Sundive Byron Bay Dive Travel and Expeditions
For our dive travel, we carefully select only the most exciting dive destinations and pick the best time of the year to go, so you can lean back and let us do the research, planning and organizing for you.
We also understand that a great dive holiday needs more than just sensational diving. After all, you will only spend a few hours under water everyday, so it is important that the rest of your trip is just as enjoyable. Therefore, we choose only quality accommodation and professional dive operators and aim to offer destinations that also allow you to experience life in exotic countries and have some fun while on the surface.
Micronesia Dive Expedition Trip Report - Palau and Truk Lagoon 2013
While everyone was experiencing the terrible weather at home 16 Sundive Adventurers set off to Cairns to embark on our Micronesia Adventure to Palau and Truk Lagoon.
Sea Passions was our hotel of choice again. Good size rooms, huge buffet breakfast included, private beach, pool, waterfront bar & grill walking distance to restaurants and most important close to the dive shop.
Some of the dive sites we visited were Blue Holes, Virgin Blue Holes, Blue Corner, Sias Tunnel, Ulong Channel, Chandelier Cave, The Wreck of the “Iro” a 140m Japanese navy fleet oiler, “Tashio Maru”a 100m Japanese army cargo ship and the Jake seaplane.
At Blue Corner and Ulong Channel it was fun to hook onto the reef , hang on and watch the passing parade of sharks, Barracuda, Trevally, Humphead Napoleon wrasse, Mackerel, Dogtooth Tuna and other pelagic fish. There is too much going on here for a diver to take in on one dive. After unhooking from the reef we drifted over the plateau of coral.
The walls were home to colourful soft corals, fans and numerous fish and small creatures.
Blue Holes and Virgin Blue hole – Divers enter the caverns through one of the holes on the top of the reef and descend slowly to around 30m, they are met by thick beams of natural light from the skylights above. Once you exit the cavern a gentle drift takes you along the wall to Blue Corner.
Chandelier Cave is a must do dive while in Palau.
You get to see the rock islands from the inside. The entrance is just under the water and the cave extends 100m or so into the rock island. Four large chambers allow the divers to surface and see the crystals that make up the hanging stalagtites. Jellyfish Lake is something everyone should experience it is amazing swimming with thousands of jellyfish and no stingers. The jellyfish follow the sun around the lake all day and descend to the depths of the lake at night. Much needed stairs have been added to the track over the hill to the lake. No more wet slippery rocks to navigate.
On our return trips to the dive shop we stopped at places like “Milky Way “where you smear yourself with white mud that is said to have beautification properties. It didn’t work for me??“Jurassic Lake” which can only be accessed at low tide.
The diving didn’t stop on our return to the dive shop in the afternoon. The wall in front of the dive shop is alive with small critters like pipefish and of course the colourful mandarinfish.
There was also a cold beer and hot snacks at the bar overlooking the water for those who just wanted to relax and relive the days diving.
Sunday 3rd March we returned to Guam, it was time to say good bye to our friends going home and catch up with others arriving to join the Truk Lagoon leg of the trip.
The Blue Lagoon Resort was a bit of a come down after Sea Passions but it was clean and comfortable and we all settled into our rooms grabbed our dive gear and departed for our first dive on the Fujikawa Maru .
“Operation Hailstone” was the code name for the assault on Truk Lagoon by the U.S. Navy on 17th & 18th February 1944.
The Japanese losses resulting from the U.S. Navy attack totalled over 250 aircraft and 45 ships. The U.S. Navy lost 25 aircraft.
Sitting on the dive boat on the calm blue water of the lagoon with the sun shining on you it is hard to imagine what it would have been like on those two days in February so many years ago when so many lost their lives.
We did 19 dives including one night dive and didn’t even scratch the surface there is so much to see.
Some of the Wrecks we dived were Fujikawa Maru, Seiko Maru, Nippo Maru, Hoki Maru, Kensho Maru, Rio De Janeiro Maru, Unkai Maru, Kiyosumi Maru, San Francisco Maru , Sanki Maru, Betty Bomber & Emily Bomber.
The wrecks like the Fujikawa Maru that sit upright with their superstructures in shallow water are covered with an abundance of soft and hard corals. The deeper cargo holds are full of aircraft, trucks, jeeps, bulldozers, depth charges, munitions of all sizes the list goes on of the artifacts the wrecks contain. The most popular being the Tanks on the deck of the San Francisco.
Each afternoon we would relax with a drink or two and watch the beautiful sunsets before going to dinner.
We woke on the day of our departure to find the grounds flooded and very heavy rain falling. The roads in Chuuk are more like dirt tracks full of deep potholes so we didn’t know if we were going to be able to get to the airport. Then we were told the plane may not be able to land. I have never seen travellers so happy about having to spend another 4 days waiting for the next flight home until I told them travel insurance didn’t cover extra diving.
We had a very slow trip to the airport the rain eased enough for the plane to land and we were on our way home as planned.
What an adventure!!
Paul & I would like to thank Annette, Mel, Verona, Keith & Lorraine, Sharron, Paula & Deb for joining us in Palau and Lyn & Steve for joining us in Truk. Al, Ken, Nick, Ben T (Hairy), Ben HB (Baldy) & Shaun for joining us on the whole trip. Without you the trip wouldn’t have been the success it was. We hope to see you on future Sundive trips.
Paul & Sue