Wreck Diving in Truk Lagoon 2018
Join Ron Watkins in Truk Lagoon, indisputably the best wreck diving in the world! Find out why everyone loves Truk...and Ron! Ron has a fun, friendly and informative teaching style that suits all levels of photographers. Wreck divers and non photographers are more than welcome aboard the Truk Odyssey.
✓ Awesome wreck dives
✓ Good for divers of all skill levels
✓ Spacious 132' boat for up to 16 divers only
✓ Windows in each cabin
✓ Free Nitrox for certified Nitrox
✓ "Bluewater helped me out when I needed it most, the airline wouldn't let me board because of a Visa issue. They saved my butt" - Ray Tsusuki
✓ Great support if flight/weather issues occur
✓ Gear discounts and other benefits
✓ We book resorts/ liveaboards that offer the best overall value
About Truk Lagoon - Truk Lagoon is considered by some to be the best wreck diving destination in the world, with over 60 World War II wrecks. The wrecks have a good amount of marine life on them, but some are quite deep, with the bottoms in the 100 - 150+ ft. range. The name "Truk" is actually a corruption of the native name for this area, Chuuk, which is part of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Due to its Natural Harbor - Truk was a strategically located, Japanese Naval Base during WWII.
I first set eyes on the ghostly wrecks of Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia over 10 years ago and was amazed at how well they were preserved. Truk Lagoon since February 1944 and is considered the wreck diving capitol of the world with the largest concentration of diveable wrecks in the world. There are over 50 Japanese ships and 100 airplanes in the area as a result of a major allied offensive during World War II called Operation Hailstone. Growing up as a “son of a son of a sailorman that served in the Pacific, I have a great appreciation for history and particularly WW II naval history. I heard stories and watched documentaries about the surprise attack on Truk that was a retaliation to the attack on Pearl Harbor, but diving and seeing the wrecks with their deck guns pointed upward towards the heavens, military artifacts, beer bottles and china scatter around the ship and the crew’s living quarters was very moving and better than anything I could have read in a history book or seen in a museum.
One of my personal favorites that we will be diving is the Japanese aircraft transport Fujikawa Maru. It still has four fighter aircraft in the forward holds, an impressive 6” bow gun and large bow structure with a cross-like appearance encrusted in marine life and swirling with fish life as well as macro life. The expert dive guides aboard the Truk Odyssey will provide detail briefings of the wrecks and we will do repeat dives on some of the wrecks like the Fujikawa Maru (conditions permitting) so that everyone will have plenty of time to explore, compose those signature shots and perfect their technique.
Many of the wrecks are in relatively shallower depths (some as shallow as 30’) allowing them to be explored by recreational and advanced divers. Nightly photography workshops will be conducted onboard the Truk Odyssey covering the relevant topics of wide angle composition, strobe position, ambient lighting, shooting silhouettes, sunballs, macro techniques and post processing your images. We will also have guest photo review sessions so share are combined experiences and improve the consistency and quality of your images. Please join me in this historic return to Truk Lagoon for some amazing wreck diving and photography.
✓ Airport greeting and transfer to vessel (for those arriving on charter schedule)
✓ 7 nights accommodation onboard the Odyssey
✓ 6 days of diving up to 5 dives per day
✓ Nitrox - 30% (for nitrox certified divers)
✓ Tanks and weights
✓ All meals, snacks, beverages including beer and wine
✗ Chuuk departure tax ($20)
✗ Equipment rental or classes
✗ Hotel if needed
> Since each day aboard Odyssey offers new adventures, no day is really typical. Nothing is routine and the schedule will vary depending on location.
> The day aboard Odyssey begins after a 7:00 a.m. Hot breakfast with your first dive briefing around 7:45. You will be able to do two dives before lunch. During lunch we usually move to a new site. After lunch you have the option to either do another dive, or relax on the either of the sundecks or in the privacy of your own stateroom. A late afternoon dive is also offered. Around 6:30 p.m. a sumptuous dinner will be waiting for you. After dinner you may choose to do a night dive. At night guests usually gather in the entertainment lounge to enjoy a movie, or review what was captured that day in video.
