Akitsushima Maru- Coron Bay, Philippines. This is my personal favourite wreck in this bay, where a fleet of WWII Japanese boats was sank in September 1944. This particular wreck is home to a huge amount of life on this wreck. Lying on her portside in 37m of water, the starboard side lies at 18m, making a longer multilevel dive a real possibility. Her crane is still in tact and has lot of black and sponge coral growing on it. Penetration is easy in the wide crack n her bow created by the bombing. There is a lot of light penetration creating a beautiful scene. More experienced divers can also swim into the engine room. Often, schooling barracuda, snapper and tuna can be seen around the boat. Diving in Coron is an absolute treat for wreck diving enthusiasts with several stunning and interesting wrecks to explore.
Liberty wreck, Bali, Indonesia. The USS Liberty ship was hit by a Japanese torpedo in 1942 and was unable to make port, so the captain beached it in Tulamben, on the east coast of Bali. In 1963, the eruption of Mount Agung caused the vessel to slip off the beach and it now lies on a sand slope in 5 to 30 m of water. The wreck is broken up and streches about 130 m. The shipwreck has become a virtual artificial reef, and is quite overgrown with solf corals. One can find fantastic macro life around the wreckage, such as ghost pipefish, candy crabs and nudibranchs. There is also a resident school of unicorn surgeon fish, and a school of bumphead parrot fish often visits the shallows early in the morning. It is also an excellent site for a great night dive! no dive trip in Bali would be complete without a trip to dive the Liberty Wreck.
Iro Maru, Palau. Possibly the most well known of Palau’s 60 wrecks, the Iro Maru is lying upright in 40m of water. The ship’s forward tower is at a depth if 8m, with the deck sitting at about 25m. The deck masts and gun turrets are now covered in corals and home to many fish and critters. Big schools of jacks are often found swarming the wreck. There is still a lot of live ammunition scattered around the wreck which must not be touched. The are several wrecks in Palau, all of which make for interesting wreck diving.
Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon. This magnificent passenger ship was converted into an aircraft ferry, and was sank by US bombardment in 1944. She rests on an even keel with a maximum depth of 33m, deck depth of around 18m and only 9m at the shallowest parts. There are many fascinating things to see on this wreck, including a deck gun, fightwer plane fuselages and other parts, large artillery shells, and easy access to the staterooms, baths, galley and engine room. The wreck is home to a variety of brightly coloured soft and hard corals and several schools of reef fish. Wreck diving in Truk Lagoon should be on any wreck enthusiasts bucket list.
The Pacific Gas Wreck, Port Moresby, PNG. This vessel was cleaned and purposely sunk by explosives experts arranged by Bob Halstead. The stern of the ship now sits in 43m of water, with the bow in 18m. There are many interesting things to see around this wreck, with schools of snapper, sweetlips and puffer making their home inside the wheelhouse. Much of the boat has soft corals growing on it already, and some hard coral. There are lots of critters living on the wreckage, especially around the winch and hatches on at the bow. This is one of several great wreck diving sites in PNG.