Dive Site: Kyokuzan Maru Palawan

Kirk checks ok at kyokuzan maru diving busuanga palawan philippines banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Wreck
Depth: Top: 12MMedian: 22MBottom: 32M
Location: The Kyokuzan Maru wreck lies in the bay between Cabilaun Island and Busuanga Island about 30 minutes from the El Rio Y Mar Resort.

Description

For wreck diving lovers, the Kyokuzan Maru wreck is largely intact with a deck at 22m. Inside the wreck is a car and pottery with the ship’s insignia. The funnels have fallen to starboard and make interesting swim throughs.

The wreck sits upright in about 45 m of water, but the top of the T mast is at 12m so it’s easy to make a steady descent from 12m down to the deck at about 22 meters. There is also U mast between the T mast and the stern which starts at a depth of 15 m.

The shell at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

In the time of the single dive we were only able to explore the rear half of the ship from the stern to the wheelhouse.

Spirals go clockwise at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

Like many wrecks of this age it has become almost a natural reef; a tasselled scorpionfish lounge on the handrails,

Tasseled scorpionfish at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

and pufferfish hide in the corals on the decks.

Pufferfish amongst the corals at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

There are various fixtures of interest such as the gun mount on the stern (the gun, of course, is no longer there), and the cargo holds are wide open allowing easy penetration from the top into one and out of the other.

Juvenile golden spadefish at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

There are various places where you can penetrate the wreck reasonably safely. One of these areas houses the remains of a car, identifiable mainly by the whitewall tyres which appear impervious to seawater.

White-wall tyres of the car at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

There is another area which was once a canteen, and the floor is strewn with the remains of crockery with the ship’s insignia on it.

Crockery strewn floor at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

The funnel has fallen to starboard and lies almost horizontally providing an enticing swim through.

Inside the funnel at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

Simon in the funnel at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

It’s also possible to stand within the wheelhouse, though it’s quite difficult now to imagine how it once may have looked.

Simon on the bridge at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit

Though there are few artefacts, at 140m long, the Kyokuzan is an excellent dive, and well worth doing at least twice.

Deb and shell at Kyokuzan Maru diving Busuanga Palawan in the Philippines by Diveplanit