Sunday, April 24, 2011

Truk - Day 1

Ok, after finishing the Palau trip blog I got a little sidetracked and haven't been able to finish documenting our trip to Micronesia.  Part of the problem was that once I started looking at the pictures and reliving our time there, that's all I could think about.  I was kinda obsessed about going back...not that I'm not anymore...but I've got a better grip on reality this week.

We left Palau around 2am on February 14th.  We had to leave our hotel in Palau around midnight, so it was a short night of sleep.  While going through security in Palau my lipgloss, eyeliner and mascara were confiscated.  The lady didn't like the baggy I was using.  It was a sandwich bag, versus a zip-lock bag, so she took my stuff away.  Nevermind that I've been using that exact baggy for probably 3 years, but whatever.  I was SOOOOO  PO'd about that.  After roasting for hours in the airport, we finally get on the plane, which headed to Guam for a several hour layover.  Fortunately for me though, the Guam airport has some really awesome duty free shops, so I bought some new lipgloss and mascara...although I was still rather bitter about it.  So, finally, we are again on our way.  We were exhausted and crabby and just wanted to get there by this time. 

We finally arrived in Truk (fka Chuuk)!  Happy Valentines Day!!

Truk is a small state, part of the Federated States of Micronesia, which is an independent island nation.  There are only about 53,000 people that live on all the islands of this state, and it is very poor.  The infrastructure is especially bad.  The drive from the airport to the hotel was about 5 miles, but took probably a good 30 minutes or so.  In Truk people survive by subsistence living, basically fishing and eating their catch.  About 5,000 tourists do come to Truk a year though, mostly for diving.

During World War II Truk was occupied by the Japanese, and there are several sunken Japanese ships and fighter planes that offer incredible opportunities for diving.  Truk supposedly has some of the most spectacular wrecks to dive in the whole world. 

Truk Lagoon is specifically known for surviving "Operation Hailstone" in February 1944, which was a massive air strike by the US on the Japanese that were based in Truk.  The strike is considered to be similar to the extent of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  We were headed to Truk to dive some wrecks...lots of them.  From the airplane we could see the remants of wreckage in the clear blue waters, and even driving through town we could see what used to be massive cargo ships.   

While in Truk, we would be staying at the Blue Lagoon Dive Resort, and were diving with the Blue Lagoon Dive Shop, located on the resort.  Since I was still kind of crabby, and definately exhausted when we arrived, I choose to skip the first dive of this leg of the trip and take it easy.  I took a nap and worked on reading The Golden Compass, which Dan had gotten me for Christmas. Dan went diving and came back super excited about what he saw and I was rested and pumped to see it myself the next day.

A view of Truk Lagoon from the dock at sunset.

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