If you're keen or curious about diving into the deep and exploring a tropical wonderland on your next visit to Santo, meet Dave Cross. He’s lived on Vanuatu’s Espiritu Santo island for 16 years and is an all-round expert when it comes to Vanuatu and diving.
What do you think attracts people to Vanuatu?
We have perfect (most of the time) tropical weather with warm water and air temperatures, wonderful people and a great culture – Vanuatu was voted the happiest place in the world twice by the Economics Foundation and Friends of the Earth in their annual Happy Planet Index! Our major source of business is Australia and New Zealand, which are only two and a half to three hours away. We speak English (one of the original colonial powers was the UK), and most of the major tourism investors are Australian.
We hear a lot about the President Coolidge dive site – can you tell us more about it?
President Coolidge is a 200-metre shipwreck accessible from shore with depth ranges of 18 to 60 metres is unique in the world – the artifacts that still remain range from Springfield rifles to huge trucks and army medical supplies – it’s amazing.
What kind of snorkelling does Vanuatu have?
Over the yers, the dive operators have built coral gardens for decoration and safety stops in the shallower waters.
There is also another World War II site, Million Dollar Point, with snorkeling over dumped World War II equipment such as trucks, bulldozers and forklifts, ranging in depth from two to 30 metres.
And what about diving experiences in Vanuatu?
P&O Cruises engage the services of Allan Power Dive Tours – an operator that been diving the wreck for 30 years or more. Allan himself is known as Mr. President!
What do people usually say after exploring Vanuatu’s waters?
Most people are blown away by the Coolidge experience – we have many divers who come back time after time to explore the ship.