> Since most of the dive sites in Truk Lagoon are fairly close to each other, it is easy for us to move around. The best part about diving aboard Odyssey is that we don't require everyone to dive at the same time. So it is not unusual for you and your buddy to be the only divers on a 500' wreck. For photographers, this offers more opportunities to shoot those popular scenes without having to wait for others to move out of the way.
About the Odyssey - Explore Truk Lagoon's famed "Ghost Fleet" from this 132’ air-conditioned live-aboard vessel with its spacious rooms, and extensive technical and photo dive facilities. The Odyssey boasts nine large, luxurious staterooms all fully carpeted with private air conditioning controls, windows or large portholes, and private toilet, shower and sink all in every stateroom. Seven of the staterooms are equipped to easily accommodate two single travelers in twin beds or a couple in a spacious king size bed. Also available are two staterooms for single travelers only – they have all the features of the double staterooms and easily accommodate the single traveler in a twin bed.
Ron Watkins is a long time Bluewater Photo trip leader, workshop instructor, international award winning photographer and writer who has been passionate about underwater photography and marine conservation since the early 90's. His photography and stories are showcased in magazines, advertising, websites, juried art displays, national aquariums, libraries and private collections. More of Ron’s photography may be viewed at www.scubarews.com.
"I had the pleasure of going on a Bluewater Photo trip to the Philippines this past February, led by Ron Watkins. It was my first trip with Bluewater and my first dive trip to that part of the world. I am a very experienced nature photographer on dry land but just learning underwater photography.
The trip was a marvelous experience! It was a big trip to prepare for, and the help I received from Vijay and from Ron before the trip was invaluable. From what lenses to bring to packing hints to what to expect from a liveaboard, the advice was spot on and made packing so much easier. Ron was especially responsive to email questions about lenses and equipment and what to expect during the dives. I knew I was in good hands even before getting on the plane!
I am new to underwater shooting, and I was delighted that Ron offered afternoon classes to learn about underwater photo techniques and especially strobe technique. I am an advanced Lightroom and Photoshop user, and I can happily report that Ron's instructions on post processing were spot on! He was quite helpful to several of the divers that were not familiar with Lightroom, and they were so happy with the results they were able to get after just a few classes with Ron.
I had such a great time on the trip, and I can happily report that Ron went out of his way to make the trip one I will never forget. I felt safe, I learned a lot and I laughed a lot. What more can a person ask?
I have already booked my next vacation with Bluewater Travel, and I hope to have the opportunity to go on another adventure with Ron. If you are looking for first class travel and want to expand your underwater photography skills, look no further than Bluewater Travel and Ron Watkins." - Jane Palmer
"I’ve been diving for years and have logged nearly 2000 dives, many with my camera in hand. This past February I had the opportunity to attend a Bluewater Travel photography workshop at the Atmosphere Resort in Dumaguete, Philippines. Our trip leader and Photo-pro was Ron Watkins. The photo opportunities on the Dauin coast were unbelievable at time, whether we were shooting juvenile Frogfish, Blue Ringed Octopuses or Whale Sharks Ron’s tips and techniques helped us capture great photos.
There was a good cross section of photographers on the trip and Ron always seemed approachable and eager to answer any question that came his way. I look forward to my next dive adventure with Bluewater and Ron Watkins." – Bob Greene
"I had a great time with Ron on the Galapagos trip! Ron is an excellent trip leader, he takes care of everyone and tries to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. I liked how he had us switch groups around and take turns going in the water first or second. I enjoyed the photography workshops too, where we would all look at examples of photos and take turns sharing our own photos. He's also pretty flexible, and discussed itinerary options with the dive boat leaders depending on weather conditions and what people wanted to see. Ron's just an all around great guy, fun to be around with lots of diving stories and looks out for the best interest of everyone on the trip." - Josi Chow
"My first photo dive trip was with Ron Watkins, leading a Bluewater trip to the Sea of Cortez on the Rocio del Mar. It was great! I was a newbie with a compact inexpensive system. My fear was that the folks with the “Big rigs” would get all the attention. My equipment cost and size did not seem to be a consideration at all,except for my own learning purposes. Ron was as attentive to my thoughts, equipment and questions as I could have asked for. He seemed genuinely interested in helping me solve the biggest of my problems and worked with me underwater as well as on deck. There were cameras and shooters of all levels on board and it was a fun laid back kind of trip. Except for all the excitement that is! I hope to dive with him again soon." - T. Vaughn
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