Espiritu Santo

The Capital of Adventure

and a diver’s mecca

Espiritu Santo, the largest of Vanuatu’s islands,  with a population of about 40,000. It has the country’s four highest peaks, white sandy beaches, amazing blue holes, caves and renowned snorkelling. It was also a huge military base during World War II. Louganville has a very wide main street as a result of the American base Commander insisting that four trucks could be driven along the street.

Million Dollar Point

We went snorkelling at Million Dollar Point where the Americans dumped their tanks and equipment before vacating the island after World War II as they had insufficient space on the ships returning to the US to take all the troops and equipment. Additionally, it was thought that if all the equipment returned to the US it would severely affect the US economy as no-one would want to buy new trucks, bulldozers or jeeps. It was also reported that the vehichle/equipment manufacturers had clauses in the contracts which forbid the return of equipment (to protect the post-war market). The military tried to sell the material to the Franco-British colonials but hey refused to buy, thinking that the US would leave it all to them anyway. However, the US dumped it all in retaliation when they refused to buy. The US Army lined up all the surplus equipment on the shore, with engines running. Hand throttles were slammed on and bricks placed on accelerators then the equipment put on the ramp to plunge 40 metre into deep water. The locals thought the Americans had gone mad! The site gained its name from the value of the equipment at that time. There is an amazing quantity of wreckage on shore and underwater: jeeps, six-wheel drive trucks, bulldozers, semi-trailers, fork lifts, tractors, sheets of corrugated iron, and loads of bottles of Coca-Cola. Despite salvage efforts the dumping ground remains visually astounding.
SOUTH SEAS CRUISE - Espiritu Santo