describe this, best wall dive in the world

The Republic of Palau is a part of Micronesia, however, just like Guam is not a part of the Federation of Micronesia. Also like Guam the official currency is the US Dollar but unlike Guam it is an independent country.  

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Chuuk (Truk Lagoon)

During the height of Japaneses naval power in WWII, Chuuk was the most powerful Naval base in the world. Truk, a collection of 11 major islands and 46 smaller one on a 40 mile wide Lagoon, became the property of Japan at the end of WWI. It was a war spoil from Germany who had purchased it from Spain at the end of the Spanish American War.

 

Development of the base was slow in the early years but rapidly expanded with the coming of war.  In early 1944, it was the center of Japaneses operations in the South Pacific. In February 1944 US forces attacked the base for two days heavily damaging the base, its fleet an aircraft. Ten weeks later a second attack occurred.

 

Between the two events over 60 Japaneses ships sunk and 275 aircraft destroyed. Many of the aircraft were shot down into the waters. Chuuk Lagoon is now the largest graveyard of ships in the worlds. The low currents in the lagoon has help keep the ships and aircraft in remarkable good shape and the coral was transformed them into homes for generations of fish.

 

The area is nick names the “Ghost fleet of Chuuk” because of the eerie appearance of the fleet and because some say it is haunted. Tanks still sit on the decks of some vessels, cargo holds are still full with military equipment and ammunition. Thousands of Japaneses sailors lost their lives as ships were attacked and sank. Some of the remains are still at the placed they died. It is said that some of their spirits are waiting orders to go home. 

 

The clear warm waters, outstanding coral development and the wide range of ships and aircraft makes this a unique destination.

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