Comments (21) (Japan) For pictures and more information on the Southern Ryuku Islands check out http://diving.marine.mepage.jp/index_e.htm#Ogan (Japan) Tokai Maru
This Japanese feighter was sunk in Apra Harbour on August 27th 1943. She had already been attacked by one US submarine seven months earlier and was resting up when the fatal attack was launched by another submarine.
She is large, at over 135m and lies in 35m of water, listing heavily to port. A tordedo blew a hole in the number 3 port cargo hold and it was this damage that almost certainly sunk her. The holds still contain some interesting relics including beds and truck frames. The engine room is enormous and the two engines and catwalks are intact. The deck house at the stern still contains some depth charges - do not attempt to touch these!
One amazing feature of this site is that the Tokai Maru rests next to the SMS Cormoran, a German merchant raider that was scuttled in 1917. The two ships actually touch and this is the only place in the world where two vessels, from different conflicts, do so.
The Cormoran is 90m in length and lies in 35m of water. The best way to approach her is to follow the midsection of the Tokai Maru until you see the vessel at 22m. The hull is intact and the engine room easily accessable through skylights.
TOKAI MARU & CORMORAN-This is definitely a one-of-a-kind dive site...there is a WW I German ship (the Cormoran) and a WW II Japanese ship (the Tokai Maru, of course) which are actually in contact with each other. I've read that this is the only place in the world where this is the case. This site is especially popular with visiting military divers. In most cases, it is done from a boat, but I've done it from the beach, when I have divers who REALLY want to see it, and don't mind the 20-minute plus surface swim to & from the wreck! A brief bit of history (don't worry, there's no test!)...the Cormoran was "scuttled," that is, sunk by its own captain, after US forces took over Guam during WW I and told the captain "gimme your boat," or words to that effect. The Japanese ship was actually sunk during battle, and damage from the bombing can be seen on the ship. While the harbor bottom here is around 100'/30m, the top deck of the Tokai Maru is about 50'/14m, while the Cormoran is a bit deeper...60'/18m. Both ships are resting on their sides. While shipwrecks don't have the abundant fish life of the reefs, you'll usually see schools of
Fusillears, and sometimes big Puffer or Porcupine Fish, and this Batfish, ready to have my finger for lunch! As with all shipwrecks, don't try to penetrate the dark interior (outside passageways & rooms are ok) without proper training. The inside of ships often have decades of fine silt built up, and a stray kick will reduce visibility to almost nothing...making it difficult to find your way back out. Email me & I'll tell you a story of why this is a bad idea!
The only wreck in the world where you can touch a WWI wreck and WWII Wreck!