The SS President Coolidge

The SS President Coolidge was a 200 meter (650 foot) luxury cruise ship that was converted to a troop carrier for World War II.  It had 5,000 troops on board as it entered the harbor at Espiritu Santo and struck friendly mines.  Fortunately and miraculously all but 2 got off the ship thanks to the skipper and crew.  The troops abandoned there gear on deck as the escaped from the ship and this equipment still litters the promenade deck.

Take a virtual tour of the Coolidge and learn why it is the World's Best Dive Wreck.

Dive 1 - Introduction

Dive 2 - Captain's Bathroom

Dive 3 - Promenade Deck

Million Dollar Point

Million Dollar Point is a huge underwater graveyard of equipment abandoned by the Americans as they departed Santo.  They constructed a ramp into the sea at the Southeastern point of Espiritu Santo and drove every vehicle that would roll into the water.  Though seemingly wasteful at the time it has now become a major dive attraction.

There are 2 stories widely told to explain this bizarre disposal.  The more fun explanation is that the Americans in charge of dismantling the huge base at the end of the war offered to sell the surplus equipment to the local French plantation owners at pennies on the dollar.  The French plantation owners recognized that the Americans had no intention of taking the equipment away and they figured that, without a buyer, the Americans would just abandoned the equipment.  In frustration or spite, the Americans drove the equipment in the water to deny the locals their free booty.

Aore Island Dives

A favorite dive on Aore is the Douglas Dauntless bomber wreck.  Lying in 24 meters it is a good afternoon dive for the nitrogen loaded.  the dive also includes nice coral and a considerable amount of other WWII stuff like ammunition and spare parts.

The point of Aore is known as Cindy's Reef.  The reef offers a huge collection of different corals and fish.  it is also a a fairly shallow dive.

Bokissa Eco Island Resort features numerous dives around the resort and on neighboring islands.


Navigation Problems?  Click here for site index

Santo Today sponsored by Rotary Club of Santo;

Contact Santo Today with your questions or comments