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  • Philip Christoff

Truk 2018 - A Wreck Diving Paradise

Truk Lagoon or Chuuk, is one of the most sought after technical diving destinations in the world. For most divers its a once in a lifetime experience and in October this year I finally had the chance to see it with my own eyes as co-host for the Insider Divers Tec&Rec trip with Simon Lorenz.

<<Join us on our next Truk Lagoon Tec&Rec Trip in October 2019 >>

Simon and I hosted the trip together this year. Simon is a recreational instructor and photographer who knows the area well. In my job as manager of the Manta Dive Tech Dive Center I have been looking after tech divers for years, so I was in charge of planning and leading the tech dives.

The Rec-Crew - Heian Maru - Prop

The Tec-Crew - at 45m on the Aikoku Maru

We had a great week with a fabulous group from all over the world, sunshine every day and amazing wrecks. The diving here is so comfortable, the water is warm and clear and the wrecks are in amazing conditions. Simon had prepared all the wreck information on his iPad for the site briefings and there were presentations on the history of Truk and operation Hailstone in World War II and Simon also gave a talk on Wreck Photography. So we were all well prepared for a week of diving these amazing wrecks.

As I started planning my trip in May I quickly realized that there are quite a few misconceptions regarding the diving in Truk which I would like to address here:

Misconception #1. Truk is a liveaboard only destination

Almost all trips to Truk that I had seen advertised were on liveaboards so I assumed the distances to the dive sites were significant and possibly the land based shops did not support technical diving, that assumption was flat out wrong. Blue Lagoon dive resort, where we stayed, has a nice fleet (about 10) of small aluminium boats that comfortably reach the wrecks with 20-40 minutes of travel time on the calm waters of the lagoon. Check out this video.

Both the tech and the recreational group had their own boat and could select the sites we wanted to see. The shop had no issues supplying us with the deco gases and manifolded twins we needed. They may not have had much in the way of rental gear but we brought enough of our own. In the end I was very happy with the choice of a land based trip which also helped me realize my next misconception.

Misconception #2. Truk Lagoon is outrageously expensive to dive

As with many pinnacle dive destinations my assumption regarding Truk was that it would take a long time of saving to be able to join a trip. With the land based option that Insider Divers offer it was not to bad at all. We got 6 days of three dives for all recreational divers, and two for tech divers.

The food at the resort is good and ranges 10-15 USD per meal. Gas for tech divers landed on about 300 USD by the end of the week and there were not many additional costs. Flights are limited to United Airlines so make sure to split your dive gear in two separate bags of no more than 23kg as they are very strict. Overall the trip ended up being a lot more reasonable than I thought.

Misconception #3. All the best wrecks are deep and difficult to dive

While a few of the wrecks do rest on a sandy bottoms with a max depth of 70m most of the most interesting wrecks fell well into the basic technical range of diving. For the deeper sites max depth was often stated at 55-60m but the actual dives maxed out to about 45-50m with levels up to 25m or shallower. There were also plenty of wrecks at recreational depths which with technical set up allowed for long dives.

The conditions in Truk are ideal with warm water and great visibility. The wrecks are large and fairly easy to navigate with plenty to see on the decks. The cargo holds are spacious and many of the engine rooms easy to find and swim around.


I couldn't have been happier with our Insider Divers trip to Truk and I cant wait for our 2019 Insider Divers Tec&Rec Trip. With plenty wrecks left to explore and many highlights I would be thrilled to see again.

Among the many amazing things I saw on this trip I would say my two favorite dives in no particular order were:

San Fransisco Maru: With three tanks on the deck at 40-45, water trucks one level down, and a cargo hold full of mines down at 55m I will most definitely return to this wreck next year.

Nippo Maru: With a beautiful engine room, a single tank on deck, some Howitzer guns and a beautiful bridge with telegraphy I imagine we may do more than one dive on this stunning wreck next year.

Truk Lagoon 2018-10 Simon Lorenz-3295

About Philip Christoff

Our tech Insider Phil is originally from Sweden but has lived aboard for most of his life. In last four years been in charge of technical diving at Manta Dive on Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. He is OC extended range instructor and hold certifications for closed circuit JJ-CCR and SF2 advanced trimix.

Visit his website or instagram to find out more about Phil.

<<Join us on our next Truk Lagoon Tec&Rec Trip in October 2019 >>

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