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Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#31  Postby antigravity » Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:06 pm

I am proud to say that I finally dived the Awajisan Maru wreck this morning. Four of us (all local divers) took a speedboat out from a river near Pengkalan Chepa, and only travelled about 15 minutes down river before we reached the open sea. From the river mouth, it was only another 10 minutes to reach the waypoint of the wreck that was saved in our GPS. It was a bit tricky, since there was no buoyline in sight, to find the exact point of the wreck. So we did a few trial runs on the boat with the anchor hanging down the side to see if it would hit anything hard. After about 15 minutes of wandering in circles, the guy holding the anchor line thought we hit something, so we decided to descend at that point and try our luck. Visibility was about 5-7m. While descending at around 15m we saw a school of giant barracudas (the biggest I've seen in these waters). I got excited, as it was a sign that we're nearby. When we got to the bottom (20m) there was nothing but sand (more accurately mud). We decided to do a square pattern of 40 kick cycles in each direction starting from the anchor, and spent the better part of 2 dives doing this, covering as much ground as we possilbly could. Nothing. When we surfaced after the second dive, we saw a fishing boat about 50m away, and asked the fishermen if they knew the location of the wreck, and they said that they were right on top of it. Our third attempt was successful, and my feeling when I saw a huge pillar-like structure while descening was one filled with awe and sentiment as I finally saw what I have been dying to see for the last 2 years. I am a history buff, and there is no wreck in Malaysia (or even Asia) that possesses as much history as this sunken ship. It was after all, the very first ocean vessel to sink during WW2. As I got down to the bottom, there were schools of red snappers, parrotfish and a A LOT of blue-ring Anglefish. The ship is broken into 3 parts, and we spent all of our dive on just one, because there was just so much area to cover, and plus you couldn't really see anything beyond 6 metres which made it really hard to get a whole picture of the ship. But the section we covered had amazing white, yellow and red sea fans, hard coral, soft coral, a great deal of nudis, and loads of barracudas. No wonder everytime a buoyline is tied, it is cut off within days, because the local fishermen don't want to share this site with anyone. There were a lot of fishing nets stuck all over the wreck and it needs some cleanup, but with some effort, it will make a great divesite, if not for the variety of marine life, then for the history of this wreck alone. All I care about is the latter. I am offering to take anyone who is interested to dive this wreck. You don't need your own equipment, you can hire my shop equipment. It's all brand new too. We will be running trips until the end of November. Prices will start at RM90 per dive including equipment rental. Email me at antigravityds@gmail.com if you are interested.
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#32  Postby John F SeaDemon » Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:49 pm

Antigravity, that is good news. It is also good to know that you will be running trips to the wreck until end of November.  Will it also be possible to let us know how much it would cost if we were to bring our own equipment sans tanks, please?
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#33  Postby antigravity » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:44 pm

John F SeaDemon wrote:Antigravity, that is good news. It is also good to know that you will be running trips to the wreck until end of November.  Will it also be possible to let us know how much it would cost if we were to bring our own equipment sans tanks, please?


Hi SeaDemon, if you bring your own equiment, then it will only be RM80 per dive including tanks and weights, but there will need to be a minimum of 4 divers, as we will need to charter the boat for the whole day, since, lets face it, one dive will hardly be worth it. Let me know when you round up 4 guys/gals and just give me a date.
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#34  Postby MACHA » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:41 am

Dey antigravity....thanx for sharing your experience! Would like to dive there soon...will contact you for November!
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#35  Postby irukandji » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:41 pm

Interesting!! It's good to know we can now dive there! I'll keep watch of this thread!  B-)
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#36  Postby antigravity » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:02 pm

The local divers in Kota Bharu (me included) who have been regularly diving the Awazisan Maru over the past month in bad and worse viz (due to monsoon season) have decided to nickname it the "Japanese Invasion Wreck". We feel that it is a suitable description of the ship and is catchy, and does not clash with any other ship in the vacinity. Please note that the correct spelling (according to Mitsui OSK Lines, the ship's owner) is Awazisan Maru, not Awajisan Maru.
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#37  Postby Adzri » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:24 pm

Cool piece of infomation dude. Would like to do some diving there if there is opportunity.
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#38  Postby mocha » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:44 pm

Adzri wrote:Cool piece of infomation dude. Would like to do some diving there if there is opportunity.


nak ikuttt!!
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#39  Postby antigravity » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:31 pm

Adzri wrote:Cool piece of infomation dude. Would like to do some diving there if there is opportunity.


Hi Adzri, you are not by any chance a friend of Muski and Madeleine who went with them to Komodo are you? I've been meeting up with Madeleine in Kota Bharu and she mentioned you. If you are the same guy.
Well, the weather in Kota Bharu has been getting worse over the last week. Many predict floods will come. So conditions on the wreck aren't very good at the moment. Our dive company, Anti Gravity Dive Supply, will be offering trips to the public beginning March 2009. We are still diving it now even in bad weather to get better navigation information and basically to map the site and prepare ourselves to take out recreational divers next season. I will post more information on our progress and keep you guys updated on the future trips.
Last edited by antigravity on Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#40  Postby kurtzikler03 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:08 pm

Hie Antigravity, congrate Bro  :icon_salut:..glad to know about this wreck...hopefully u will update about this wreck and your dive trip planning....
this will be my nearest dive site to me...just a few km from my house  :wav:

i always go fishing along pantai sabak since i was kid, especially when "Gelama" season..huhu...and heard about this wreck from local people..also from my dad, coz he was there when Japanese army attacked Sabak...what the historical wreck..

will going home around this march/april..hope can dive with u all guys...vely2 excited... :blob9:
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Re: Awajisan Maru - 1st Japanese Ship to sink in WW2

Post Number:#41  Postby clairvoyant » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:49 pm

:) priceless encounter! Got photo Bro?
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