Bikini Trip report
This has been a long time in the making so to finally get a trip together for the Ultimate in Wreck diving destinations was just the best feeling!!!
I had a previous trip to Truk with another great group of Divers (see my Truk Trip report) so I ended up getting onto the plane in Truk headed for Kwajelain. I was also joined by Chris McCafferty and Simon McNalley. Chris and Simon came a few days earlier and did some diving in Truk to "get acclimatized" before Bikini. So great stuff guys. You are now part of a very short list of divers world wide that have ever dived Truk AND Bikini in one trip!!!!
Checked in and met up with everyone on the trip in the departures lounge in Truk who had come from Guam. Except for one!!! We get into Kwajelain at round 6:45pm, was marched into a room, toed the red line, waited 50 odd minutes and cleared customs. We picked up our bags and was escorted to the ferry under guard, where we had to go through (again) x-rays and security. We then boarded a landing craft ferry and made our way to Ebeye Island. This is where we boarded the MV Winward.
In all the commotion I ended up losing a bag (the main medic bag) which didn't end up getting unloaded from the plane. So we spent the night in a bay just off Ebeye. The next day we collected Todd from the Airport who came from Honolulu (last member of the team) and thankfully my lost bag came too. (Phew!!!)
We did our check out dive on the German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen. What a wreck to do our initial dive on. It was perfect. The bow sat in 35m of water and the props sat nicely out of the water! Being captured by the Americans the Eugen was placed right in the blast radius of both Atomic Bombs dropped in Bikini. Both blasts didn't sink the 212m long, 18 thousand ton Admiral Hipper-Class Heavy Cruiser and was towed back to Kwaj for testing. Later scuttled.
As it happened one of Todds bags also got lost in transition. This posed a bit of a challenge as he had his Mk15 rebreather mouthpiece along with other kit and video lights. Remarkably after a whip around Pavel came to the rescue and Todd soon had a workable mouthpiece.
Late that afternoon we steamed for Bikini. All kit stowed, stropped, and secured. After a full night and whole day we arrived in Bikini Lagoon in time for a spectacular sun set. We moored for the night ready for diving the next day.
Andrew Fock (Focky) was our trips hyperbaric physician, armed with a fully operational emergency medical kit (and scissors!) we were ready for anything! It was so important to have our own Hyperbaric physician as we were way past the middle of nowhere! Good job we didn't need to use the chamber but being prepared is what its all about!!
MV Winward - Home for 2 weeks!
Some of the many amazing sunsets we experienced in Bikini
The guys at Indies Trader has done an amazing job with getting everything set up for divers on the Winward.
O2 Gen plant x 2
The 48" chamber was pressurised down to 30m ready just incase of a diving emergency.