Apra Harbour in Guam, a US island territory in the north Pacific ocean, holds many shipwrecks in its depths – the most famous of which are neighbouring “twin wrecks” from the two world wars. German merchant ship SMS Cormoran sunk in 1917 lies alongside Japanese passenger-cargo ship Tokai Maru, destroyed in 1943. The sunken warships are only part of Apra Harbour’s intrigue. There’s even a sunken Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and an American tanker, flag and all, that has turned into an artificial reef.
I have been diving for close to 11 years around the world, from the Maldives to most of the east-Asian belt and the Andaman islands, and I have never seen an ocean as deep, scary and beautiful as the Pacific. During our dives, the visibility of the ocean even with the bad weather, was fantastic. From deep to shallow dives, the blue was stunning to dive in. However, due to overfishing, the sea life has deteriorated. One of the dive staff told me about the large numbers of sharks and rays in the Blue Hole, Guam’s signature natural feature dive, but I saw no fish. I got to a point where I was photographing abstract bubble patterns out of sheer frustration.
The coral life is stunning and if fishing is controlled for a few years, Guam will regain some of its marine life; people are fighting to protect the coast. Let’s hope for the best.