The Shinkoku Maru is considered one of the "must dive" sites of the lagoon. The Shinkoku lists an illustrious career record, including supporting the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Ambon and Midway. The ship was torpedoed and sank late on February 19, 1944. This 500ft oil tanker offers divers every possible wreck diving experience, Beautiful coral growth, interesting subjects on the deck, easily penetrated superstructure and more challenging dives inside the wreck. We spent most of a day on her.
On the stern, there is an auxiliary helm telegraph used for docking. Today, an anemone and some anemonefish call it home.
Over the years, the Trukkese dive guides have made a habit of bringing certain interesting items onto the deck to create little displays of artifacts. This is great for more inexperienced divers with no intention of entering the shipwrecks of Truk, but does create greater temptation for thieves and also expose the items to faster deterioration. Here's a display of a first aid kit (see the red cross) with some random bottles placed in it:
More after the continuation:
Well at least they stayed clean. Just about every ship had at least one or two communal baths such as these:
Another "floating oil drum"
The Shinkoku has some beautiful coral growth, as is evident around the pilot house telegraph
This is an operating room table. And, yes, those are what you think they are on the left side. Ten years ago, a large number of the accessible, visible remains were removed by the Japanese and ceremonially cremated on Truk. However, many remain entombed here and their occasionally visible presence always makes me pause and reflect on those terribly violent days in February and what a horrifying experience it must have been..
Inside the machine shop of the engine room, many tools are easily recognizable such as the grinder and a huge lathe.
Another sobering moment is when one comes across piles of uniforms (or maybe blankets).