USS Tucker, Espiritu Santo Vanuatu is known equally for its wrecks – big and small – and its easily dived colourful reefs.
The USS Tucker was a World War 2 destroyer that struck a US mine and sank near the west point of Aore Island, off Espiritu Santo. At 104-metres long, both the stern and bow are clearly recognisable as the wreck is standing upright on the flat bottom.
There are lots of places where you can shine a torch into the nooks and crannies, the beam lighting up a myriad of very surprised and colourful fish – momentarily held captive by the light. Diving the USS Tucker, it’s possible to envisage, that fateful moment, the explosion and violent aftermath that transitioned quickly to a silent, watery world. Visibility: 20m Depth: 24m Ability level:
Stay: No longer recognisable as a 124-metre ship, it’s more like a reef built on a metal, rather than rocky, substrate.
Fun to explore, every section has its own special marine inhabitants: sweetlips and batfish hover motionless in every sheltered spot, potato cod have their own cleaning station, bump head parrotfish roam the surrounding sands, and even two turtles have taken up residence. You can dive it four times in one day – and still want to go back and explore more. Visibility: 20m Depth: 5–20m Ability level: Open Water,