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Dive Review of Odyssey/Truk Stop in
Micronesia/Truk Lagoon

Odyssey/Truk Stop, May, 2006,

by Larry Deweese, TX, US . Report 2642.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving California, Baja, Belize, Bonaire, Brazil, BC, Cozumel, Florida, Hawaii, Roatan, Tobago, Texas, Washington
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 150 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I do not take u/w pictures

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Every since I started diving I have wanted to go to Truk Lagoon, or Chuuk as it is now called. I became interested in World War II history in high school so combining my interest in history with probably the worlds top destination for wreck dives was a dream vacation for me. Before going on the trip I completed the TDI advanced nitrox and decompression procedures courses which came in handy on the dives.
If you go to Truk fly through Guam and dont take the island tour like I did. My flight stopped in Majuro, Kwajalein, Kosrae, and Pohnpei before getting to Truk. It wasnt the stopping that was a pain, it was the TSA rules they use in the Marshal Islands. At each stop, except for Kwajalein, half the people were forced to get off the plane with their carry on luggage and then the entire plane would be searched.
I got to Truk a day before I was scheduled to board the Odyssey. I wanted to unwind a little and check out one of the land based operations. I made arrangements to stay at the Truk Stop Hotel which has been in business for a long time. They had a driver waiting to pick me up at the airport which was nice. They have a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, a dive shop, and a land based dive operation. Unfortunately for me I was there on Saturday evening and most of the day on Sunday. They do not run dive trips on Sunday and the dive shop is not open either. The bar does not open until 5:00pm. The Truk Stop is adequate but certainly not 5 star. The rooms are very basic and the electricity goes off for a few seconds several times a day. I was able to check out the Blue Lagoon and it was a lot nicer place to stay although I cant comment on their dive operation.
The Odyssey is a wonderful boat with great staff. As soon as you board the boat you are taken care of. The best thing I liked was that they treat you like an adult certified diver. I was able to dive my own profiles all week. I used twin Al 80s and usually 24% nitrox for back gas. They can pump up to 100% O2 so on many of the dives I slung an Al 40 with 50% and an Al 40 with 100% for deco. I had a single cabin which was nice since I was traveling by myself. There is a DVD player in each room. The boat has a large lounge/TV room with a huge library of movies. The dining area is large and I thought the meals were always delicious. The boat has a well stocked bar and all drinks are included in the cost of the boat. A very thorough dive brief is given at every new dive site. The DMs take turns giving the dive briefs and they use well drawn diagrams of the wrecks. In addition to describing the wreck, its features, and points of interest they always mentioned where special marine animals like lionfish might be located.
You do not have to be a tech diver to enjoy the wrecks of Truk Lagoon. Several of the divers used single Al 80s. If you want to use doubles you have to reserve them in advance and they allow you to dive to your level of certification. The decks of most of the wrecks were at about 65 to 85 fsw. The masts and king posts sometimes rise to within 20 feet of the surface and are completely covered with beautiful soft and hard coral. There are at least four DMs plus the captain that will lead dives for anyone that requests it. I penetrated every wreck and enjoyed seeing the engine rooms, artifacts, cargo, and even the skeletons. The San Francisco Maru is one of the signature wrecks at Truk and we did it on the last day. However, my favorite was the Hoki Maru. One of the lower cargo holds is full of 1940 Nissan trucks which are still in excellent condition. I dived 12 different wrecks plus the Betty Bomber and the shark feed and made a total of 22 dives. On some wrecks we only made one dive and others we did three dives.
I highly recommend Truk Lagoon. If you go be sure to schedule time for a land tour to see some additional history of the war. I stopped at Hawaii on the way home and dived on Maui for a few days. However, since its such a long trip from the US a better plan would have been to schedule an additional week in Palau, Yap, or even Bikini. If you go to Truk I highly recommend reading the World War II Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon by Dan E. Bailey.
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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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