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[Guam] How to go wreck diving in Guam?

In November 2023, I visited Guam for the first time in a while.


However, I entered Guam itself as a transit point from Palau, which I visited at the beginning of this year, so this is my second visit this year. Although I entered the country last time, I only had a layover and did not leave the airport, so it was the first time in a while that I had a leisurely stay.


When I step out of Guam International Airport and breathe in the air, I can smell the same "smell" as in Saipan and Micronesia. It had a damp, musty smell typical of southern countries. This may only be noticeable to those who have visited, but perhaps it is because I have been visiting this area for many years that I feel at ease when I smell it. When I visited Saipan, which is geographically close to me, this summer, I was shocked at the lack of tourists, but during my stay in Guam, I got the impression that a fair number of Japanese tourists had returned, which made me feel a little relieved. There is also. If anything, locals seem to have the impression that there are more Koreans than Japanese tourists, but despite the effects of the weaker yen, local price increases have been relatively suppressed, and prices are rising. It is said to be easier to get to than Hawaii.


Of course, the purpose of Guam is wreck diving. This time, I made a rather unreasonable request to the local people, but I would like to share with you the current state of wreck diving in Guam while touching on that area a little.


Guam Island/Land Battle Site
Guam Island/Land Battle Site

 But before that, how much do you know about Guam's "history"?


3 hours and 50 minutes by plane from Japan. It takes about half that time to get to Hawaii, which Japanese people love, about 7 to 8 hours. It is 2,500km away and has a population of 170,000, of which there are approximately 3,000 Japanese (pre-coronavirus statistics). The island's center is lined with duty-free shops and brand-name shops, and the island's main industry is tourism.


The people of Guam are called "Chamorros," which apparently means "kariage" or "bald" in Spanish. They are said to have immigrated from the islands of Southeast Asia such as Sulawesi from 3000 BC, and these people are said to be the ancestors of today's indigenous Chamorro people. Guam was discovered by Magellan of Portugal in the 16th century, then colonized by Spain, and became a colony of the United States after the Treaty of Paris following the war between the United States and Spain at the end of the 19th century.


In 1941, the Pacific (Greater East Asia) War broke out and Japan occupied Guam. Called Omiyajima, it was occupied by Japan for two years and seven months, but was recaptured by the United States in 1944.


Those familiar with past wars will know that it became a base for bombing the Japanese archipelago after that.

 

Currently, there are several land battle sites that have been maintained and maintained among tourist spots. There are also battlefield tours and war museums that welcome tourists, but what about underwater? I hope I can unravel it little by little.


◉Table of Contents

List of wrecks in Guam

In Guam, there are many different types of wreck diving, including diving during the Pacific War (World War II), World War I, and even intentionally submerged diving. This can be said to be a unique place even when viewed from a global perspective. If that's the case, you can check dive shops and tourist bureau sites, etc., and they'll introduce you in bits and pieces, but if you look for a summary in Japanese of what kind of points there are and where they're located, I can't find it at all. Many of them exist in Apra Bay, but there are some that have not been submerged, and even when you ask local shops, they often say, ``We don't know where they are.'' The main points are introduced below.


Guam Island/Tokai Maru
Guam Island/Tokai Maru

Tokai Maru(Apra Bay) 20-35m

SMS Cormoran II(Apra Bay) 30-37m

 German ship during World War I

Kizugawamaru(Apra Bay) 35-40m

Type 99 carrier bomber< span style="color: #091405;">(Local name: Balbom Bar) (Apra Bay) 26m

Type 0 three-seat reconnaissance aircraft (Apra Bay) 30m

Type 0 three-seat reconnaissance aircraft (Apra Bay) 60m

American Tanker(Apra Bay) 15-30m

 A carrier ship that brought gravel from Hawaii for the construction of breakwaters after the war

Cement barge(Apra Bay) 8m

Four carrier ships brought gravel from Hawaii for the construction of breakwaters after the war

