Sunday 8 th
We left Lamen Bay on Friday just as the sun was
setting for an overnight passage to Espiritu Santo. We passed the island of
Ambryn with its volcano glowing in the night sky.
We arrived early morning at Aore Resort in the Segond
Channel that is opposite Luganville, Espiritu Santo. There were no free mooring
buoys when we arrived. Miss Tippy were on a buoy and were leaving later that
afternoon, so we rafted alongside them and picked up their buoy when they left.
We were able to use the resort water taxi to take us
over to the main town; our dinghy would never have made
Some of the other rally boats were anchored in the
bay opposite and Hans (Natibou) organized a wreck dive for the following
On Sunday six of us dived on the USS President
Coolidge a luxury liner turned troop ship, which lies in 21-60 meters off the
shore.Friendly mines hit the Coolidge during the war as it entered the Segond
channel.The Coolidge is 200 meters long and 25 meters wide and was fully laden
with war supplies when it sank.
The dive site was a short drive out of Luganville. We
put on our scuba gear and walked off the beach through shallow water and
followed a line down, lying on its port side, we saw the bow first and the
three-inch turret mounted guns. We swam into cargo holds where trucks were piled
on top of each other and onto the promenade deck; the area is littered with gas
masks, helmet and rifles, I picked up a gun, heavy with coral.
Our second dive was inside the Coolidge, we went into
the chamber that held the medical stores first, then the chamber that held the
fuel pods for planes, these looked like huge
We only scratched the surface of the Coolidge; they
recommend 5-10 dives to do it justice. As our first wreck dive it was
Photo of the dive are to follow, Paul used Carols
camera unfortunately we won’t see Carol and Pete until Cairns or even Darwin.