INFORMATION ON OUR TRUK TRIPS
Wanting to Dive Truk Lagoon is by far one of the biggest wishes of most divers globally - yet why do so few divers ever get to this world class wreck diving destination? Most of the time its just perception that Truk is deep, hard to get to and expensive! Hopefully we have put a stop to those misconceptions.
No longer do serious diving enthusiasts want to be "led by the nose" by dive guides who limit depth, dive times and penetration opportunities to the least experienced diver, thus minimizing most peoples diving satisfaction.
We have not only taken away a lot of the gear problems associated with technical diving in Truk Lagoon but also, reducing frustrations by putting the right people on the right experienced boats. That way if you want to do a 4 hour runtime - you can!!!
These trips to Truk Lagoon are fast becoming one of the most popular ways to experience Diving Truk Lagoon!
We do all our diving through Blue Lagoon Dive and stay at the Blue Lagoon Resort. We work extremely closely with them so that you can enjoy extended dive times on these world class wrecks.
So if you are a diver that wants more out of your diving then you will feel right at home here.
With a max of 6 people per boat and 1 Boat per wreck we place people very carefully on boats that will be conducive to their level of training and experience ( So if you are an experienced recreational diver you won’t be put onto a technical divers boat and have to wait hours for them to surface!!!! - They will have their own boat and be focusing on deeper less accessible wrecks! for longer bottom times) It is this focus to detail that we pride ourselves on.
Where do we stay?
Blue Lagoon Resort & Dive Shop
When I first started researching about diving in truk, the first thing I thought about was - Why not go on the liveaboards? After all, it sounds the best way to go - right? Well, all those thoughts went straight out of the window as soon as I saw Blue Lagoon Dive Resort.
We had massive amounts of space, freedom, huge airconditioned ensuit rooms, huge menus to choose from, and the most strategically positioned for the wrecks! Most of the liveaboards are "floating hotels" that stay in the same areas for a period of days, then move once or twice during the trip. Some liveaboards, move to each site. This , again at first sounds like a plan - but when you get 12-15 people descending onto the same wreck it takes the shine off the dive very quickly. With our policy of a max of 4-6 people per boat and 1 boat per wreck ensures that everyone has the best opportunities to dive clear water wrecks not in a dust cloud!
The resort is situated at the southern end of Moen Island, Gateway to the wrecks of Truk lagoon! The resort is the closest to all the deep wrecks east of Dublon Island, making trips out to the dive sites less than 15mins.
These are the standard rooms, each room is twin share or a double. You can see that both beds are doubles so one person doesnt have to rough it in a single! Every room has its own ensuite bathroom and toilet, air con, mini fridge for you cold drinks or even for putting a few beers from the market shop in after a great days diving!
Each room has an ensuite and toilet. Shower bath and plenty of water to go round! There is even fresh drinking water put in the rooms free of charge each day!They also have toiletries, shampoo, soap etc for your use.
This is the type of view EVERY room has. There are NO "garden view" rooms as all rooms overlook the lagoon! Each night we just sit outside (maybe a G&T in hand) and watch the sunset. Each night a different experience! We would love you to come and experience this with us!
There is FULL FREE internet wireless access. It isn't broadband speed but its faster than dial up so if you need to keep in touch with the outside world the facility is available to do so. At present this can be accessed in the foyer in reception and also in the restaurant.
One of the things most on peoples minds when they go away is getting sick from badly prepared food or the lack of options if you are there for 2 weeks. On all of our trips no one has had any major problems with being sick from the food which is unprecedented!
With over 40 main dishes to choose from, traditional Japanese dishes to western prepared a la carte options. So there are no hidden problems here with the food!
You might order the chicken and get the fish one night, but hey, its the tropics and it all gets served with a smile!
The Chuukese people are modest, proud people who always greet you with a welcoming smile, welcome you in and bend over backwards to make your stay a memorable experience.
The Dive Operation
The Dive Operation is well equipped.
4 HP K14 Compressors
Haskel Oxygen Booster Pump
Oxygen and Helium Analysers
Not to mention all this great plant equipment Lust4Rust Diving Excursions personally owns
36 x sets of rebrether tanks
80 x sets of Stage Tank Rigging gear
Over a ton of Sorb
5 x GPS hand held plotters to ensure we get onto the wrecks when the weather is difficult to locate the wrecks
2 x Bottom sounders
AND OUR LATEST PARTNERSHIP ACQUISITION WITH BLDS is a 1500litre/Hour Oxygen Generation Plant!
This will totally ensure that we have as much oxygen as we need!
One of the distinct advantages of coming on this trip with us is that you get to plan our own dive times (within reason of course) and also choose the dive sites (obviously weather pending).
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 I 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. Most of the deeper stuff is to the east of Uman, fefan and Dublon islands (look at map Below). 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 shallow 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.
With small teams and max depths are round the 60m mark most of the time you will be multi leveling from 35-60m range.
