SS President Coolidge

 

The SS President Coolidge was a 654ft (200 metre) 22,000 ton luxury liner converted to a military transport vessel at the beginning of WW2 making several successful voyages in 1942

In October of that year she departed San Francisco for New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo with over 5300 troops, crew and equipment

On the morning of Monday 26 October 1942 after misunderstandings in regard to sailing instructions she struck two mines deployed at the entrance to Luganville Harbour

Hopelessly disabled her captain ordered the vessel to be run aground and all personnel to immediately abandon ship, with the intention of salvaging their equipment later. However after a short while she was claimed by the waters of the Segond Channel sliding backwards from the shore and rolling on her port side

The Coolidge remains in her final resting place to this day, only metres from the shore with the bow at 20 metres and the stern at 65 metres, she’s the largest, most accessible wreck dive in the world

Divers can explore, with local guides, through many of her compartments to see the amazing array of equipment left behind

Million Dollar Point

 

Espiritu Santo was occupied by the Americans during WWII to launch their attacks on the Japanese in the Pacific

On their departure from the island they left behind infrastructure such as roads and runways, and even buildings, with army built Quonset huts still standing around Luganville.

However, the biggest legacy is Million Dollar Point, both historically fascinating and a diver’s paradise with equipment, corals and fish

Named for its worth at the time, there are a multitude of bulldozers, cranes, fork lifts and trucks piled upon one another in this unique dive site

The two ship wrecks of the Dedele and El Retiro are also still identifiable

The depth ranges from 3 metres to 39 metres and it’s a dive not to be missed

Tutuba Point

 

This exciting dive site is located on the northern tip of Tutuba Island with depths ranging from 8 to 24 metres

Drop into the water from the boat and enjoy a vista of canyons and coral , caves and swim throughs and unbelievable visibility makes this dive a “must do” with the possibility of sighting reef sharks, lobsters, turtles and an abundance of fish life need to be seen to be believed

Cindy’s Reef

 

Located at the end of Aore Island with depth ranges from 5 to 30 metres and surrounded by a steep drop off into 100 metres, this reef has large areas of hard corals scattered amongst bombie heads and is home to thousands of fish providing fantastic opportunity for photographers

MacDonald Douglas Plane

 

A Dauntless dive bomber rests in 26 metres of water and is now broken into 3 main pieces

There are also many other artifacts from WWII scattered on the nearby reef including Bofor shells and 50mm machine gun rounds

it is very close to shore and even though visibility can be poor from time to time, it makes for a different, very sheltered dive

There is a large resident moray that can usually been seen on most dives

Depth from 22 metres to 28 metres

Fan Garden

 

Large gorgonian fans and surrounding corals with colourful fish life again makes this dive a photographers delight

Situated off the end of Aore Island at a depth of 30 metres this is a great dive in a lovely sheltered location