| Majuro & Arno Atolls
Reef sites of Majuro & Arno Atolls
Wreck sites of Majuro & Arno Atolls
Majuro is a bustling city of some 25,000 inhabitants. Strung
along the pencil-thin islands that sit atop the atoll's reef,
it is serviced by just one main road that runs for 35 miles
from Laura Island beyond the airport to the end of Djarrit
Island. The main city of Majuro is no picture postcard place,
but looking across the lagoon you can see the enticing palm
covered islands and sandy white beaches that are synonymous
with the Marshall Islands. There are two main hotels in Majuro,
but we prefer the Marshall Islands Outrigger Resort. Each
room has a lagoon view, balcony or veranda, en suite bathroom
and air-conditioning. Satellite TV and IDD telephone allow
you to keep in touch with the real world. The resort has a
saltwater swimming pool, bar, restaurant and gift shop, and
can arrange a variety of tours around the islands. There are
a variety of additional restaurants and watering holes to
chose from in Majuro.
The Outrigger also has its own in house dive operation, Bako
Divers, owned by the larger than life (and ZZ-Top wannabe
look alike!) Jerry Ross. Bako - Marshallese for shark - have
a custom designed dive boat that caters for small groups of
approximately 6 divers (access to other dive boats is available
for larger groups), and they generally offer 2 or 3 dives
per day, with a picnic lunch taken on the boat or a neighbouring
island to your dive area.
Diving in Majuro Atoll is superb, offering anything from
drift dives through Kalalin Pass to ship and plane wrecks
from WWII to towering boomies rising from the lagoon floor.
Arno Atoll, only 15 miles to the east of Majuro offers equally
fabulous diving, but a visit here is very much weather dependent.
- CORAL PINNACLES
10-120 ft. depth. Majuro Lagoon is full of coral pinnacles
that rise from the sandy lagoon bottom to just below its
surface. These hard coral gardens are amazing, colorful,
and teeming with life. Like huge condominium complexes,
these self-sustaining ecosystems are home to most every
type of animal in the sea. Nearly 800 species of fish populate
these areas along with crabs, lobster, anemone, urchin,
sponges, clams, eels and sea stars. Dogtooth tuna and white-tip
sharks are occasionally spotted, cruising the lagoon, from
these dive sites. The pinnacles are always crowd pleasers,
offering comfortable exploration at your own pace for the
novice to advanced diver.
- KALALEN PASS
30-130+ ft. depth. "The Pass", as it is called
locally, is a fantastic location for drift dives. Steep
coral walls and great visibility are the name of the game
here. See hundreds of species of fish and coral while drifting
through a school of Jacks or watch a green sea turtle, eagle
ray, or gray reef shark glide on the current in search for
food. The pass offers thrilling sights for everyone! It
is common to see three of four species of shark on a single
dive, including the majestic Silvertip shark that has been
sighted at lengths exceeding 8 ft. at this location.
- KALALEN ISLAND
15-85 ft. depth. Kalalen, adjacent to the ocean pass allowing
shipping travel in and out of Majuro lagoon, is home to
a fantastic coral reef that benefits from the bounty of
rich tidal flow. Located in the lagoon, this beautiful reef
is full of colorful fish and corals. Both hard and soft
corals thrive here on the constantly exchanged water of
the Pacific Ocean. Everything from angelfish to the Titanic
triggerfish can be seen here, as well as octopi, eels, butterfly
fish, sharks, and much more.
- SECOND ISLAND
5 - 120 ft. depth. A beautiful coral reef adjacent to the
second island East of Kalalen pass. A large resident school
of Bream and sleeping whitetip sharks punctuate this site.
Hard corals and tropicals thrive as Grass eels, striped
shrimp gobys and their resident shrimp litter the sandy
bottom surrounding the coral head as it spills down the
- FOURTH ISLAND
10 -100 ft. depth. Another prime reef inside Majuro Lagoon,
this site offers incredible hard coral formations teeming
with life. Schools of Kiribati Red Snapper swirl across
the reef wall, while tens of thousands of tropical reef
fish wait to be seen. Extremely calm conditions at this
sitemake it a favorite for relaxing second dives and new
divers. Three species of anemone and anemone fish, numbering
in the hundreds, can bee seen here, including the Marshallese
Three Striped Clownfish.
- BOKOLAP ISLAND
12 - 120 ft. depth. This phenomenal site boasts the most
incredible coral heads, 4 different species of anemone,
three species of clownfish, Harlequin shrimp, 3 species
of lionfish, nudibranch, and thousands upon thousands of
fish. As if that weren't enough, there is also a WWII U.S.
torpedo plane in 115 ft. as well. And, it's all part of
the same dive tour!
- ANEKO ISLAND
12 - 90 ft. depth. Another incredible exploration dive,
Aneko has hundreds and hundreds of shallow and deep water
coral heads ranging in size from a refrigerator to a train-car.
All manner of anemone, tropical fish, cleaner shrimp and
much more are here. We often find turtles resting atop the
coral heads as we "connect the dots" from one
coral head to the next. Also, there is a very large coral
garden in deeper water that sprawls over an area a couple
hundred yards square. Two different dives, same location.
- THE BRIDGE
20 - 130+ ft. depth. Just 10minutes from the our dock lies
one of the most incredible steep coral wall dives. Hard
plate corals are stacked one atop another from the reef-top
transition to well beyond recreational dive limits. Mixed
in the plates are a myriad of black corals, Tridacna clams,
and spiraling table corals that will take your breath away.
Of course, the fish are thick in all directions. Multi-color
angels are prolific below 90 ft. as are Decorated and Helfrecht's
dartfish. Whitetip sharks cruise here with extreme regularity.
Silvertip sharks are also encountered quite often. Schools
of red snapper swirl at depth looking for a meal while Napoleon
wrasse feed in the shallows. The Bridge is an incredible
dive that many call their favorite.
- NORTH SHORE
30-130+ ft. depth. This area of outer reef on the ocean
side of Kalalin Island is a pristine gradual slope populated
by thousands of table corals, anemone, and tens of thousands
of tropical reef fish. Schools of fusiliers rain down from
the surface as you glide toward the transition from slope
to near vertical wall. Sharks, rays, dogtooth tuna, and
turtles are also seen here regularly.
30-130+ ft. depth. A newly developed dive site, this area
of Majuro's northern ocean-side reef is accessible in mild
weather conditions only. However, its "beyond world
class" offerings are second to none. Mild currents
move you down this nearly two-mile stretch of pristine reef
populated by hundreds of thousands of reef fish and corals.
Visibility here is commonly beyond 140 ft., which makes
for unsurpassed color on sea-life at all depths. Imagine
gliding along with a school of 100 red snapper, all over
20 lbs., at 95 ft. and being able to clearly see sleeping
sharks on the sandy bottom, some 70 feet below, well beyond
the limits of recreational diving! It's incredible. All
manner of sharks and rays, including Mantas and Spotted
Eagle rays have been encountered here, along with the tens
of thousands of reef fish you can see on ONE dive!
- THE AQUARIUM
60-130+ ft. depth. Located in the middle of the outer reef
wall of Kalalin Channel, this natural "horse shoe"
shaped feature creates an area where tidal flow is compressed,
concentrating the flow of rich, open ocean sea water as
it enters Majuro Lagoon. During incoming tides this area
is THICK with thousands of Horse Eye Jacks, Black &
White and Red snapper, Barracuda, and all manner of reef
fish numbering in the MANY tens of thousands. The sandy
ocean floor at the base of this site is commonly littered
with sleeping reef sharks and Sting-rays while Gray reef,
White-tip, and Black-tip reef sharks swirl in and out of
the feeding schools of pelagics. Schools of Rainbow Runner,
Napoleon Wrasse, and huge schools of fusiliers are very
common here as well. This site can provide the "dive
of a lifetime" to many a diver.
