My Recent Dives - November/December 2011
Posted by Michael on 01 November 2011 00:00
1 November - Hoki Maru - Chuuk Lagoon
Tried to find Hokuyo Maru without luck. Went down mooring. Headed to Hold 4 behind engine. Bottom has some shells, maybe depth charges, small boms and lots of full drums. The tween deck on back left there are two spare prop blades, in the middle a prop spinner, to the right two more prop blades and on the port wall another spinner. Went out through door into Hold 5 (also one SB side). Bulldozer on first tween deck hatch beams. So much more, at least 5 trucks, 2 small rollers, a tractor, another 3 dozers, a rock sorting machine and much much more. Hard to take it all in. Out and back to bridge along shallower SB side. Lots of long angle iron on deck adjacent to H4 and H5. Visibility excellent.
1 November - Kikukawa Maru - Chuuk Lagoon
Anchored near bridge. Wreck is 3/4 upsidedown on starboard side. Went towards stern first, over huge ripples in hull and came across the break in wreck. Rear section missing. There is another wreck here, a bow and twin props I think. Must be from one of the boats that was blown up when it exploded. Then swam across hull and down to the deck section. Entered Hold 2. Heaps of plane parts, engines, props, bodies, spinners, drums, bottles, who knows what! Then to Hold 1. More of the same, as well as hundreds of timber boxes but nothing appears to be inside. A motorbike with possible sidecar, bones, plane tyres, two seaplane floats (and maybe two more on sand outside). A vastly underrated and rarely visited shipwreck! Visibility excellent.
2 November - Amagisan Maru - Chuuk Lagoon
Down mooring on SB front of bridge. To Hold 3 but meant to go to Hold 2. Out and into H2. Went to the staff car which is tween deck, port side, rear. Faces stern. Then forward to bicycles and then into Hold 1. Huge number of plane tail wings and prop blades along here. Out to the truck tanker on sand. Then back to bridge and looked in SB bottom door, too messy with wires hanging down to enter. Then around deep side of bridge past funnel and skylights to Hold 4. This is empty except for a few timber boxes (whatever is in them has rotted away) and then to Hold 5 via Sb door on tween deck. Out and then forward to superstructure. In SB bottom door, galley on left. Up to top and past open skylights, large ventilators to bridge. No telegraph or helm that I could see. When we got back to boat it was pouring rain and continued for the next hour. Very rough once we headed back and got out of the protection of Uman Island. Visibility very excellent.
4 November - Tokai Maru - Guam, USA
Located in middle of harbour. Tried to dive the Cormoran first but directions from dive operator how to find hopeless. Wreck is located on port side at 45 degrees or more. Swam along the hull to the stern and found prop sharfts. Both props have had blades removed by unbolting them. Came back along the deck side. The poop deck has some depth charges. Hold 6 empty. Thru to Hold 5, again empty. Then to Hold 4. Passed thru the superstructure. Some baths in the first level SB side forward. Then to Hold 3. Did not enter far as again empty. Some chain runs from a winch next to Hold 3 over the deck to the hull and down the side. There is a spare anchor on deck next to Hold 2 and maybe another one on the rear of the forecastle. A bomb hit the SB side and caused a lot of damage. BOth anchors are out. Back to bridge area. The funnel is intact. Visibility fair.
4 November - SMS Cormoran - Guam, USA
Stern is located slightly forward of where the mooring is located on Tokai Maru. We went towards Tokai stern till Jess indicated she had found the wreck. Located almost fully on SB side. Angled at about 45 degrees away from Tokai. Single prop missing blades (unbolted) touching hull of Tokai. Went forward. Poop deck accessible with some stuff inside. Two holds, small hatches. Nothing really inside either one. Then past superstructure. Two funnels, the rear one standing, the forward one (in front of engine) fallen. The engine is accessible via skylights. It is a quintuplet expansion steam engine, one large low pressure cylinder, with two medium pressure either side and two high pressure outside these. Went forward past bridge to next hold two and then turned around. Back on port quarter. A spare anchor located near engine on port side superstructure. There is a passageway along all this section of wreck. There is a huge anchor located in the passageway, possibly from the Tokai. The chain runs over the hull. Back along the railing to stern and then over to Tokai and up. Visibility fair.
