Scuba Destinations

 

Marshall Islands

Some of the most spectacular wreck diving anywhere in the world . . . .
Overview:
The Marshall Islands consist of twenty-nine atolls and five isolated islands. The most important atolls and islands form two groups: the Ratak Chain and the Ralik Chain (meaning "sunrise" and "sunset" chains).

Scuba diving is one of the Marshalls' premier attractions. The diving is year round, the visibility is excellent, there are 250 species of hard and soft coral and over 1,000 species of fish.  There are steep drop-offs, coral pinnacles, channels, and reef points. Certain dive spots are abundant with fast moving pelagic schools.

The country faces formidable challenges in the form of environmental degradation, rapid population growth, accelerated sea-level rise, and the legacy of nuclear testing.  However, on the positive side, the wrecks of Bikini Atoll have been recently opened to diving. Radiation levels in the area are deemed to be below levels harmful to humans.

What to see:
  • Bikini Atoll is a wreck divers dream - the USS Saratoga, a U.S. Naval aircraft carrier which fought in WWII, is the largest diveable wreck and the only diveable aircraft carrier in the world. Larger than the Titanic, the USS Saratoga sits on the bottom of Bikini Atoll lagoon. Also on Bikini, you'll find the battleship HIJMS Nagato, the flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, which led the attack on Pearl Harbour.
     
  • Rongelap Atoll, after 50 years of isolation, is now accessible for divers who want the thrill of pristine waters and beautiful coral reefs dropping into thousands of feet of blue ocean.  Marine scientists are calling it the next World Heritage site. 
     
  • On Kwajalein Atoll, there is a German heaver cruiser, the Prinz Eugen which fought alongside the Bismarck. Launched by Adolf Hitler, this ship now sits upside down in the shallows of Kwajalein lagoon.

Need to know:
  • Due to average diving depth beyond 40m (130ft) all dives on Bikini Atoll are decompression dives and only suitable for advanced divers with considerable experience in deep and wreck diving!
  • All visitors over the age of 12 must pay a US $15 fee at the time of departure.
Useful stuff:
Language: Marshallese, English
Currency: US $
Time: GMT +12
Climate: tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November;
Natural hazards: Islands border typhoon belt
Diving season: Year round
Water temperature: 82-84F (28-29C) (year round)
Air temperature: Avg between 78-90F (26-32C)

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