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Thread: Kwajalein

 


  1. #1
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    Diversauras's Avatar
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    Kwajalein

    I may have the opportunity to move to Kwaj and am looking for those that may have finned the waters ahead of me. Anyone have any good reasont go or to not go?

    Thanks
    Greg
    NAUI #6788
    Plan an intelligent dive, be aware of your limits, and dive accordingly, you'll live longer


    and when you are sitting on the boat, post dive, and you are ignoring your beeping computer remember that luck changes but the Physics of DCS doesn't

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    The male/female ratio leaves a lot to be desired if you're working there but it has some great wreck diving. There is a scuba facility on the base and really reasonable boats to rent from base services. It's a great place. A tropical island in the middle of the pacific with US mail and pizza. It is isolated from the rest of the world. Whether thats good or bad depends on your viewpoint. That isolation also means that the wrecks are intact and no tourists allowed.

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    IslandHopper's Avatar
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    It's an atoll ... different from an island.

    Extremely small place ... but it does have a golf-course as well. Everyone gets around on bicycles, the only motorized vehicles are for operational necessity.

    One of the dive sites is on a ship that is laying on the reef slope inverted ... the screw is sticking out of the water, the bow is at about 80' if I remember correctly.
    I ain't often right, but I never been wrong...

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    pazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diversauras
    I may have the opportunity to move to Kwaj and am looking for those that may have finned the waters ahead of me. Anyone have any good reasont go or to not go?

    Thanks
    I'll just comment on the diving. There are too many other personal factors to be considered regarding other issues. In December I will have lived on Kwaj for 7 years.

    Overall, Kwaj probably offers as good of dive atmosphere as you will find anywhere. As a memeber of the Kwaj SCUBA club your dues provide for unlimited air. The Kwaj SCUBA Club website is www.kwajaleinscubaclub.com. The rules limit diving here to recreational diving only. Max depth is 130 feet and no penetration.

    You ride your bike down to the marina with your dive gear. The tank house is at the marina. You get your tanks and load the boat. You go out and dive and bring your empty tanks back and place them on the empty pile. You can dive:
    1. WWII Japanese Wrecks
    2. Reefs
    3. Coral Heads
    4. And, the German WWII cruiser, Prinz Eugen. This is the ship that lies upside down in the lagoon. Bow around 110 feet.
    Water temperature is typically around 82-84 F. or so degrees.

    Rental boats on the weekend are half day rentals: Basically 0800 to 1230.
    and 1300 until 1730. 4 divers with 8 tanks is the maximum load. You pay for the rental boat and gas. Typically a half day will cost you $50-62, depending on how much gas you use. Divided by 4 means about 15 bucks each. For this you get two, many times, world class dives.

    Or, you get off work at 1600 and ride down to the marina and by 1645 you will be diving a WWII wreck. As you only rent the boat by the hour on weekdays, a typical afterwork dive, with 4 people, will cost you 3-4 bucks.

    You can do walkin night dives any night you want to (no charge).

    I find that at least 4 dives on the weekend makes my work week start off right. And, an after work dive on Thursday or Friday helps me make it to the weekend. Our weekend is Sunday and Monday (so people can watch NFL football on Monday). The marina is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday to give them some time off.

    You can catch Continetal flights to Kosrae (1 stop away), Pohnpei (2 stops) or Chuuk/Truk (3 stops). Or, go to Guam and catch connecting flights to Palau, Yap, Bali or Cairns.

    If you come, bring an underwater camera. Lots of great pictures to take.

  5. #5
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    Diversauras's Avatar
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    Thanks,

    To all of you that is. I have been e-mailing to others on Kwaj and it may be a real paradise for me.

    DennisS, I thank you for the gender ratio warning but diving is the thing I am most interested in.

    Island Hopper, that's the Prinz Eugen I think an it looks like a great wreck.

