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Dive Review of Bikini Atoll Divers in
Micronesia/Bikini Atoll

September, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Jeanne & Bill Downey, PA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3694
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas,Caribbean, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia,Cocos Island, Cozumel,
Micronesia, etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Specific decompression profile.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was a good sized table on the boat which was used for cameras and
everything else. No rinse bucket. Cameras were carefully handled by the
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
My husband and I recently returned from a third visit to Bikini Atoll; this
trip we stayed a total of four weeks, three on purpose and one week
stranded. Jim Akroyd has been head divemaster each time; his wife, Gen,
Rich, and Edward were the other divemasters, with Ronnie also acting as
divemaster when needed. The entire Bikini crew is outstanding. The
operation, operated through the Bikini government, is still run essentially
the same and amazingly well considering how far off the beaten path Bikini
is, which we really realized this trip.

The air conditioned rooms are basic but comfortable, and the food is basic
and filling. The dining hall is also air conditioned, as well as the
briefing room and small movie theater.

Two dives are done each day, as long as the planes are flying (for
potential rescue in case of an accident), with bottom times of 25-40
minutes and total run-times including decompression ranging from 60-80
minutes, depending on your personal safety level. Each additional minute of
bottom time can add another 6-8 minutes of deco time, so it is important to
pay attention to the dive plan. Depths ranged from 105 feet on the deck of
the Saratoga to 180 feet. Air is used during the dive until ascending to
the 30 foot hang bar, where the switch to 79% Nitrox is made. Twin tanks or
large singles can be used; either will get you the same profile as long as
your air consumption is good. 

There are seven WWII wrecks that are regularly dived: Saratoga, Nagato,
Carlisle, Lamson, Apagon, Anderson, and the Arkansas, all sunk during the
Able or Baker atomic bomb tests held at Bikini in 1946. Boat rides are no
more than 20 minutes.

There are some rules that are enforced by the Bikini and Marshall Islands
that may disappoint divers used to doing whatever they want in other
locations. There is no unescorted diving, especially penetrations, no
single tank penetrations, and absolutely no taking of souvenirs; you are
welcome to handle and admire everything, however.

Air Marshall flies usually every Wednesday from Majuro, the capital of
the Marshall Islands, to Bikini. They were having more financial and
equipment problems than usual since August, meaning late arrivals and/or
departures for some, or even no departure at all. One group a couple weeks
before we arrived had to be rescued by boat, and since the planes werent
flying, were unable to dive any of the five extra days they were on the
island. We arrived on time, but were stranded on the island for an extra
week. The rescue boat was unavailable; finally a plane was sent from the
Gilbert Islands, at great expense to the dive operation and Air Marshall.
We sat at the Bikini airport twice while planes took off and had to turn
back due to mechanical problems. The group trying to get into Bikini
couldntsome of them went home and the rest spent a few days doing
land-based diving on Chuuknice, but not what they had in mind.

What do you do while stranded on Bikini with no diving? We learned how to
fish Marshallese style, snorkeled over the Bravo nuclear bomb test crater,
hiked the beaches, watched movies, played table tennis, photo-shopped our
pictures, and read a lot.

Bikini is a phenomenal place to dive and its easy to get to until Air
Marshall takes over. We highly recommend you dont have anything critical
planned for at least one week after your planned departure. When we left,
the future of Bikini diving and Air Marshall were both in doubt. Hopefully
both will weather the problems, because we would certainly go back again!
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Other dive reports on Bikini Atoll

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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