Whether about water temperature or hire gear, here are some of the questions we get asked most frequently. Should you have any more, please contact us and we'll do our best to answer them.
What sort of wetsuits will we need?
We dive in 3 mm steamers all year round. If you feel the cold, we recommend a vest under the steamer.
What type of equipment do you hire out?
Mares Regulators and BCDs, 3 mm steamer wetsuit, mask & fins. Our Regs and BCD's are replaced on a regular basis. We also have Nitrox available upon request for decompression.
What sort of tanks do your guests dive with?
We use Aluminium 90 cu ft tanks with K and DIN valves. If you wish to dive with twin tanks, they must be set up independently and divers must bring their own bands and BCD's.
Do you provide hire gear?
Yes, we have the full range of hire gear and all our rental equipment is replaced at regular intervals.
How many dives do your clients usually do on the Coolidge and other sites?
As there is so much to see on the Coolidge, divers do anything from a couple of dives to packages of ten or more - on the Coolidge alone. Million dollar point is a very popular dive site.
How many people does one guide lead during the dives?
Numbers vary with group sizes. Average group sizes are 2 - 4 divers. Exclusive guides can be booked.
How many dives can we do a day?
Due to the depths of the dives on the Coolidge, we recommend no more than two dives per day.
What safety/decompression stops do you use?
Stops are conservative; your dive guide will inform you what stops are required for your particular dive.
Why are shore dives preferable to boat dives for the Coolidge?
We have made shore dives here so easy - more convenient in fact, than boat dives. From your pick-up, it is a 10 minute drive down to the dive site. There, in a purpose-built area, you can kit up without getting sand all over your equipment. From there, it is a short walk out for the dive. The water is normally flat and calm, but for those times when there is a swell coming in, we've built a breakwall which will shelter you as you walk out. The wall has a metal railing to hold onto and space to put cameras etc. as you put your fins on.
What is the water temperature?
Varies with the season, between 26 and 32 degrees C.
What's the deepest dive and what do you see there?
There is a code of practice adhered to by all Santo dive operators which states that the maximum depth of any dive will be 60 meters (198 feet).
What's a typical day's diving?
In the morning, around 8 am, we pick up divers and take them to the kit up area, adjacent the President Coolidge. All the tanks will be in place at the dive site. Larger groups will be split into smaller groups with an experienced dive guide giving a thorough briefing which includes safety procedures. After the morning dive, everyone is invited back to Allan's for tea and coffee and some buns (cakes). Here you can talk about the dives or ask questions. Allan's house is like a small museum - he's collected artifacts as well as books and old photos of the Coolidge. Divers are then dropped off at their accommodation. We pick them up for the afternoon dives around 2.00 - 2.15 and drop them off after the dive. Night dives commence at 6.00, with pick ups from 5.30.
What visibility can we expect?
Anything from 10 -30 meters (33 -100 feet). Visibility inside the wreck is usually excellent.
How many times has Allan dived the Coolidge?
He has completed over 15,000 dives on the Coolidge. He has taken over 20,000 divers to the Lady alone. He also hast a vast knowledge of the Coolidge.
Do you offer courses?
Yes, we have PADI Instructors who can train from Open Water to Advanced, Rescue Diver right through to Divemaster and Specialty Courses. We often mix in training and pleasure dives.
Where can we change money in Santo?
In Santo, there are ANZ and Westpac banks with ATM's in town.
Where is the nearest Hyperbaric Chamber?
Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu.
How do we get to Vanuatu?
There are now direct flights from Brisbane/Santo and Santo/Brisbane once a week. Sydney has a flight to Santo once a week with a 45 minute stop in Port Vila while they refuel and no change of Aircraft and the same going back to Sydney. There are regular flights from Auckland, New Zealand to Port Vila where you can get a connecting flight to Santo without having to stay over night in Vila. Check the links below for more details.
Pacific Blue (Virgin) and Air Vanuatu.
My partner doesn't dive - are there lots of things for him/her to do while I'm diving?
There's plenty to do. They could always come along with us and snorkel above the coral garden or we could teach them how to dive or try a Discover Scuba Dive. Alternatively they could visit:
- Fanafo custom village
- Visit to Golden Beach - picnic and swimming
- WWII History tour - visit historic sites
- Pekoa Bay Beach - swim and relax
- Riri Riri River - canoeing and visit to blue hole
- Vil Vil Custom Village - culture and tradition of Ni-Vanuatu people
- Millennium Cave - trekking adventure not for the faint-hearted
What sort of climate does Vanuatu have?
The climate ranges from oceanic tropical to sub-tropical in south; November to April hot and wet, with occasional hurricanes; temperature range 26 to 33 degrees Celsius; and, average rainfall ranges from 225 centimetres in south to 387.5 centimetres in north.
What languages do the locals (Ni-Vanuatu) speak?
Bislama (a type of pigeon english), French and English.