    Pazz, I should know within a month if I get the job, and if I do I'll be back in touch. I have been corresponding with Dave Fortin and am now just waiting to hear about the position. I have been to the Kwaj scuba cub site, is there a set of written rules somewhere? Have you been to Bikini? Is it a long / difficult side trip?
    Greg
    NAUI #6788
    Plan an intelligent dive, be aware of your limits, and dive accordingly, you'll live longer


    and when you are sitting on the boat, post dive, and you are ignoring your beeping computer remember that luck changes but the Physics of DCS doesn't

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    The first big question you have to answer is "Can I live on an Island?" Not everyone is "island folk."

    I spent a year and a half at AUTEC on Andros in the Bahamas and loved it. Statistics from that base indicates about one out of 3 adapts to island life well, one more will marginally tolerate it but won't renew a work contract, and the third will go nuts and bail in about 3 months. I found the ability to keep my dive gear in my office on the pier, and the ability to be 60' down on an excellent reef about 5 minutes after I left work made up for a lot of inconveniences.

    The thing to remember is that EVERYTHING is shipped in with a one to 4 month lead time. If you need it faster than that you'd better be able to carry it on an airplane or make it. The basic rule is that if you didn't bring it with you, and can't make it, you can't get it in less than 3 months. You'll also have very llimited opportunities for social contacts, so you HAVE to be able to get along with those around you. They can't simply "go away," and neither can you!

    I had looked at applying for a job on Kwaj after the stint on Andros, but family matters precluded that remote unaccompanied posting. I'd still love to work either there or on Johnson Island, but it's not likely to happen.

    FT
    Design and manufacture of custom dive gear. ftagge@acadiacom.net

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    Hi, Diversaurus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diversauras
    I may have the opportunity to move to Kwaj and am looking for those that may have finned the waters ahead of me. Anyone have any good reasont go or to not go?

    Thanks
    Here is the email of a chap who lived and intensely dived the area over a period of about 3 years. Returned about 2 years ago. He was president of the local scuba club. He's called T.J. and can be reached at copmagnetstudio@hotmail.com. Tell him that I sent you.

    Best regards.

    DocVikingo

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    Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but I've been diving in PNG for the last few weeks. And, I'm currently at an internet cafe in Cairns; working my way back to Kwaj.
    I dive with Dave Fortin and he can easily answer your questions.

    Bikini is an hour flight from Kwaj and is great diving. Our checkout dive was on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA!!!! You fly Air Marshall Islands from Kwaj to Bikini and sometimes they aren't always on schedule.

    For official information about Kwaj diving that is not on the website, it would probably be best to email one of the officers of the club.

    Hope you get the job.


    Quote Originally Posted by Diversauras
    To all of you that is. I have been e-mailing to others on Kwaj and it may be a real paradise for me.

    DennisS, I thank you for the gender ratio warning but diving is the thing I am most interested in.

    Island Hopper, that's the Prinz Eugen I think an it looks like a great wreck.

    Pazz, I should know within a month if I get the job, and if I do I'll be back in touch. I have been corresponding with Dave Fortin and am now just waiting to hear about the position. I have been to the Kwaj scuba cub site, is there a set of written rules somewhere? Have you been to Bikini? Is it a long / difficult side trip?

  9. #9
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    Diversauras's Avatar
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    oh well...

    :06: I didn't get the job which really sucks but at least I learned about another area that I would one day like to go dive. Thanks for the reply. Now it looks like my next window of opportunity to escape the midwest is to go to Korea next September. At least it is on the far side of the pond...

    Greg

    Quote Originally Posted by pazz
    Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but I've been diving in PNG for the last few weeks. And, I'm currently at an internet cafe in Cairns; working my way back to Kwaj.
    I dive with Dave Fortin and he can easily answer your questions.

    Bikini is an hour flight from Kwaj and is great diving. Our checkout dive was on the bridge of the aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA!!!! You fly Air Marshall Islands from Kwaj to Bikini and sometimes they aren't always on schedule.

    For official information about Kwaj diving that is not on the website, it would probably be best to email one of the officers of the club.

    Hope you get the job.
    Greg
    NAUI #6788
    Plan an intelligent dive, be aware of your limits, and dive accordingly, you'll live longer


    and when you are sitting on the boat, post dive, and you are ignoring your beeping computer remember that luck changes but the Physics of DCS doesn't

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