Frequently Asked Question

About the Diving

Am I qualified to dive on the Coolidge?

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As long as you have an Open Water dive certification, you can dive the Coolidge. Dives on the wreck range from 20 metres to 60 metres so you can start at shallower depths and as you become more comfortable with the diving, go on to deeper dives. Aquamarine also offers a full range of dive courses if you are interested in earning additional certifications such as advanced diving, deep diving, or wreck diving.

How many dives do I need to do in order to explore the President Coolidge?

The President Coolidge is over 200 meters long and mostly intact, making it possible to do over 20 unique dives on the wreck. If you are keen to explore the wreck, you will want to do at least 10 to 15 dives but you can certainly get a feel for the wreck on just a couple of dives.

What’s the deepest dive on the wreck?

All Santo operators adhere to the Vanuatu Code of Practice which states that the maximum depth of any dive will be 60 meters (198 feet). If you dive to the stern, you will dive to 60 meters to see the rudder, the prop shaft and the stern of the ship.

What other dives sites can I dive other than the President Coolidge?

In addition to the over 20 unique dives that you can do on the Coolidge, we dive Million Dollar Point, a site where the Americans dumped heaps of equipment after the war. We also have several beautiful reef sites.

What is the ratio of divers to dive guides on a typical dive?

In order to give our guests the best and safest possible experience on the wreck, groups are usually between 2 to 4 people. On dives that involve little to no penetration of the wreck, a group may have as many as 6 divers.

Does Aquamarine do night dives?

Absolutely! We have a fantastic night dive on the Coolidge where you will be amazed at the hordes of flashlight fish. We also have a reef just outside our dive shop for easy, relaxing evening dives.

Does Aquamarine do boat or shore dives?

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We run both boat and shore dives to the Coolidge and Million Dollar Point. All of our reef dives are boat dives. All of our dive sites can be reached within 20 minutes from departing from the dive shop.

What kind of wetsuit should I bring?

Most divers prefer a 3mm full wetsuit to keep warm during the necessary safety and decompression stops, as well as to protect the skin from contact with the wreck. Divers planning to do dives with long decompression may prefer a 5mm.

Can I dive with twins?

Yes, we are happy to assist you in diving with twin tanks. Please e-mail us with your interest to dive twins so that we can coordinate gear requirements with you.

About Aquamarine

Is Aquamarine open every day?

Yes, we dive every day and our retail shop, selling dive equipment, t-shirts and locally made handicrafts is also open every day.

Can I hire dive equipment?

Yes, Aquamarine has dive equipment available for rent. We have a wide selection of wetsuits, Aqualung BCDs and regulators (both DIN and yoke), fins, masks and torches.

Is Nitrox and/or Trimix available?

Yes, we offer both Nitrox and Trimix.

Can I hire an underwater camera?

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Most photographers prefer to use their own equipment so Aquamarine does not rent underwater cameras. Underwater photographers can bring their own digital cameras and Aquamarine can produce a CD of your images so that you don’t need to bring your laptop along on your trip.

Does Aquamarine have download capability for my underwater digital camera?

Yes, assuming that your camera doesn’t require unique software, we do have the ability to download images from your digital camera and save them to CD for you.

Can I hire a private guide for technical or underwater photography diving?

Yes, if you are a technical diver or a serious underwater photographer, you may arrange for your own private guiding on the President Coolidge.

What dive courses does Aquamarine offer?

Aquamarine has several instructors on staff who can train from open water to advanced and technical courses. Many divers have completed their advanced and wreck specialties with us and every year several groups come to Santo to complete tec courses on the President Coolidge.

Does Aquamarine offer technical dive courses?

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Aquamarine is a TDI Training Facility offering a full range of technical courses. Given the size and depth of the President Coolidge, along with her location in warm calm waters, Santo is an ideal place to complete your technical training. Our course offerings include Advanced Nitrox, Extended Range, Decompression Procedures and Trimix. For more information on our technical courses, please visit our courses page.

Can I pay in foreign currency?

Yes, Aquamarine accepts all currencies for cash payments. We also accept Visa and MasterCard.

General

How do I get to Santo?

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To get to Santo, you’ll first have to arrange a flight to the nation’s capital of Port Vila. From there, you will need to arrange a flight with VanAir to Santo. Flying time is under an hour. For further assistance on arranging travel to Santo, please contact one of our booking agents.

Where should I stay?

There are a host of resorts in Santo catering to all levels of interest and budget. Please visit the accommodation page on our web site or contact us for assistance. We can recommend the best accommodation to meet your needs.

How do I get from my accommodation to Aquamarine for my dives?

We will pick you up and drop you back at your accommodation before and after each dive.

Where is the nearest hyperbaric chamber?

The nearest hyperbaric chamber is in Port Vila which can be reached in less than an hour by plane.

What’s the best time of year to come?

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Thanks to our tropical location, we have great diving all year round! The water is warm and still in the hot season (November to March) with water temperatures ranging from 28–30°C (82–86°F) and average air temperatures ranging from 27–29°C (81–84°F) in the day and 21–23°C (70–74°F) in the evening. In the cool season (April to October), water temperatures dip to 26–28°C (79–83°F) and cool breezes and light clouds keep the sun at bay. Average air temperatures range from 24–27°C (75–81°F) during the day and a very comfortable 18–23°C (66–74°F) at night. The “coolest” month is August.

What is the average water temperature?

With our tropical location, the water is always warm. Temperatures range from 25°C (78°F) in the winter (June to August) to 30°C (86°F) in the summer (December to February). The water temperature varies little with depth so even at 60 metres (200 feet), you won’t find temperatures below 25–26°C.

What can my non-diving partner do?

There are plenty of activities and tours for the non-diver visiting Santo. There is some fantastic snorkeling at the site of the President Coolidge and at Million Dollar Point so your partner could join the group on some days and just stay above the water. There are also some relaxing beach sites as well as several half-day and full-day tours from relaxing canoe trips to rugged cave exploring. For more information on tours, visit our Santo page.