5 November - Blue Hole - Guam, USA
Located outside harbour and to south off naval base. Mooring attached to hole. Dropped down to 18 m and entered the hole. Very large, at least 15 x 10 m in size. Dropped down to exit at almost 40 m and saw a black-tipped reef shark. Bottom here appeared to be at least 80 m or more. Followed the shear wall to right and drifted with a slight current. Wall had some nice gorgonias, but the best ones were at least 50 m or so. Eventually came up onto a flatter coral reef which was devoid of any live coral. Continued getting shallower as we went. After a while there were some huge coral boulders on the reef top. Some of these formed small swim-thoughs and overhangs. Along here there were some large moray eels, a small firefish, some nice tropicals but not much more. Kelly saw another shark and just as we started ascent we saw another (may have been the same one all three times). Ended up back almost near the harbour entrance. Visibility very excellent.
5 November - Gab Gab Reef 2 - Guam, USA
Attached to mooring off Gab Gab Beach inside harbour, naval base side. Dropped down and swam over deeper water to reef which is about 15 m on top. A small submarine runs trips around this reef all day and as we entered the water it surfaced very spectacularly. We could hear it as soon as we descended, sounds like a few scooters. There are a number of fish feeding stations where it appears they put food for the fish. There were some huge jacks under the boat as we went down and a lot of batfish on the reef. We went from the N feeding station counter-clockwise and soon encountered the submarine. All the passengers were waving at us, I think we were more interesting than the fishlife! Visited the three or four feeding stations, some had a lot of life around them. Saw the submarine quite a few times. Visibility good.
12 November 2011 - Pizza Reef
Back to reality! Water cold (16C) but very clear (20+m) on bottom although dirty (5m) on top. Very sloppy sea. Anchored near cave. Lost dive flag overboard when the holder broke. Could not find on the bottom. Two long-snouted boarfish, yellowtail, seapike, bastard trumpeters etc. Nice dive. Visibility very good.
13 November 2011 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club shore dive. Went in off back left. Really clear here but on the deep wall dropped back. Supposed to be an incoming tide but really nothing. Water cold as yesterday. Did normal dive. Nothing special seen, did not see the sea horse near SHC. Nice dive still. Visibility fair.
19 November 2011 - Barrens Hut/The Split
After Wednesday's frightening S change and huge seas (hours early), it was nice to have a day that was flat, no wind and stayed that way. Very slight current but only top metre or so. Did the normal dive here, took it very slow and had a great time. Bastard trumpeters, silver sweep and one-spot pullers in large numbers. Visibility good.
20 November 2011 - SS Tuggerah
A bit rougher today than yesterday but still okay. Slight current from N down to about 20 metres. First go did not hook in but second time in front of boiler. Went to prop and back to bow. Then back to boiler and engine room. Kelly did a video on it, looked on my Tuggerah page for a link. Visibility excellent.
3 December 2011 - SS Tuggerah
Club wreck dive. Two unsuccessful attempts to anchor so Les and I went down as soon as anchor dropped. Was on sand and took to bow and tied off to bollard. S wind and current from N meant not moving much. Very dirty on bottom, could hardly see anything. A bit of a waste of a dive. Visiblity very poor.
4 December 2011 - The Monuments
Club Christmas Party. At least 40 dived, out going tide so not great conditions. Went to W and came out near beach. Saw a striped lembrothra, pink okenia and a few other things. Others saw two dwarf firefish, a sea dragon and 60 kingfish. Visibility poor.
8 December 2011 - Lilli Pilli
Club night dive. First one I have done for months, away and terrible weather. Even tonight it was drizzling. No sea horses at all, the net still as almost no growth on it. Considering the rain over past week, viz was reasonable. Nothing real special seen except a large dwarf firefish. Also found a dinghy, mast and kayak that we had never seen before. Visibility fair overall.
10 December 2011 - Middle Ground
Reasonable swell but smooth. Bluish water. Very slight current from N and very slight wind from S. Great viz, could see boat from 23 m. Two blue devilfish, lots of yellowtail, some seapike, other fish as well. Really nice dive. Visibility very good.
11 December 2011 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Went in off back left, but back a bit as swell up a little. Did not go normal way as turned a bit early and went shallow over to the wall. Not much of an incoming current, and later it was outgoing (!). Saw some large kingfish. no sea dragons, RIF or pygmy pipefish. Went via RIF Reef. A dwarf firefish on 15 m Reef. Nice easy dive. Good visibility.
17 December 2011 - Middle Ground
Large swell running, but in between not too bad. Some surge on bottom every few minutes. Top layer to 5 m very dirty, then blue water to 20 m and then not as clear. Lots of seapike and usual yellowtail, silver sweep etc. Did not see the two blue devilfish from last week, but Gary and Nancy saw one right near our anchor. Looked for it everywhere but could not see it. Nice dive, surprisingly good considering the conditions of the past week. Visibility good.
For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here