Truk Lagoon

Getting to Truk
From the UK it is a long trip but worth it. From all destinations you have to get to Guam, which is the central hub for all Continental Micronesia flights. Some flights go direct to Truk; others do an island stop on route. Flight time Guam to Truk is 1hr 50mins. Baggage allowance on Continental Micronesia flights seems to be decided on the day, and if you look at what the locals are bringing back you'd think there was no limit. To get to Guam you can fly from Seoul (this route is still open 2014 on Korean Airways) direct to Guam, from Honolulu you can island hop down, but that takes a long time. The last option I know about is via Manila (route currntly unavailable), which is the worst airport on the planet and has all the ambiance of a multi-storey car park. If at all possible I would not go to Manila airport, I have been three times and sitting on a concrete floor for 8hrs with no amenities except a toilet hidden away somewhere is no start or end to your holiday. I have used Philippine airways and that involved an overnight stop in Manila, with taxi drivers that haven't the faintest idea where they are going. After going bust Philippine Airways has cut many routes. International baggage allowance needs to be checked before you go. I have got increased allowance with Korean Airways (2 x 23Kg) and Philippine Airlines. Emirate Airlines use the American allowance of 2 x 32kg
In either direction, unless you are very lucky you will be spending several hours between flights at Guam. If you can find somewhere to leave your luggage, which is not easy at Guam so you may need to take it with you, try going  in to the local town for a meal or drink.

Things to do
Diving and more diving, there is nothing else. You could go on a trip around the sites of the island, the lighthouse etc on your de fizz day. Taxis are anyone who writes taxi on a piece of cardboard and puts it behind windscreen.
With Blue Lagoon Divers, between dives you will go back to the hotel for a couple of hours or so, take some books . Lonely Planets guide to Micronesia is a good book with most of what you want to know. check out the small cafe between the hotel and dive operation for some excellent basic food such as Tuna steaks or chicken stew, only open lunch times.
On the last trip we went back to the hotel for the break, which was handy to check out the video we had shot. On my last visit, after arriving at the airport (Continental has upgraded to Boeing 737's) we became involved in a traffic gridlock, apparently the locals were all given grant money to repair and renovate their properties, but due to the possible misappropriation of the grant all the locals now own a car. We have stayed in The Truk Continental four times and Truk Stop Hotel once, I prefer the Continental as it has nicer grounds, built on the old Sea plane base. There is a Japanese restaurant by the Continental, and food at either Hotel is OK, don't expect much fish, it is mostly imported American steak cooked in a host of different ways and some Japanese style dishes. The Truk Stop has had a "Japanese style" Pier added and an outside restaurant, it also has a decent pizza menu. It also has its own dive operation.
 Equipment used
The underwater camera was a Nikonos V, mainly using a Nikonos 15mm lens and Morris Aquaflash. Video equipment was a Sony PC120 DV camcorder in a Light and Motion Mako housing, with a wide angle lens. The power supply (110V) is always going off for a time, so do not use battery chargers that start with a discharge cycle.(type of mains plug)
Diving was with Blue Lagoon Divers and all done on air, with twin 12ltr ally or steel tanks, the afternoon dive used the fullest tank of the morning and a fresh 12ltr. Tanks are $5 a day with Blue Lagoon Divers. Decompression was on Aladdin, VR3 and Nexus dive computers, with extra stops always added on. Due to water temp you only need a lycra suit, or jeans and a tee shirt will do, to keep off stingy coral,  make sure you know what fire coral looks like! On a 2-week trip, take a day off in the middle to let your body de-fizz and be on the safe side.
The Inspiration Rebreather is now recognised by the dive operations in Truk., although the pressure of O2 available is not guaranteed.Trimix and Nitrox
If you want to use trimix or nitrox I would contact the operator first, as this is not always available, on my last visit to Blue lagoon they had helium and oxygen, but only certain members of staff are able to blend gas and as no one was using it I got no idea of cost.

Use of rebreathers was limited to the liveaboards, although now both land based operators are supporting CCR users. You will need to ship your own sofnalime out and ensure they have enough pressure of O2 for your trip and 3ltr tanks for hire. DHL have an office on Truk.
Sodasorb is available from Jim at GMI Wholesale  [email protected]  Jim is based in Guam and can send out tubs of sodasorb to Truk very fast and at reasonable cost. If you try to send out sofnalime/sodasorb from home the cost will be very high and more importantly is unlikeley to arrive for months if at all!
A few of us are taking our rebreathers this year (2011) and I will report back how we got on.

Internet Cafe
There is an Internet Cafe beside the TrukStop Hotel, Blue Lagoon Resort have a couple of PC's in their reception connected to the internet for your use at a nominal fee.

 Recompression Chamber
There is now a very good recompression chamber close to Blue Lagoon Resort almost on the beach. It is a very clean and professional operation run by Larry Bruton. The chamber has been used quite a bit already by divers from all over the world.
The chamber was financed by an Australian Company, you will need dive insurance to finance the use of this which you should have any way.
Larry can be contacted via e-mail  [email protected]  or tel  +691 330 2318
Hopefully you will never need to use this, but it is nice to know it is there if you do
pictures of recompression chamber.

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