The Tateyama Maru is a 340 ft. long merchant freighter. It lies on it's starboard side, 140 ft. deep.
One of the forward cargo holds held large water tanks, the other had thousands of empty beer bottles piled deep against the starboard bulkhead.
I'm not sure exactly what kind of small gun this is on the Tateyama Maru's bow. This was the only gun on the Tateyama, but a cargo hold near the stern was full to the top with artillery shells, some of which have spilled out alongside the ship.
Human bones found in the engine room indicate that at least one Japanese sailor went down with the Tateyama Maru. I never could find the skull or any of the other bones that belong with these, but they may have been there somewhere in the deep "wreck muck" of the engine room.
One of my dive buddies holding a bone from the engine room.
My first shipwreck dive was on the Tateyama Maru. I went 130 ft. down, into the superstructure, through the corridors and hatches, and into a different world. There's an intense feeling that comes to me on these wrecks that is like no other experience. I'm still not sure why it should be so, but I was meant to go to those ghost ships, to these ghost ships.
Text and Photos © 1999 by Bob Hampton All Rights Reserved