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Scuba Diving in Coron, Palawan, the Philippines
Dive Site: Olympia Maru
Location: Coron, Palawan, Philippines (11°59'N; 120°02'E)
Description: 5,617 ton freighter
Length: 112 metres (367 feet)
Depth: 12 - 25 metres (39 - 82 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 15 metres (15 - 50 feet)
We had appauling vis when we dived this wreck, which was unfortunate as it is a lovely site and covered in marine life. The size of the ship means that you can get a good coverage of most of the wreck in one dive. One possible plan is to start off by heading through the prop shaft and into the engine room. There are huge boilers here and lots of ways in and out with plenty of light streaming through. Look out for crocodilefish hiding away as you pass through and the kaolin bricks (clearly marked - see photo!). The bridge is a very pretty area and there are lots of glassfish inhabiting it. At the bow we saw razorfish hanging vertically against the coral. You can now either head back down the side (deck) of the Olympia to do some more penetration or simply swim across the top (the hull). The hull is covered in large hard corals and there are plenty of small fish to keep you occupied.
Olympia Maru is a WW2 Japanese shipwreck. It would take at least 2 dives to penetrate all the cargo rooms. It's a great dive site with the ship still intact and it's rich with marine life.
Jel, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
Thought originally to be a Greek-built freighter, Olympia Maru had the worse viz of any of the wrecks we dived but it was still never less than 10 metres. She is 112 metres long and lies on her starboard side in 25 metres. The hull on the port side is in barely 12 metres so she can be a shallow second dive or the obvious choice if you've just completed a week of deeper dives and want to take it easy fizz-wise. The exposed hulls of all the wrecks are covered in extensive coral growth, both soft and hard, and make a gentle amble a very pleasant experience indeed.
Penetration is again very easy on this wreck but no less exciting for all that. We could clearly see the prop tunnel as we swam from hold to hold through hatches and gaps in the plating.
Martin Frankcom, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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