During my underwater tourism, I saw lots of cool stuff. Spare periscopes on a submarine tender, a tank on a deck, huge bow guns encrusted with sea life, a cargo hold full of planes, another full of ammo, an expended torpedo engine and propeller, a huge bomb, an engine room that looked like the machinery could start, remnants of trucks from the late 30s and early 40s, and the general overtaking of machinery by the sea were just a few of the man made variety. As for natural, two sharks, several eagle rays, sting rays, pipe fish, soft corals, lion fish were just a few.
The first four days we dove with two brothers ages 68 and 71. They were fantastic! Bob is the elder and a firecracker of energy and excitement for all things adventure. Rick is his younger brother, more reserved with a presence about him that suggests he's used to running the show. Rick lives on Oahu so he let me borrow his regulator for the last two days. We met him and his wife for dinner when we returned to trade pictures and return the reg. It was so cool to me that even in their 70s they were out adventuring together and had such a tight relationship. I hope that's me and my sisters in 40 years. On that vein, it turns out most scuba divers are middle aged white guys with beer bellies. Maybe that's just who can afford dive trips. Without further ado, here are my favorite wrecks we did and what we saw:
Shinkoku Maru - an upright tanker wreck with beautiful sea life all over it. We saw a shark, an eagle ray, big schools of fish, lots of hard and soft corals. Swim through for operating table with bottles and bones, bathrooms with urinals attached. Super structure is covered in life. This was probably my favorite wreck.
Betty Bomber - This is an upright plane laying in the sand between islands. It's big enough to swim through the fuselage. I saw pipe fish for the first time. These are cousins to seahorses. The engines of the plane came to rest 20m away from the rest of the wreck.
Nippo Maru - Another favorite. This is an upright freighter with a small tank on deck. There are a few remnants of old trucks on the deck and the seafloor below. This boat also had a really cool sea life encrusted bow gun. The towers are still upright and covered in coral.
San Francisco Maru - Mike and Bob did this one. I chickened out. The wreck starts at 140 feet. There are three tanks strapped to the deck, some old trucks in the hold, and a bunch of marine mines on the bow. No pictures because it's too deep for the goPro housing.
Gosei Maru - Rick and I dove this freighter. It's another with a big torpedo hole on the starboard side. The hold contains the remains of the Mk 14 torpedo that took her down. A few small easy swim throughs, but mostly sea life on this one. The propeller was too cool. Mike did a bunch of free diving and didn't miss out on anything.
Emily Flying Boat - This awesome wreck finally settled upside down in the water. It's broken into several pieces, but still recognizable with lots of fish, coral, crabs, and other creatures.
Fujikawa Maru - Super cool passenger cargo ship. She's upright in the water with one hold full of Zero planes, another full of machine gun bullets and magazines. The bow and bow gun are covered in sea fans, coral, and anemones. So cool!
Sankisan Maru - Another favorite. This one is unbelievably awesome. It's an upright freighter that took a bomb straight to her aft hold that was full of weapons. So, the front end of the ship looks totally normal (for a shipwreck). Mid-ship and the holds have some cool old trucks that are mostly just chassis. One in the hold still had part of its motor and a steering wheel. As we swam to the back, the deck was ravaged and buckled and suddenly just ended. Part of the stern is upright a ways back. Apparently if you're intrepid you can find the rudder about 500 feet away. The wreck itself is covered in coral with lots of fish. We even saw a sleeping shark. This was a super powerful wreck. We ascended up one of the towers that was a stunning coral reef ending just above our safety stop. Fabulous! Normally safety stops are boring. Not this one.
Hoyo Maru - The last wreck we dove is upside down naval tanker. It had a bomb hole into the engine room so we swam in to take a peek. Otherwise the wreck is covered top to bottom in coral, sea fans, and anenomes. The bottom of the boat, which is the top of the wreck was covered in big coral heads. We spent the whole time looking for octopi.
I made a video with from what we took on the GoPro. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/j4jXPhfM7Wg