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Palau vs Chuuk vs Bikini?

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by jdevic, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. k4kafka

    k4kafka Barracuda

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    Wow...seems like a simple destination advice request is spinning way out of control...
     
  2. k4kafka

    k4kafka Barracuda

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    Since we are off-topic...Re: Diving at Bikini Atoll...wasn’t that where nuclear tests were conducted in the 1950’s? What became of all the deadly radiation we were taught would last for hundreds of years? Just another myth?
     
  3. Nomad-Diver

    Nomad-Diver Solo Diver

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  4. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    I'm not sure about your three choices. Palau is fine. Truk is much more serious diving, and you'd better like wrecks. Do you? Have you dived any? Bikini is a major investment of money and time and effort to get the requisite training and experience.. Maybe you ought to stick with Palau, and do Yap for your second segment. Also, you get very little bottom time in Truk...it is deep diving.
    Regarding additional training: it really doesn't matter which agency, once you've done the deco courses you've gotten much the same material. The key is your instructor and the sites you train at.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  5. jdevic

    jdevic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto
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    The main reason that I was choosing among the three was because of their close proximity and ease of making 2 stops in Micronesia/Palua on a United award ticket. I will definitely enjoy just going back to Palau (and maybe Yap for mating mandarin fish). But at the same time, I wouldn't mind diving somewhere new in Truk or Bikini. It sounds like I'd better put Bikini on hold till I am seriously getting into tec diving. Truk seems fairly doable after I take AN/DP.

    I've done some big wrecks in Sharm, Canadian Great Lakes, Florida Keys, and some random wrecks here and there - none crazy deep - 120ft max non-deco. I am not crazy about wrecks, especially those ones in the Great Lakes. But I enjoyed salt water wrecks, especially those turned into proper artificial reefs full of marine lives - I assume Truk wrecks fall into that bucket?
     
  6. k4kafka

    k4kafka Barracuda

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    Remember,those WWII wrecks have been down there a long,long time. Having not been there myself,I have only seen photos. At this point in time,many look more like reefs than warships.
     
    jdevic likes this.
  7. jdevic

    jdevic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto
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    That's why I think I will like those WWII wrecks, compared to the cold fresh lake wrecks locally.
     
  8. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    What were you doing at 50m in the Blue Hole?
     
    jdevic and Blueringocto_73 like this.
  9. sea_otter

    sea_otter DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Jose, CA
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    Chuuk's wrecks are covered with some of the most amazing soft coral I've ever seen. The photo below is from the Sankisan Maru, which isn't very deep at all. Max depth for us in the cargo hold was around 70 ft, swimming past old Japanese trucks, weaponry, and medicine bottles. The kingposts are covered with gorgeous colorful corals. There isn't a lot of fish life, but between the wrecks and the coral, it is a spectacular place.

    Our group of 28 people was split about half technical and half recreational divers, and everyone had a wonderful time. My parents (diving single tanks) were along on the trip, and I wanted to stay on the same boat with them, so every day but one was spent breathing the banked 30% with a max depth of 120ft, and a even lot above 100ft. I did choose to join a different boat on one day to go deeper with a trimix fill, but I would have gone broke doing that all week.

    sankisan-maru.jpg

    Palau by contrast has the big stuff. We went during a full moon, and we saw several manta rays, enormous schools of sharks, and one dive with 200 or more groupers wanting to mate. Lots of species diversity, and lots of life everywhere. The currents at the more advanced dive sites can be insane and unpredictable, but a lot of fun. Some really memorable dives.

    We also did run into some mating mandarin fish there, so that may not require a trip to Yap. This set lives under the dock at Sam's Tours Dive Center, and there's another one or two near a dive site called Cathedral Cave(rn). Feisty little things.

    P6011285 (1).jpg

    If I had to pick one to go back, it would be Chuuk in a heartbeat. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of the amazing diving there. Bikini is also on the bucket list, but it'll stay there for now.

    Wherever you go, have a fantastic time!
     
    altaskier and jdevic like this.
  10. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
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    Bikini is only diveable now for very limited periods of the year. There is no dive operation and only a liveaboard that goes there for a month or two.

    Unless you like shipwrecks, then I would not go to Chuuk. It is also a lot more "third world" than the other places you mention. If you have a non-diving partner, forget it. You do not need tech certification, there are plenty of wrecks to dive shallower than 30 metres (100 feet) and you mostly do not even need to go deeper than 25 metres. By the way I have been there six times, twice for almost three weeks each time.

    Palau is fantastic! Well worth diving.

    If you want to do two places, try Guam. Some very good diving there and it has lots of other features.

    Hope this helps.
     
    jdevic likes this.

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