- MILE 14
20-130+ ft. depth. This site is one of Majuro's most famous
shore dives, undertaken by local divers who brave the breakers
to reach this excellent, subtle point on mild to wild drift
dives characterized by schooling barracuda, thousands of
tropical reef fish, and huge Gorgonian Sea Fans that dot
the steep to complete vertical walls. A favorite for deep
dives, this location has yielded schools of Dogtooth Tuna
and Gray Reef sharks riding the currents in wait of prey.
When the conditions are just right, this dive is nearly
impossible to beat and a huge crowd pleaser at all other
- MILE 15
20 - 130+ ft. depth. Just down the reef from Mile 14 lies
another fantastic wall dive. Adjacent to cluster of rental
units, Mile 15 became a favorite for shore divers. The rental
property has a barbeque area with concrete stairs leading
down onto the reef top, making shore entry quite easy. A
steep drop-off leads to a wall littered with healthy corals
and tropicals. Pelagics cruise by regularly and the reef-top
is a virtual garden of table corals.
- MILE 17
20 - 130+ ft. depth. Two miles west of Mile 15 lies the
beautiful Mile 17 dive site. Lazy currents and stunning
corals are the name of the game here. As always, tropical
fish thrive within the complex structures of hard coral.
Mile 17 is always a satisfying dive.
- SHARK STREET
30-130+ ft. depth. Accessible only in mild weather conditions,
this deep point of reef on Majuro's NE outer reef is home
to a school of Horse Eye Jacks, Napoleon Wrasse, Black Coral
forests, and thousands of tropical reef fish. Manta and
Eagle Rays are spotted regularly each season, as are many
White-tip reef sharks. On occasion, numbers exceeding 25
or more sharks can be seen during a single dive.
- ARNO ATOLL
30-130+ ft. depth. Just 9.5 miles across open water from
Majuro lies another entire atoll which is half again as
large as Majuro. However, the total population is fewer
than 3,000 people! That translates into the most pristine
diving conditions on the planet. Visibility averages over
100 feet and the sea life is unreal. Everything mentioned
about the outer reef sites on Majuro is increased here,
including the size of the fish and their representative
numbers in the water. Arno has over 175 miles of outer reef,
much of which is still unexplored by scuba divers.
New dive sites are being developed all the time and expeditions
to locations that have never been dived before are taken
each summer. For example, the awesome Silvertip reef sharks
seen on Majuro, which reach lengths of over 8 ft., have
been encountered at lengths up to and exceeding ten feet
at sites on Arno. That equates to a shark over 300 lbs.!
This increase in size and frequency make Arno the Mecca
for divers that want to "experience" diving
at its finest. In fact, Rodale's Scuba Diving called Illian
Point, on Arno Atoll, one of the Top Ten Dives in Micronesia,
along with Blue Corner in Palau! Sea turtles, sighted
in excess of 250 lbs., and large schools of pelagic fish
are the complement to the tens of thousands of fish that
can be seen on every dive on Arno's outer reef. It is
simply amazing. Dive sites at Arno Atoll include Arno
Point, Dynamite Pass, Nami, North Point, Langor, South
Point, Ene (e-nay) Point, Dodo Pass, and numerous miles
of incredible wall dives that remain un-named. Dives at
Arno Atoll are weather permitting, due to the fact that
the trip to Arno is across open water which can become
rough during periods of high wind.
- THE KABILOK
80 ft. depth. This sunken freighter once sailed between
the outer islands and Majuro, hauling copra (dried coconut
meat) and supplies. She lies on her side on a sandy bottom
in Majuro Lagoon. A favorite for night dives, the Kabilok
offers safe, interesting penetration into the open cargo
hold and is home to colorful sponges, whip coral, and tropical
fish of many species. On night dives, beautiful batfish
and puffers take refuge in and around the wreck. This site
is another favorite for photos.
- EJIT ISLAND/THE PARKING LOT
10-120 ft. depth. This area of Majuro Lagoon is the location
of a U.S. military dumpsite. A small coral pinnacle marks
the spot where Jeeps, Trucks, a Navy Tug boat, and an LCU
(landing craft) were abandoned and sunk at the end of WWII.
The relics, now artificial reefs, are home to colorful sponges,
corals, and tropical fish of many species. This area is
a favorite for photography and exploration.
