March 16-17, 2015: After a couple of relaxing days doing next to nothing but eating and sleeping, we felt the urge to get wet and revisit a couple of Japanese wrecks from World War II that were sunk closest to the Busuanga Yacht Club, namely the Akitsushima and the Okikawa.
The Akitsushima is deep, making it a short dive on air. Last year, the visibility outside the wreck was not good and there was a strong current, although inside it was a different world. Crystal clear and calm. This year things were different. The visibility on this Japanese flying boat tender was incredible outside but less so inside, possibly due to the expedition dive boat that had parked on the mooring buoy overnight. I’m guessing their divers had been in early that morning and stirred things up a little. There was a ton of fish life both inside and outside the wreck making us regret the fact that we left our GoPro and Sony digital camera behind. Our old little Casio that I almost always haul along just in case, doesn’t really cut it for wide angle photography and fish that don’t stand still.
The Okikawa, an auxiliary fuel tanker, was no less stellar. We swam through the bowels of the ship from stern tube all the way to the bombed out area just behind the bow, retracing the same route we took last year. Back on the outside, we were greeted by a turtle.
With such great visibility we decided to try our luck on two more wrecks the following day. This time with our trusty GoPro along to capture the experience. Today’s dives included the Kogyo Maru and the Morazon Maru, both Japanese Auxiliary Supply Ships. Once again, we were not disappointed. Check out Chris’ videos at the end of this post.
With our guide, Larsen, leading the way, we spent much of each dive exploring inside the four wrecks, passing in and out of cargo holds, engine rooms and oil tanks, cruising along passageways, squeezing through narrow openings and popping out in unexpected places. It really makes a huge difference to have a knowledgeable guide and a small group (only two of us on the first day, three on the second), excellent visibility and all sorts of natural light coming through openings into all but a few of the enclosed spaces. Although we recognized many of the parts of the various wrecks from last year, this time around we actually got a much better overall feeling for the wrecks themselves. What a difference! Larsen said it was the best visibility since he and his wife arrived at D’Divers for work in November.
|March 16, 2015||Pearl Bay||Larsen, D’ Divers||Akitsushima||WWII Japanese Flying Boat Tender, lies on port side|
|March 16, 2015||Pearl Bay||Larsen, D’ Divers||Okikawa||WWII Japanese Auxiliary Oil Tanker, lies upright|
|March 17, 2015||Coron Bay||Larsen, D’ Divers||Kogyo Maru||WWII Japanese Auxiliary Supply Ship, lies on starboard side|
|March 17, 2015||Coron Bay||Larsen, D’ Divers||Morazon Maru||WWII Japanese Auxiliary Supply Ship, lies on starboard side|
If you’d like more details on these wrecks, please see our post from last year, Diving in Coron.