Amtrak(Just off of Agat Cemetery) 40ft

 Amtrak (amphibious tractor) available

Harley Reef(Cabras) 10-60ft

 Harley-Davidson 1944/45 WLA Flathead, but destroyed by a large typhoon in 2023

Seabee Junkyard(Apra Harbor) 35-130ft

 Bultzers etc. discarded by the Marine Corps after building the breakwater

Tarzan Cave(Orote cliffline) 30-60ft

Described as a "relic" of World War II. Something is unknown

Sharks Pit(Orote Peninsula) 40-160ft

 Point where many wrecks of tanks and other vehicles are abandoned


Among the above, the Tokai Maru, Cormoran, Type 99 carrier bomber, American tanker, and cement barge are located in Apra Bay where many diving boats are anchored. Because of this, it seems that it is relatively often hidden. Also, Tokai Maru and Cormoran sleep in almost the same place, close to each other, but I think Tokai Maru is often chosen when choosing points of interest.


The Kizugawa Maru is on the navigation route in Apra Bay, and there are no buoys installed, so diving is basically not done there. When I went diving, the boat captain set up a mountain line (determined multiple landmarks, such as mountains and large trees, and memorized the points where the lines intersect), and with the spread of GPS, he entered by following the numbers. It was a very primitive method in a time when there was an increasing number of things to do. However, the water is deep at 38m and the visibility is not good, so even if there is a spot on the boat, if you enter, you will be swept away and the point will be shifted, and even if you enter, you may not be able to find it, so enter first. The guides all agree that there is a lot of pressure. In the past, when I went diving, I had to re-enter many times because I couldn't find it, but since the water is so deep, it puts a lot of strain on my body, so I am truly grateful. Additionally, in 2023, due to the effects of a typhoon and the anchoring of a large tanker, an incident occurred in which the symbolic cannon collapsed and its mast broke.


It seems that one of the Type 0 three-seater water reconnaissance planes is located in a place that can be accessed from the beach, and the other one is at great depth (60m). I have not yet been able to confirm the one at great depth.


The points written in English are from Western shops (MDA) This is a quote from the point list, and the water depth is expressed in feet based on the quote. As of this writing in 2023, I have yet to dive.


I would like to go there if I have a chance in the future.

GuamDiving Style

 The guide who helped us said, ``There aren't many experienced divers who come to Guam,'' and it seems that many guests come just for one day during their trip to dive or experience something. The other day, I used S2CLUB GUAM and " NINJA DIVE' takes about 20 minutes to get to the hotel from Apra Bay by boat. They came out of their way to pick me up, but most other shops also provide transportation.


Guam Island American Tanker
Guam Island American Tanker

Many Japanese shops existed before the coronavirus and are still working hard, but in the case of the above two shops, there are two shops in the morning and one in the afternoon. There are also morning-only plans and afternoon-only plans, so you can dive at any time that suits your schedule. Some shops have their own boats, but some guests also take part in trial diving, including shared rides, and although you can make a request, the reality is that it is not always possible to go shipwreck diving.


As an example, in the case of S2CLUB, which we worked with this time, although they have their own boat, they answered that it was basically impossible to do all the dives and wrecks out of three dives a day. Even though I was thinking that I might be able to go on the first dive, I happened to be blessed with a guest who also wanted to do some other wreck diving, so they were very flexible, such as splitting the boats and setting out. I am truly grateful that I was able to dive the wreck at the right time.


In the case of NINJA DIVE, his strength is that he is able to move flexibly depending on the situation, as he has been on a variety of boats. We were indebted to our guide, Miki, along with her cheerful American husband who is fluent in Japanese, and often boarded boats owned by European and American shops. "I often go there," so if you can get on that ship by matching the days of the week, you might be able to increase your chances of going to the wreck point.


In any case, many leisure divers who visit Guam are looking for the blue sea and fish, so when they apply for fun diving, they don't say, ``I just want to dive into shipwrecks!'' It will be difficult unless you are very lucky.


