THIS IS A REPORT OF THE SEA SNOOPER’S TRIP
TO BIKINI (Marshall Islands) IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR. The trip was 7000 miles
one-way with few stops along the way.
Once at Bikini the diving was two dives a day.
The diving was well done at the staff level.
Being a wreck diver for years the ship tours
were complete & well done.
The facilities at the island of Bikini were very
good. Rooms were clean with air-conditioning.
The food was very good, with extras you would
not think to find on a far island. The boat was
setup right for technical diving with a lots
of room. This is the play ground designed for the wreck
diver. The staff is super in their handling of
their portion of the tour through and around these ships. The allure for
divers is that the ships are relatively intact, and are full of artifacts.
Now the diving:
Saratoga ? U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. A steel~hulled
vessel with a waterline length of 830 feet and a flight deck of 888 feet.
“ Helldiver" Navy single?engine dive bombers were in the deck hanger and
500 lb bombs were lined up next to the planes. Now up to the wheel house.
Laying on the floor is a rangefinder and the wheel with compress housing
setting next to it. The combat covers were in place, over the port holes
which make these one great sight. Once outside the
wheel house you can see the antiaircraft guns
and 5" gun turrets looming ahead and behind the wheel house. Off to the
side was a howitzer laying on the flight deck.
USS Lamson-Descending down on the destroyer was
like entering a time capsule. The ship was exposed at about 60 ft laying
upright with the superstructure melted to the 5"gun line. Once on
the wreck the wonders of a fully armed ship was
seen. The ship’s depth charges were laying about. Also seen were torpedo’s
in their tubes that looked like they were on the way to distance
ship. A lifeboat was setting in the ways.
The overall rating of this trip was, in my opinion
very good. The tour was compete with all areas that you would want to see.
This diving was very good and more than I can describe in this short space.
For most people the experience will be a once in a life time one. There
are no greater feelings.