Truk / Chuuk Lagoon
Waiheke Dive & Snorkel, in collaboration with the legendary Pete Mesley's Lust 4 Rust Diving Excursions, is proud to present the trip of a lifetime for divers who love wrecks!
Truk (or Chuuk) Lagoon is a world famous dive location, and an absolute dream for wreck lovers of all certification levels. Traditionally Truk has been seen as a deep wreck playground, suitable for only the most experienced of divers. Well, we're here to tell you that yes, there are plenty of deep wrecks down there but more than 60% of all the wrecks to be found are inside recreational limits!
Pete Mesley will be our tour manager and guide, and his experience in not only diving these wrecks but running international trips to some of the world's most exciting wreck diving locations is immense. Waiheke Dive owners Adam and Pippa will also be there on this trip, so you'll have a bunch of familiar faces to go diving with too!
We'll be spending 12 days diving in Truk (plus travel time), with around 24 dives being completed over this time. The water temperature is about 30degrees c, so toasty warm!
There is a maximum of 6 divers per boat, and 1 boat per wreck so you don't end up with that disappointing overcrowded diving experience on this trip! We are able to cater for almost all experience levels, from a confident Advanced Open Water diver all the way through to Trimix rebreather divers and, with the small boats rule, everyone will be able to get stunning dives to suit their experience level!
This is a trip that is not to be missed, and we absolutely can't wait to get out there in May 2019! We have a full PDF of trip information and are always more than happy to talk diving, so if you're tempted then just get in touch and we'll send you some info with no commitment required.
On February 17th and 18th 1944, the US navy launched a devastating air attack on the Japanese Imperial Fleet situated inside the sheltered waters of Truk Lagoon. The assault was fifteen times more powerful than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Code-named "Operation Hailstone" the initial strike was made up of 72 fighters launched from five carriers. When the smoke cleared, 15 Japanese naval ships, 6 tankers, 17 cargo ships, 25 American planes and 250 Japanese planes were lying on the bottom of the Lagoon. Subsequent air raids in April, May and June sunk more ships, and by the end of the war more than 60 destroyed vessels were on the Lagoon bed.
By early 1944, U.S. forces had amassed a huge armada of top line carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines for a major surprise sweep against Truk on February 16th, 17th and 18th 1944. This attack, coded "Operation Hailstone", caught the Japanese totally unaware, and led to one of the most successful U.S. engagements of WWII.
After a follow up attack in April, 1944, Truk was reduced to rubble with over 70 shipwrecks, 400 aircraft destroyed or sunk, and the menace of this big fortress removed forever. U.S. forces declined engagement with the 40,000 troops at Truk, and after these attacks, starvation consumed many of the defenders before the eventual surrender of Japan late in 1945.
What will happen is that we will discuss the next days diving the night before and decide which boats go where. There are over 60 wreck sites so we don’t think that you will get bored. There will be a sheet of all the wreck sites so you can at a glance see which ones you have already done and then you can look at the ones you want to do next!! Believe me all the wrecks start all sounding the same (morning Maru and afternoon Maru).
We plan to have only one boat on each wreck at a time so 6 divers have 500foot wrecks to themselves! Sometimes someone might want to dive a wreck again. No problems. We will try and sort it out. Remember the key is flexibility! We will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone is catered for. But again be patient.
General plan is to do a deep dive in the morning. Now each boat and teams will work out their own dive plan and run time. If you want to be in the water for 200 minutes, we will plan for it. The Blue lagoon resort is at the southern point of Moen island so its not that far – say 15-20 minutes in the boats. Head back to the resort for lunch, charge the batteries and then head out for a dive in the afternoon round the 18-30m mark. But again if you head out later and do a long dive you wont have time in the afternoon for another dive. So planning is the key.
Pete's passion for diving started in the cold English waters over 25 years ago. This is where his "Lust for Rust" was created and from then onwards he has dedicated himself to researching, finding, diving, photographing and leading expeditions to wreck diving meccas! With over 3000 + hours in-water experience spanning over 15 different countries, Pete has made diving a full time occupation.
Originally from Zimbabwe Pete married a Kiwi girl and moved to NZ in 1994. As well as being a PADI Course Director, Pete is a Tech CCR Diving Instructor Trainer, TDI Advanced Trimix Instructor, and CCR Inspiration Advanced Trimix Rebreather Instructor. Pete is one of the Southern Hemisphere's most experienced Technical divers and Instructors.
He's also been involved in many diving activities with significant experience in leading and being a part of expeditions to wrecks. One of his recent expeditions was where he was one of 2 stills photographers brought in for a National Geographic expedition to the HMHS Britannic. Being part of a team of 10 divers from all over the world diving the famous wreck!
In June 2000 he was involved with Tanya Streeters 90 meter variable ballast sled dive in New Zealand. Also featuring in the National Geographic series X-Force The Science of Diving. He has become more involved with planning and organising technical trips round NZ and the South Pacific.
Pete has also been the first to dive many NZ deep wrecks. The Port Kembla in 2007, 96m (cargo ship hit German mine in 1917). HMS Puriri in 1999, 2000, 2005 in 97m (a Kiwi minesweeper sunk in 1940's), RMS Niagara 2000, 2004, 2006, in 125m (a luxurious Ocean liner sunk by German mine in 1940's) He is also a veteran of the Mikhail Lermontov with over 400 hours inside the wreck!
He has also conducted expeditions and has experience diving in the Solomons, President Coolidge, Vanuatu, Truk Lagoon, Bikini Atoll, Sipadan Island, Borneo, Great Barrier Reef, Red Sea, Scapa Flow, Scotland, dived over 100 wrecks in UK, Fiji, Tonga, Cyprus, South Africa, Caves in Zimbabwe, ice diving in South Island NZ, Melbourne wrecks Australia and the South China Sea.
The cost for this incredible trip is $3395.00 USD, Ex Truk.
- 12 days diving (24 dive pack)
- 13 nights accom (twin share)
- airport transfers
- Truk Lagoon Dive Permits
- Free internet access
- Single cylinder hire (twinsets / rebreather cylinders available at a small charge)
- Twinsets / rebreather cylinders
- Food & Drink
- Flights to Truk - we'll wait until the best time to book together for these.
- DAN Medical Insurance, which is mandatory.
- Airport departure fee ($20 USD)
Please do get in touch if you have any questions, or are tempted to book on! A non-refundable deposit of $500 USD payable to us or directly to Pete is required to book your spot.