Vanuatu – S.S. President Coolidge & more, Island of Santo

After the days on Tanna Island we continued to the North of Vanuatu, taking a flight via Port Villa to the island of Santo. Mainly because of the S.S. President Coolidge, one of the biggest ship wrecks that can be dived in the world. The Coolidge was a former luxury liner that served as a troopship during WWII and sunk in October 1942 after hitting two own mines at the shores of Santo. After hitting the mines the captain beached the ship, so that 5.340 men could leave it safely before it sunk and slid down the channel were it now rests in approximately 70 meters.

One of the famous places every diver wants to see at the Coolidge is “The Lady”. All dives are really deep at this wreck, so “The Lady” is just one of them, however this was for me my first deco dive. They say you will never forget your first deco dive and so you will never forget “The Lady”. Really in good shape, after more than 70 years in the ocean on 43 meters.


Haven’t got too many good pictures from inside the Coolidge as I was busy with diving on these deep dives, but at least some are worth showing, I believe. 🙂 So much of history at this dive site…


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Or to use the words of another famous guy… 😉

“I am absolutely enraptured by the atmosphere of a wreck. A dead ship is the house of a tremendous amount of life – fish and plants. The mixture of life and death is mysterious, even religious. There is the same sense of peace and mood that you feel on entering a cathedral.” (Jacques Cousteau)

And what is easier during a boring deco stop then making new friends?! 🙂 I just love these guys, looking so busy all the time.

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Another nice dive spot was the Million Dollar Point; here the US troops have dumped all equipment they were not shipping back after WWII into the ocean. Some of the trucks look like that they just would need some oil and grease so that they could be used again. Totally crazy, but amazing to see how nature uses this artificial reef and gains back ground more than 70 years after the war. Somehow relaxing diving here after a deep dive in the morning, 30 meters appear already shallow. 😉


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Above the surface I have to admit we have not seen too much, just hanging around, snorkelling and relaxing a bit, but we did a nice kayak tour to the blue whole. The landscape changed quickly and we were suddenly alone in the rainforest by our kayak. Nice… 🙂


The blue whole was beautiful and the snorkelling was very refreshing in the cool water. We even had some fish there, but we have no idea what kind and unfortunately we have not even got good pictures of it.


Slowly we need to head back to reality now, two more weeks to go, but now first flying back to Sydney. 🙁