Nippo maru

One of my favourite wrecks of the weeks diving in Truk was the Nippo Maru.

The wreck lies on an even keel with a port list with her bottom at 47m on the sand. She has some really fascinating internal structures and some great finds. We went through her engine room which was a maze of stairs and walkways, and I found that the list was very confusing for my brain to process as I was navigating myself through the smaller than average gaps with a twinset and stage. You can exit the inside of the wreck at the bottom of the engine room through a torpedo hole out onto the sand on the bottom.

On her deck she has a couple of light truck frames and a small tank. One of her holds contains large water containers and the other we found some gas masks. We found a large intact china plate lying on her deck which was fairly covered in silt, but which had a nice pattern once we brushed that off.

Her bridge house is fully intact and the top section with the wheel and gauges is easy as you can exit through any of the many windows and makes for a fun token photo of a diver at the controls of the ship. She is in a beautiful condition and like so many of the wrecks in Chuuk is covered in coral and fish life. The masts are both standing and as you reach the top of them you’ll find them heaving in fish life with hundreds of small fish swimming around the top 10 ft of the mast.

We stayed on her bow section and didn’t wander aft of the bridge house as this would have required a second dive, but towards her stern there are a collection of US Howitzers on the deck and gun and munitions in the aft holds. Her prop is stuck on the edge of a reef.

Having racked up a little deco (14 minutes using a 50% enriched mix) we left the deck and headed towards our 6m stop. While the group were sat at 6m off-gassing a school of 20 or so large Barracuda swam by which broke the monotony of the blue.

She is a wreck I would definitely recommend if you are diving Chuuk and one I would love to dive again if I get the chance to return.

We took down twin 11ls with an 11l stage with an enriched mix. I show a max dept of 46.7m and a total dive time (including my deco) of 46m. I was wearing a 2.5mm wetsuit and with the water being a balmy 29°C all the way to the bottom I stayed plenty warm enough for the duration of the dive.


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