- GRUMMAN DUCK
9 5 ft. depth. 3.5 miles down the lagoon from BAKO DIVERS'
dock is the resting place of a very rare WWII bird, the
bi-winged Grumman "Duck". Sitting inverted on
the bottom, this "float" plane appears to have
crashed on approach to Majuro's WWII carrier re-supply airfield,
which was adjacent to this site. Used primarily for search
& rescue and reconnaissance, there are said to be fewer
than 10 surviving Ducks left in the world. This aircraft
is also home to hundreds of fish, sponges, and corals. The
"Duck" is in excellent condition and steeped in
the history of this area of operation during WWII.
- F6F HELLCAT
115 ft. depth. Just 500 meters from our dock at the OUTRIGGER
Marshall Islands Resort, this WWII fighter plane sits on
a sandy bottom where it came to rest after being pushed
overboard from one of the five aircraft carriers that were
on Majuro Lagoon in late 1944. The Grumman F6F Hellcat was
the U.S. Navy's primary fighter brought into service to
battle against the Japanese ZERO. This very robust craft
took a hit in the starboard wing before returning to its
carrier, having its engine and guns removed, and finally
cast into the lagoon with it's wings in pre-flight storage
position, folded back against the fuselage. The control
stick, rudder pedals, and throttles are still intact. Hundreds
of tropical fish, sponges, oysters, and corals have since
made their homes there.
- BOKOLAP ISLAND - GRUMMAN AVENGER
120 ft. depth. Downed by anti aircraft fire, this Avenger
crash-landed on the ocean-side of Bokolap Island, washed
over the reef, and sunk inside the lagoon where it rests
today. The tail section lies up the rubble slope and is
home to a family of three striped Marshallese clown-fish.
The plane lies in 115 FSW with the starboard wing covered
by falling coral rubble.
60 - 135 ft. depth. Majuro's latest treasure was discovered
in January 2003, after sinking nearly ten years ago. This
150' x 35' refrigerator ship was a former copra hauling
ship taking supplies and passengers to outer islands, hauling
copra (dried coconut) back to Majuro for processing. A resident
school of Spade fish, some 200, augment the ship's resident
school of Giant sweetlips, documented in the Marshall Islands
for the first time! In addition, huge Coral-trout and grouper
make their homes here as well. Development of this site
- B-24 LIBERATOR
12 ft. depth. This classic American bomber was damaged during
a bombing run from Kiribati prior to the U.S. occupation
of the Marshall Islands. The pilots brought her down on
the reef top at low tide. The pilots were captured but the
plane remained and was scuttled by the Japanese soldiers
who were stationed here at the time. Although the fuselage
has broken apart and been buried in the surrounding sand,
more than 2/3 of the wing structure is still intact with
all four engines and props. The belly machinegun turret
is now the host of corals and fish. This site is a more
appropriate snorkel location and not suitable for scuba
diving, but still very interesting.
60 - 92 ft. depth. Just 5 minutes from our dock lies this
120' x 25' freighter sunk in the late 80's. She lies on
her port side on a mild slope in 80-92 FSW. The engine room
is accessible and very open penetrations are made through
the wheelhouse and the hold. R/R is an incredible artificial
reef host to thousands of fish.
35 - 80 ft. depth. Just 200 yards from Ratak-Ralik lies
the Evangeline. Approximately 85' x 20' she lies upright.
Blue water penetration of the wheelhouse leads to the exposed
hatch into the engine room below. Again, this site is an
excellent artificial reef and a very rewarding dive.
- ANEMONIT ISLAND - DC3
7 - 70ft.depth. This obsolete cargo-plane fuselage was placed
near shore at Anemonit Island, a frequently used beach park,
as there is little natural reef in the immediate area for
snorkelers. It has since become a very interesting artificial
reef, covered in corals and fish. Blue water penetrations
are easily and safely made through the open aft section
where the plane was dismantled. The tail section lies down
the sandy slope in some 70 FSW, again serving as an artificial
reef. The area is dotted with other natural coral heads
teeming with life. The DC-3 is a favorite of novice wreck
and reef divers.