The world‘s finest diving

P1070777 optTropical islands, white sand beaches, clear water, the haunting WWII wreck of a luxury-liner-turned-troop-carrier. Add in grottoes, overhangs, canyons & caves.  An excellent mix.

Vanuatu eruption shutterstock 407848897b


SCUBA DIVING HIGHLIGHTS


Vanuatu Destination Page Vertical InsertOne of the world’s finest wreck dives in calm, warm waters with excellent visibility the SS PRESIDENT COOLIDGE … immense & magnificent former luxury liner, turned troop carrier in WWII.   MILLION DOLLAR POINT … featuring a graveyard of WWII trucks, cranes, bulldozers & more drift dives, grottoes, overhangs, canyons, caves, tunnels, swim throughs, bommies reef dives with soft and hard corals, staghorn corals, reef fish & some reef sharks.


A FIVE-STAR WRECK DIVE


Many divers think of Vanuatu diving as just the wreck of the SS President Coolidge, former luxury liner turned into a WWII troop carrier, which was sunk in Vanuatu by a “friendly” mine and which contains a wealth of memorabilia at an easily accessible depth.  

But, as you’ve just seen in our summary above, these islands have more to offer if you have time to stay for it.  The major resorts have good reputations and offer quality dive operations.


TYPICAL VOLCANIC ISLAND GEOLOGY


The islands themselves are paradisical tropical rainforests, with white sand beaches, hot springs, waterfalls and a refreshing lack of tourism.

As to the diving itself, while the wrecks are certainly the big draw, the corals are healthy, there’s some good fish life on the reefs and the caves, grottoes & tunnels add a bit of unusual excitement and there’s growing interest in fresh-water diving in “blue holes” … natural springs whose waters run through connected sinkholes and caverns.

But, the bottom line is that what draws divers here is absolutely the Coolidge, one of the finest wreck dives the world of diving has to offer.



DIVING THE PRESIDENT COOLIDGE

{slider Coolidge medical supplies 190SS President Coolidge
The ship is covered with both hard & soft corals. Before you enter the interior, you’ll be greeted by trigger fish, lion fish, nudibranchs & a resident green moray eel, all in glaring contrast to the cannons they adorn & inhabit.  Inside you’ll find gas masks, helmets, ammunition, rifles … all the accoutrements of a soldier’s life including personal items.  In the holds, you find major military equipment including trucks, jeeps, ambulances & cannons.  You can swim through the control room, see the turbines & shaft and visit the galley where you’ll get a feeling for food preparation on board. Pretty well everything that was used in daily ship life is there for you to ponder.    … read more …|dest|closed}

The doctor’s office and infirmary still have medicines and syringes while in the barber shop, you find the actual barber’s chair still there and the soda fountain has masses of coke bottles.

Perhaps most astonishing in this entire experience are the remnants of a luxury liner. In the midst of all of this military paraphernalia, there remains a beautiful mosaic fountain, a porcelain statue of a lady and a unicorn, a first-class dining room, lobby, library and swimming pool.

The contradictions will almost certainly leave you contemplating the complexities of war.

Adding fascination to the history is the recent expedition of American military divers who found the remains of Army Captain Elwood Joseph Euart, who, after escaping, returned to the ship to free soliders who were trapped in sick bay.  According to records, they all got free with his help but Captain Euart was unable to climb the rope to safety before the ship slipped further into the water, taking him down with it.  DNA results have confirmed that indeed the remains recovered in March of 2015 are those of the heroic army captain ….. and a plaque in his honor has been placed upon the shipe ….{/sliders}

 

globe th CopyThe Republic of Vanuatu, a volcanic archipelago lying in the South Pacific Ocean, east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, east of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands and west of Fiji.  There are approximately 83 islands, 65 of which are inhabited.  With several active volcanoes, the chain of islands is always at risk of earthquakes and eruptions.  Information about the history of these islands before European settlers arrived is virtually non-existent as the volcanic nature of the islands has likely obliterated archaeological evidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *