This was our first dive this trip on the Fujikawa Maru, many people’s favourite wreck, and it’s certainly one of my favourites. She was built in 1938 as a passenger / cargo carrier, and was originally used to carry raw silk and cotton between South America and India. The navy took her over in 1940 and she was converted to carry aircraft and aircraft parts. She was also fitted with 6 inch bow and stern guns. The guns were actually old guns that had been taken off decomissioned cruisers from the Russo-Japanese war. The front one has a plate showing that it was manufactured in 1899.
Shortly before the Hailstone attack she had arrived in Truk and offloaded 30 B5N2 “Jill” bombers to Eten airfield. These were subsequently destroyed on the ground. The Fujikawa Maru herself was sunk by a torpedo that hit her amidships, and she now lies in 35 metres.
We dropped inthrough a skylight and did a tour of the engine room, including the workshop which was full of tools and machines, including a workbench with a vice on it. We went down to the lower levels before heading out into hold number 3, which contained oil drums. From there we headed into number 2 hold which had aeroplane parts, including 4 fuselages and a lot of propellers. Number 1 hold had a tripod of rifles propped together along with gas masks, small arms ammunition, more propellers, several aeroplane nose cones, and an outboard motor. From there we headed up to the bow gun, and the bow telegraph.
We saw a turtle, 3 different species of nudibranch, small barracuda, tuna and the inevitable blue fin trevally. A very good dive.
- Displacement: 6,938 tons
- Length: 435 feet
- Beam: 58.5 feet
- Engine: 1 diesel engine
- Depth: 10-35 m.
- Depth: 29.7 m.
- Time: 64 minutes
- Gas: Nitrox 32
Graphic courtesy of Captain Lance Higgs of S.S. Thorfinn.
Photos courtesy of Catheryn Chu