DiverWire.com globe-trotting underwater reporter Jen Tempchin just filed this report from her travels in Vanuatu. Underwater mail delivery – an interesting concept to say the least!
How do you Mail a Postcard in the Ocean? Lucky for us underwater postcard enthusiasts, it’s pretty easy to do if you are visiting tiny Hideaway Island off the big island of Efate, Vanuatu.
First, get on a plane and fly to the capital of Vanuatu, Port Villa. Relax, Vanuatu is just a hop and a skip away from Sydney and Auckland. Now that you are at the airport, find the smiling Hideaway Island greeter that will take you to the island. It’s about 10 minutes by bus to the ferry landing and then another 2 minutes for the ferry to cruise you over to the island.
Ahh, take off your shoes and dig your feet into the sand! That’s an order. Now buy your waterproof postcard at the gift shop and write a brilliant note to your favorite friends and family. Of course you must use a pencil or sharpie marker so that your message survives under the ocean.
Now the hardest decision you make on this South Pacific adventure is to decide if you want to dive or snorkel to the world’s only underwater post office. So do you want to snorkel 20 meters offshore and free dive down 2 meters to deposit your mail? Or will you dive 2 minutes under the ocean to shake the underwater postman’s hand and deposit your waterproof postcards in the Vanuatu Post Box? Decisions!
Okay, time to decide and get wet, so don your gear, grab your buddy and off you go into the ocean with your postcards in hand. Loads of butterfly fish await to escort you over to the post box. The swim is short and stunning with so many fish swarming around, not to mention the large blue starfish scattered along he ocean floor. Now is the time to drop your postcards in the box, wave hello and shake hands with the underwater scuba diving postman.
Keep breathing and I guarantee that this will be the most fun you ever have mailing a postcard! Promise.
Dive operations manager Woody, shares more than 1000 postcards are deposited by snorkelers and divers every month. The diving postmen bring up the postcards two times a day, then they are dried off, and put in the postal bag to be transported by ferry and bus to the main Port Villa post office for delivery to your loved ones.
“We are an ecologically sensitive dive operation, replacing the fiberglass post office very 6 months to refurbish and clean the unit. While one is being refreshed the alternate post office is installed. We also have a strong focus on monitoring and controlling the Crown of Thorns starfish population through a systematic removal program which also creates even more jobs for our local community!! Hideaway really does focus on the environment, the community and the economy! . ” — Woody
Hideaway Island is a gem amidst the islands of Vanuatu. Guests travel from all over the world travel to this island for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, relaxing and mailing underwater postcards. You can be a “day tripper” or an overnight guest in the beach bungalows to bask in the sun, swim in the ocean and to eat and drink tasty island delights. The super friendly staff makes sure you enjoy your adventure to Hideaway Island.
To mail your postcard in the ocean, be in touch with www.hideaway.com.vu.
Jen Tempchin is an international traveler with a special passion for the underwater world. She’s written several stories for DiverWire.com – Watch for more in the near future.