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We picnicked on neighbouring Turtle Island and also visited the magical
Blue Holes -- a series of interconnected spring-fed swimming holes reached by
canoe through mangrove channels.
There are plenty of diving opportunities, with Espiritu Santo the most
popular diving island on the archipelago with its calm waters, well-protected
sites and visibility up to 40m.
This includes the famous Million Dollar Point, where the US army dumped
millions of dollars of equipment into the shallows, but I think as each year
passes there is less and less to see.
However, the nearby wreck of the SS President Coolidge is the dive of a
lifetime. The 22,000-tonne luxury liner, converted to a troop carrier, was
beached in October 1942 after hitting a mine (the location of Espiritu Santo's
minefields had been accidentally left off the ship's sailing orders).
The wreck dive is easily accessible from the beach and takes in cargo holds,
cannons, guns and endless ammunition still lying free on the decks.
Note that the dives are progressive, so your first dive will be reasonably
shallow but a number of divers spend a week exploring the depths of the
wreck and none seem to have come away disappointed.
A short flight further south is Tanna Island, home to one of the world's most
accessible active volcanos, Yasur, and according to our hosts, our pilot and
everyone else that had seen it, one of the most amazing things they had ever seen.
In any other country, it would be fenced off and made inaccessible but
"We tend to have pretty high
standards when it
comes to the beach and
coastal life, but this is as
good as it gets."
PICNIC SPOT: Turtle Island.
NATURAL LUXURY: Villa terrace (this picture) and (opposite) the villa master bedroom.
CRYSTAL CLEAR: The island's waters are superb.
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