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    WESTERN PACIFIC
    Truk Lagoon, Palau, Guam, Yap, Marshall Islands,
    Pohnpei, Saipan, Tinian, Kosrae, Philippines

    When divers think of the tropical Pacific, Micronesia is usually what comes to mind. Consisting of more than 2,000 islands located east of the Philippines, north of Indonesia and west of Hawaii, it encompasses an area of more than 4.5 million square miles. Truk Lagoon, Palau, Guam, Yap, the Marshall Islands featuring Bikini Atoll and Majuro Atoll, Pohnpei, Saipan, Tinian and Kosrae are some of the diving hotspots. Micronesian diving is known for war wrecks, the explosion of species that inhabit the color-filled reefs, vertical walls, action-packed current cuts, protected lagoons and seamounts.

    Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon is the Mecca of wreck diving. In two days of heavy fighting in February of 1944, Allied Forces sunk more than 60 Japanese ships tankers, freighters and submarines. For history buffs, the wrecks remain moments frozen in time, and for wildlife aficionados, the wrecks have been transformed into colorful artificial reefs.

    The azure waters and mushroom-shaped rock islands of Palau (Belau) create an irresistible setting. Diving highlights include wreck exploration, expansive caves, sheer walls and drift diving through current cuts where sharks, dense schools of barracudas, tunas and other pelagics gather. The famed Blue Corner is not to be missed.

    Yap is known worldwide as the land of stone money, where bare-breasted ladies and men in loincloths greet their guests and maintain their traditional lifestyles. Experienced dive travelers know Yap for encounters with big Manta Rays.

    Pohnpei and Kosrae make up a quintessential Pacific dream world. Divers can experience incredibly rich reefs and diverse fish populations all while enjoying an authentic and warm local culture.

    In recent years the waters of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands have become a big draw due to the only-recently-made-available opportunity to dive the USS Saratoga, the world’s only wrecked aircraft carrier accessible to divers. And, a U.S. territory, Guam has more modern amenities than many traditional Micronesian areas while providing visiting divers with some great World War II wrecks, vertical walls and pinnacles.

    The Philippines has one of the most productive underwater ecosystems in the world, supporting more than 800 coral species. A variety of filter feeders such as crinoids, sponges and tunicates flourish in these current-stirred waters as do fusiliers, jacks and batfish.

    Batangas Island, in the north near Manila, is well known for its diversity of invertebrates, and Apo Reef has long been enjoyed for its big animal encounters. To the south in the Sulu Sea, Tubbataha Reefs are the mainstay of a protected marine park. Seasonal access via a live-aboard is the only way to visit this prolific area. There is also great reef diving around the islands of Negros, Cebu and Bohol to the northeast of Tubbataha.

     

    Dive Resorts and Operators
    Fish 'N Fins www.fishnfins.com
    Kosrae Nautilus Resort www.kosraenautilus.com
    Sam's Dive Tours www.samstours.com
    TRIP-N-TOUR Truk, Palau & Yap trip-n-tour.com