The key here is not to change the way you conduct your diving operations. Here are a few recommendations of what we have found to work pretty well.
It is our recommendation to take this as a team approach to diving these wrecks. Each diver will have a bottom trimix (normally 16/45) but again if you want specific different mixes let us know and we can accommodate you.
If you can plug your Stage Trimix into your CCR this will really make a lot of sense. Because of the expense and difficulty in obtaining Helium only using what you need on the deep dives will extend the life of your gas on the trip. For afternoon dives you can simply plug back into your back (air) DIL.
There is another option of hiring a second DIL tank for Trimix. That way you can just top it up with the premixed Tmx for the next days deep diving and use the AIR DIL in the afternoon dives. There are limited tanks for this so it will be a first come first served basis.
For Bailout what has worked really well is to have the first team dump a Deco50 mix on the bottom of the shot line and last team brings it up. We also have another 2 x 50mixes and O2 on the line. So if someone has to bailout all they need to do is get back to the shot line, pick up the 50mix and do their O/C bailout.
Some people prefer to carry all their own bailout gas. Again, if you want to do this, we will just plan for it and make sure that you have all relevant gear.
Your Personal Dive Gear
Please try and be as self sufficient as you can when it comes to your personal gear. Truk does not have a stocked dive shop so it is worth bringing your own spares. We have a comprehensive tool kit for the inspiration rebreather so you don’t have to worry about tools. There is a comprehensive workshop there too which has all general tools.
Here is a list of gear on top of your basic set up.
- Deco Marker boy/Reel
- At least 2 primary lights
- 2 deco reg sets
- Full length suit (for abrasion protection)
For CCR Divers
Its really important to be as self sufficient as you can. Batteries, Cells, specific tools etc etc.
Some of the most fun stuff I have ever done has been in Truk. If you like sticking your head into holes then you are going to love this place. When there are rust stalagmites on the hand rails you know not too many people have been in there!!! Only a handful of people have ever properly penetrated these wrecks, so you are going to have a ball.
But again take it easy and dive conservatively. If you dont possess the skills and training to conduct advanced penetration dives then I would strongly recommend that you get trained before you go. It will make a world of difference.
The guides take you on numerous “trust me” dives and all are pretty conservative dives, but to be in control of where you are and responsible for making decisions on direction and exit strategies it is strongly suggested you get the right training.
We have laminated wreck schematics and details of all the ships and a copy of Dan Baileys WWII wrecks of Truk Lagoon as a reference for people to use. This book will be shared around. It is recommend that you get a personal copy before the trip. It will really get you into the feel of what you will be diving.
When it comes to diver safety we take this very seriously. We plan as much as we can on having a safe, fun trip. If people are unsafe in their diving practices and jeopardize the safety of themselves and their fellow divers then we reserve the right to cease all diving activities of that person.
For obvious reasons people can only dive to their training and experience limits. Meaning, if you are only trained to 40m NDL on a breather you will not be able to undergo decompression operations on your breather. There is a release form that you will need to initial and sign which covers all this. Each dive team will do their own dive plan. All you need to do is tell the boatman how long you will be in the water for. There will be diver check off sheet to write the times on. If you plan for a 100 minute dive – then stipulate 100mins. You can get out earlier, but not later. This is really important for diver safety ensuring that if someone is in trouble the boat wont be waiting hours for someone to surface.
All Truk wrecks are protected by law and anyone caught with artifacts will not only be banned from diving, but will also be prosecuted. The great thing is that you will see artifacts strewn all over these fantastic wrecks. If someone took a piece of porcelain off the wreck, soon it will just be an empty shell. So please respect this. Get a camera and take loads of pictures!
What are the risks on a trip like this?
Luckily Truk is not as isolated as a lot of dive destinations. But it does come with its risks.
A lot of the diving that is being done is extended decompression diving and it if for this reason why we bring a Hyperbaric Physician with us on all our trips. Not just diving emergencies but also medical ones too. We also have a comprehensive medical emergency kit (we cant take your appendix out bit will have the gear to attend to fairly large medical emergency or the smaller ones that can easily become large problems if unattended)
So with this in mind you really need to pay special attention to looking after yourself. If you are in question about your health or have special needs, you need to talk to your physician very carefully.
There is a recompression chamber in the local hospital a short drive from the resort. It is assumed that everyone is fit medically and it is your responsibility to contact us if you don’t feel right after diving. Our Hyperbaric Physician on the trip will be there to offer assistance for all diving and non diving related medical emergencies. The medical facilities are very limited so please take this into account before doing something crazy!. Please understand that when we mean limited it really is Basic. So I would recommend that you bring any personal medicines you require. To ensure your health and safety is our highest priority. . We have an extensive emergency medical kit for basic medical needs cuts, etc etc. This will cover most basic emergencies but obviously there are limitations to what we can do. We would strongly recommend cold and flu tablets and ear medication (swimmers ear is very common). Once you sign up for the trip we will send you a comprehensive medical brief to help assist you in preparing yourself for the trip.
