Bikini Atoll is one of the more isolated islands in Micronesia,
lying in the northern part of the Marshall Island archipelago. It
was here that the Americans detonated a number of atomic weapons
after the end of World War II, utilising redundant American and
captured Japanese warships to test their durability against nuclear
The 888ft aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, 562ft battleship USS Arkansas
and 708ft battleship HIJMS Nagato are the largest warships that
litter Bikini's sandy lagoon, but there are a host of other wrecks
including the submarines Pilotfish and Apogon, the destroyer Lamson,
and the Agano-class cruiser Sakawa.
The diving in Bikini is deep, but highly rewarding. Exceptional
visibility will often allow you to see from the bow of the Saratoga
all the way to her superstructure hundreds of feet along her deck!
In her hanger can be found 3 Helldiver dive bombers and an Avenger
torpedo bomber; her superstructure and the margins of her flight
deck bristle with 38-calibre and Bofors anti-aircraft guns. Lying
as she does perfectly upright in 180ft of water she is without a
doubt one of the most impressive ship wrecks in the world. By contrast
both Arkansas and Nagato, being battleships and therefore, by design,
"top heavy", lie inverted, their superstructure smashed
into the lagoon floor by their weight. However, their imposing bulk
make them exceptional dives!
For the aficionado of World War II military paraphernalia, the
destroyer Lamson boasts deck mounted torpedo tubes, K-class depth
charge racks, 5-inch main guns and 50-calibre machine guns. The
submarine Pilotfish is completely intact except for a small section
of the conning tower that was destroyed during Baker Blast; she
lies upright in 150ft of water, and while the aft escape trunk is
the only section that can be penetrated, she is believed to be flooded.
Bikini Atoll is adventure diving at its most unsullied - the rewards
to be gained from the long and arduous journey to this tiny speck
in the Pacific Ocean make it one of the most memorable dive destinations
on the planet.
New for 2011!
At last, a liveaboard for Bikini Atoll that also provides Trimix and sorb! Click the Windward link above for more information!