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Dive Review of Bikini Atoll DIvers in
Micronesia/Bikini Atoll

October, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Jeanne & Bill Downey, PA, US
Report Number 3074
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 0    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Camera table on boat, no rinse tank on boat, great rinse tank on shore.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
This was our second time making the long trek to Bikini Island; last year
there were just the two of us, this year there were fivethree Americans
and two Brits. From the U.S. its time-consuming but fairly simple as long
as the planes flyovernight in Honolulu, catch a 7am flight that arrives in
Majuro before lunch, overnight again and catch one more early flight to
Bikini Atoll on the once-a-week Air Marshall flight, also arriving before
lunch and in time for your first dive on the deck of the Saratoga. Arrival
is actually on Eneu Island with a 20 minute boat ride to Bikini Island.
This year we were a bit concerned because there was a 6.6 earthquake that
hit Hawaii on one of our travel days, but luckily it didnt affect our
flights. We were in the water diving by 3:00pm the day of our arrival.

The operation was pretty much the same this yearJim, Gen, Edward, Ronnie,
and the rest of the dive staff are still there, along with newcomer Rich,
who previously spent 8 years operating a dive shop in Okinowa. Gen is the
same and Jim is still very safety conscious, but also seemed more relaxed
this time around. We did a total of 12 dives on the same wrecks as last
yearthe Saratoga, Nagato, Anderson, Apogon, Carlisle, Lamson, and
Arkansas, but there is now more damage to the Saratoga. Evidently the
Hawaii earthquake caused some unusual swells, or there was additional
seismic activity closer to Bikini, causing the Saratoga bridge to start
leaning and the hanger deck to further collapse, which eliminated our dives
through and around that area. We also noticed the stern deck is more
collapsed. There was additional movement of the Saratoga bridge while we
were there, causing low visibility; there was also some collapse on the
Nagato. But the rest of the wrecks seemed the same, the water was a warm 84
degrees, theres little or no current, and the visibility was mostly

The dive crew does the heavy lifting of double tanks on and off the boat.
Its also possible to dive a single with an H valve if you dont have wings
and back plates. We set up our gear on the way out to the dive site, no
more than 20 minutes. Upon arrival, the front of the small landing craft
type boat is cranked down, divers make their way to the front edge, and
jump in. After making sure everyone was OK, Jim or Gen rapidly descended
with us on their tails and we spent the next 25-35 minutes being shown the
best of the wreck; sometimes we had free time to explore as long as we
were beginning our ascent on the line at a specified time. Dive times
averaged 30 minutes and decompression averaged 45 minutes, depending on
your computer. Depths ranged from 103 on the deck of the Saratago to 174
on the Arkansas. At the end of each dive we took our double rigs off,
handed them up to the dive crew and hoisted ourselves back into the boat.

We usually had Jim, Gen, Rich, and Edward diving with us, but this depends
on the number and competence of the divers; occasionally Jim and Edward
went off to make repairs to the mooring lines during the dive. They made
sure we saw everything, watched for any problems we might have with
narcosis or equipment, and also made sure we put all the relics back where
they belonged. This is definitely a take nothing but pictures operation.
While we were diving, the boat crew lowerd the three-tiered decompression
station. Ronnie did the underwater set-up and then waited for the divers to
make their way from the required 2 minute, 40 foot stop to the 30 foot
decompression bar; he watched for, and tried to stop, anyone making an
unplanned, out-of-control ascentdecompression time for an unplanned
surfacing is nasty. Once everyone was safely beginning their decompression,
he also relieved photographers of their bulky cameras. An occasional shark
or school of fish entertained us during the long decompression but mostly
we spaced outafter a couple of dives you get used to it. Its certainly
worth it.

Housing is basic but comfortable. Some rooms had two single beds; our room
had a queen size bed, a night stand, desk, chest of drawers, and a wall
with an area for hanging things, a shelf above, and what could be another
desk or camera equipment table. If there isnt a full compliment of divers,
separate rooms are parceled out. The showers are hot, the AC is cold and
the view from the porch is spectacular. At the end of each building is a
large rinse basin and hanging area. There arent any mosquitoes because
theres no standing water.

Meals are also basic but filling. Breakfast consisted of cereal, juice, and
eggs plus waffles, pancakes or French toast on a rotating basis. Lunches
were usually a salad plus meals ranging from hamburgers to pizza to
spaghetti. Dinners could be steak or pork chops along with a salad,
vegetables, potato, and rice. Freshly made cookies were served at lunch and
cake at dinner along with ice cream from the 24-hour ice cream machine.
Fruit punch, coffee, tea, and water were also available 24/7. Pop and Gator
Aid were extra, and beer was put out for dinner, also extra. Of course the
food served also depended on when the last barge arrived and what the
airplane could bring.

Diving these historical wrecks doesnt get any easier than this, but some
of the wrecks are definitely showing their age; if Bikini is on your list,
try to get there sooner rather than later. 
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All Micronesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Micronesia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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