Personal Wellbeing Preparation ( A note from Simon Mitchell)
Dive Medical Insurance
DAN insurance is MANDATORY! Please make sure that the policy covers your deepest depths you are going to be diving. We also strongly recommend travel insurance. You would be really lost without it.
If you are not familiar with the DAN insurance check out their site www.diversalertnetwork.org
Having a chamber in Truk does not issue us all with a “get out of jail” free card!
The medical personnel we bring with us (all hyperbaric phyicians) are all acting in a “Samaritan” role. This means that it will be totally your decision to get treated onsite or we can arrange for an evacuation if you are not happy with being treated in Truk.
We are all out for a great, safe time and as long as people don't abuse safe diving practices and the rules set forth for such trips we will have a great time.
How many dives will we do?
We will be diving for 12 whole days whilst in Truk.
What normally happens is that we do two dives a day. First dive in the morning normally starts round 8:30am and will be one of the deeper wrecks. Afternoon dives normally start round 2pm. This gives everyone a good surface interval and long dive. For recreational diving groups we can arrange more diving opportunities in each day if you want them.
What about runtimes?
Dive planning is left to you. There are no restrictions in run times (within reason!!). The thing that we take very seriously is safety, so please consider your dive times conservatively. Boats mostly head out at 8:30am in the morning and again 2pm in the afternoon. If you want to do a 4 hour runtime then you have to take into consideration your surface interval times and repetitive dive plans. Most people who choose to do a large dive, sit the afternoon dives out.
Your trip fees include the use of 2 x tanks (11.6l ali) for bottom and deco gas, weight belt and weights if you need them. We have also provided breather tanks (this is at a surcharge of us$20 a day for 2 breather tanks = us$240 for the trip). This is payable to Pete and you can pay cash for this when you meet him at truk). We have 80 deco stage clip set ups so no need to bring your own. You will need to pay for the gas you use, Helium is $0.15 per liter, and Oxygen $0.06 per liter
We have also shipped adequate sorb out based on what people have specified they need for their diving.
Sorb will be on a pay as you go basis. The sorb will be stored in the shop so it will be based on the honesty system where if you take a tub just put your name down and settle the bill (directly to Pete and not the shop) at the end of the trip.
It is our recommendation that you bring a FULL length suit. 2mm or Fourth element thermocline gear. You will need the full length suit for scratch and abrasion protection. A scratch turns into a septic mess if untreated in the tropics and seeing you will be wet a lot of the time it doesn’t give your wounds time to heal properly, so if you protect yourself that is much better than having this festering mess on your body causing discomfort!!!
Also bring some silk socks or Fourth Element thermocline socks to put under your booties. This will prevent rubbing and blisters forming.
Everyone speaks English but if you learn a few local phrases, you'll probably get a big smile in return!
Everyone wants to go at the “best time” of year and the brochures never show rainy conditions do they? But the tropics are green because it rains a lot! And these days global weather patterns are ever changing so seasons are not predictable anymore. So expect blistering, hot, oily calm days followed by rain squalls and windy choppy conditions. In short, its the tropics! A good recommendation would be to bring a light waterproof jacket - and plenty of sunblock!
The currency in Chuuk is the US dollar. Major credit cards and travelers checks are also widely accepted. There is a bank in the town. If you don’t want to carry cash you can take travelers cheques. There is no ATM in Truk Town so:
If from outside US, take some money in traveller cheques take some cash to pay for your Sorb and CCR tank hire. Book up all your food and drinks at hotel to your room and pay for it on your credit card
The resort provides 110 volt/60 cycle electricity with the U.S. type flat 2-pin plug or 3-pin (two flat pins and a rounded ground pin pictured above).
220V electricity is available in the dive shop and also at the front desk of the resort. Have a good look at your charger requirements you will probably find that their input is from 100-240 volts and be ok for the trip. You will need adaptors. What I did last time was brought a multibox with me so I only needed one adaptor and everything else just plugged into the multibox! This proved to be invaluable.
What to wear
Dress is casual, shorts and t-shirts are widely acceptable on the resort grounds and of course on the dive boats! For women, it is considered offensive to wear skimpy clothing that do not cover up the hips so local custom is to wear a skirt or wrap to cover the thighs when away from the resort.
What to bring
In our tropical climate, you will want protection from the sun - sunscreen and hats. The Blue Lagoon Resort has a gift shop and you can find items such as toothpaste and other of those easily forgotten items there or in some of the small stores around the island. The resort provides towels for diving too. Good footware, insect repelant, a light shower proof jacket will also be usefull. Also a waterproof bag for onboard the dive boats if you dont want your gear getting wet.
Airport Departure Fees
The airport departure fee is $20. This has to be paid at the airport so make sure you have $20us cash left