Diving in Guam is simply amazing, ’nuff said. Or maybe not quite enough if you really plan to go and experience it for yourself. Let’s get down to more details, in that case.
Many people around the world may not have heard about this tiny-island nation. Others may have heard about it but mostly for its historic and warfare exploits. It did play a very significant role in World War II when the United States reclaimed the Asia-Pacific from the clutches of the Japanese Empire. If Guam was not used as a military outpost by US troops between North America and Asia, the task would have been a lot more difficult. Japan was very close to the Asian countries it seized, and as the US moved closer to Asia in Guam, the battle leveled somehow. We all know now that the US and its allies won the war. But what has this got to do with diving in Guam?
Well, around this US island-territory are a number of sunken vessels and war implements, which make the dives very, very interesting, and often eerie and mysterious. A few of the wreck dive sites are Cocos Island, American Tanker, Tokai Maru, SMS Cormoran, and Kitsugawa Maru.
Scuba diving in Cocos Island is very popular because apparently there are Spanish silver swords, coins, and artifacts that are yet to be unearthed from the bottom of the ocean. These sunken treasures are believed to be worth millions of dollars today. The sunken ship is a Spanish galleon named Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa y Santiago. It was on its way to the Philippines from Mexico carrying the treasures when the long coral reef off Cocos Island damaged its bottom and eventually sank the ship. Many have attempted to look for the treasures, and these people have included scientists, archeologists and expert divers, but all without luck.
The American Tanker, on the other hand, is just a 300-feet barge. No treasures here: just the beautiful corals and fishes. The barge was believed to have been carrying war supplies from Honolulu, Hawaii. It sank in 1944 while being towed by USS Bannock and Arikara on its way to Guam. Underwater, it is now teeming with all sorts of marine life. The tanker pilothouse is at 40 feet deep.
The Tokai Maru is even larger than the American Tanker. It is 440 feet long and is now 120 feet deep underwater, but you can see it at a depth of 60-80 feet. It is an eerie dive and swim along her huge engine room, engines, catwalks, and panels, which remain intact to this day. While swimming along the Tokai Maru you could actually see SMS Cormoran, another sunken vessel nearby. It is 290 feet long and lies 120 feet underwater.
Finally, to the west of Tokai Maru is another large shipwreck, the Kitsugawa Maru, a Japanese freighter, which was torpedoed by the USS Seahorse submarine. It is now 140 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean.
Those are just the wreck sites. There are other amazing dive sites all over Guam that are filled with colorful corals and marine animals. Some of the dive sites are Family Beach, Outhouse Beach and Finger Reef within Apra Harbor, to mention a few. Meanwhile, Blue Hole and Hap’s Reef dive sites are for expert diving in Guam.