・Type of gas

If you decide to dive around Guam's shipwrecks, we recommend using nitrox because the water is fairly deep overall and the shipwrecks themselves are large. In Guam, many places will provide 32% nitrox, although there is an additional charge. (It is said that it is difficult to prepare detailed numbers such as 28%.) By diving with nitrox, it is possible to extend the no-decompression dive time (NDL) on the dive computer and approach the shipwreck with relatively sufficient time. It will be. However, even if you use Nitrox yourself, the time may not change much because if the guide or other guests are using air, you will need to adjust accordingly. However, I still recommend it because it allows you to dive without worrying about the strain on your body and NDL to some extent.


・For beginners in diving

It is difficult to do the open water level on famous ships such as the Tokai Maru and on instructor groups, and it is probably best to get used to diving a little and hone your skills before you can take a closer look. It is desirable to have. I would like you to confirm this thoroughly when contacting the dive shop.

Guamshipwreck Season

Guam Island Type 99 carrier bomber
Guam Island Type 99 carrier bomber

Basically, most of Guam's shipwrecks are located in the bay, so the season doesn't really matter (in my opinion). It seems that visibility changes due to seasonal winds, but personally I don't think you need to worry about it because the shipwrecks in the bay aren't always that good. However, when the wind is strong, the open ocean is rough and diving is often done in the bay, so it may be a bit of a pain for the shop, but if you want to dive under a shipwreck, I think you should pray, "Let the wind blow!" (lol)


・Rainy season (summer in Japan)

The occurrence of squalls and typhoons is a constant worry. Transparency decreases during this period.


・Dry season (Japanese winter)

When the seasonal winds begin to blow, the transparency increases. In addition, the famous Blue Hole is on the west side of the island, and the seasonal winds come from the northeast, so it is said that it is easy to reach the open ocean that is in the shadow of the island from Apra Bay.

How to choose a diving shop

First of all, if you book a tour with a diving package sold by a travel agency, please assume that you will not be going to the shipwreck point. As mentioned above, even if you say you want to go after arriving at the destination, it is often difficult to do so, so be sure to check with your travel agency or diving shop before making a reservation. Also, choosing a shop (guide) is quite important. I don't think there is a problem if you want to go to a shipwreck point anywhere, but it is common for guides to say that they don't know the location of some points, so it's a good idea to go to the point you want to go to. Please be sure to check if you can go when you inquire.


Guam is conducting its own rec investigation. Mr. Oka from ``U>'' is famous in the area, and if the timing of the boat is right, he may be able to give you priority for going to the wreck, so if you are interested, please contact him directly. That would be good. Conducting an individual investigation is costly and time consuming, and deserves respect.


NINJA DIVE” and “ S2CLUB GUAM' was also very responsive and kind. This is a shop that I can recommend because I was able to ride it.

Guam How to dive only shipwrecks?

Guam Island/S2CLUB GUAM boat
Guam Island/S2CLUB GUAM boat

 I want to go on a rec trip freely without worrying about anything! If you think so, there is a method called ``boat charter''. In the case of Guam, you can rent a boat for around $600 a day (as of 2023), depending on the size of the boat. Half-day or afternoon-only plans are also available, so you can charter according to your budget. Please use this as a guideline as it varies depending on the shop.


I don't think the market price is that different from places like Saipan. After all, there are problems with points, safety, and tanks (cylinders) for diving, so it is essential to go through a diving shop, and furthermore, there is a condition that ``the guide is available'', and there Don't forget that guide fees will also be added to the price. First, try contacting various shops. As a last resort, it may be a good idea to consider chartering.


Guam is an English-speaking country, so if you are a Japanese person who is unsure about the language, negotiations, which can be relatively difficult, can be made easier as there are many Japanese shops, so please give it a try. . If you are someone who would like to go diving even though it is difficult to make the arrangements yourself, please contact me through Contact. It is also possible to discuss the places you would like to go together and take them. If you want to go cheaper, you can also join the Guam Rec Tour that I organize myself, although it doesn't happen often.


I hope that this content will be of some help to your wreck diving. Guam's Tokai Maru and Type 99 carrier bomber are also included. Please also take a look at the photo catalog “Gunjo no Memories”.












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