President Coolidge, Santo – July 2015

Divers: Gary, Denise, Youri, (nasty) Ben, Tim, Andrew, Grace, Jason, Geoff, Anna, Spike, Janine, Nick, (nice) Ben, Pete, Debbie, Leo, Vikki & Mark

Our meeting point was Melbourne Airport, we had a very early flight, this was some thing we would become familiar with by the end of the trip. Some of us were coming to Santo for the first time and others had made the journey before, but everyone was here for the same thing – to dive the world famous President Coolidge. Botter’s Global had sent along a film crew to film diving with the Dugongs. Our dive host was Rehan the owner of Aquamarine and along with his dive team Tula, Rex, Simon, Dave & John our 9 days of diving was to be a most enjoyable experience. We were made to feel at home and very relaxed right from the start & the dive guides at Aquamarine really know their stuff when it comes to diving the Coolidge. The Hotel Espiritu is our home for the time we are here and they catered for our every need. The newly renovated hotel is amongst the best in Santo. There is nothing like a dive trip to hone your skills, 18 dives in 9 days really gives you a chance to work on those little things in the water that all add up to make a good diver. I think we have all come away better for the experience. Spike was presented with his Mr Potato Head Award, Leo has challenged for the next Mash Off  & there are rumours that he might have Janine in his corner!! Of all the highlights (that I can mention) and there were many on this trip, Saturday nights with Desmond the local singer really stands out, we provided a drummer, a guitarist, backup singers and backup dancers & at times even a lead singer. But the one special experience that almost the entire group were to experience was diving with the Dugongs!! Unfortunately for Botter’s Global the lens in their equipment never seemed to be quite right to capture the moment or to even to be able to see the creature through the lens. Santo is an island of limited resources & one needs to be able to adapt when is such harsh conditions, such was the case with the ‘Great Thong Swindle’ but not to be deterred Gary was able to push through and carry on regardless. Such was the case with the ‘Great Boot Swindle’ & also the the ‘Great Fin Swindle’. Once again the trip must come to an end, new friendships have been formed & old ones reinforced. Vikki & I would like to thank everyone on the trip, it’s the people that make the trip fun and such a success not the destination.

As sad as we are to be leaving Santo, talk around the airport lounge soon turns to our next dive adventure………where will it be??????



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