In Vanuatu, there is an underwater post office! Incredible ... Thank you, Didier!
In Vanuatu, there is an underwater post office! Incredible ... Thank you, Didier!

A postcard mailed under the sea in Vanuatu

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Surprise of the day: I received a postcard from Vanuatu. A waterproof card, sent from a post office... underwater!

A postcard from far away: Vanuatu!

Where is Vanuatu?"You got a postcard," says a colleague who's joining us for lunch. A card that comes from far away..." He saw that the mail had arrived in the locker of our service, at the newspaper's headquarters Ouest-France, reindeer.

I discover the postcard coming back from lunch. Someone put it on my desk.

It is Didier, a reader of Bubbles Underwater & Beyondwho sent it to me This passionate diver-traveler, had the pleasure of discovering Vanuatu, in July. We met IRL (in real life) in January 2013, at the diving lounge. I don't believe it! First of all, I'm very touched by this friendly attention, it's really sweet of him...

And, above all, this postcard is not ordinary. Not only because it comes from the other side of the world, in the middle of Oceania, but also because it was posted... under the sea! I love !!!! 😃

In Vanuatu, there is an underwater post office! Incredible ... Thank you, Didier!
In Vanuatu, there's an undersea post office! Unbelievable... Thank you, Didier !

This waterproof postcard is made of a special material, which looks like paper but has the strength of plastic. Kitsch as you wish, with a "nice" photomontage, it represents the one and only underwater post office in the world.

Unbelievable!!! 😮

The only underwater post office in the world

The Vanuatu Underwater Post Office, with his postman-diver.
The Vanuatu Underwater Post Office, with his postman-diver.

This is a real post office, all there is official.

It is located at a depth of 3 metres, about 50 metres from the shore of the island of Vanuatu, which is called "Hideaway", Didier tells me in the little note he writes on the back of the map. What a beautiful name!

The post office even has its own official website:
Underwater Post Office - Vanuatu Post

To learn more about this unique post office in the world, accessible by scuba diving or snorkeling, I invite you to read this article published in 2011 on the site of :
Submarine mailman in Vanuatu, how's that sound?

No, really, receiving a card posted underwater from Vanuatu is not trivial... And if one day I'm going to dive there, I don't think I'll be able to resist the pleasure of posting one myself. A thousand thanks for this traveling and underwater wink, Didier !!!


Update : but the most incredible thing in the story is what I just learned, right after posting this post, while chatting with Didier on Facebook. I copy and paste his message below:

"Glad you like it, Corinne! ???? In fact, this idea came to me naturally, especially since it was original to say the least... But the craziest thing in all this is that I'm surprised it reached you ! Indeed, while diving, I lost it ! So that means that someone found it, and put it in the box in my place ! Unbelievable and therefore doubly happy !! 😉 "

Crazy, right? When you think of how much stuff is lost underwater and never found... It's even stronger than the bottle in the sea!

Finally, I also put below a video of the submarine post office, found on YouTube (but turn off the sound, the music hurts your ears):

  Between Two Journeys

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  1. @Corinne: mission accomplished then!! This map is a "collector" because of the road full of pitfalls it has travelled, since it was lost in the deep blue during my dive, and found by a happy and anonymous hand!! I'm happy!! 🙄

    1. Yes, yes, prepaid card... Ah yes! Of course, I didn't forget to send myself one! 😆

  2. That's right, Vanuatu (kantri blong mifala ... no joke with the Vanuatu elected Happiest country in the world in 2006) has the chic to offer improbable post offices, there is another on the banks of the Yasur, a nice volcano, active 24/365, that can be climbed almost backward so his ascent is easy.

    So obviously, the postcard is inevitable: back to the office, it is the class of the return to have sent a map of a volcano or an underwater post, to his favorite colleagues.

    Well apart from those funny things, it still pissed me off when I went back in 2009 to see that Port-Vila must be the only capital city in the world to have no cinema or bookstore left... while in my time, we spent our childhood life watching 3 StarWars shows in a row .... ahh (sigh) 🙄

    A book to send to you, urgently, Corinne: "Everisamting yu wanem save blong toktok bislama be yu fraet long askem", language method Bichelamar in comics. Collector.

    And for Didier who had the chance to visit Vanuatu, I hope you didn't miss to eat a tuluk at the market in VIla. It's the best snack IN THE WORLD... 😮 si! si! I swear!

    1. @curious traveller: who knows? One day maybe the tickets will be waterproof too ! But in any case, if I had lost one in the water, no doubt I would never have found it, to the delight of its new owner ! 😆

    2. Ludovic : it's true that this box also exists in Yasur, but obviously, the difference is that you can't dive in the crater ! 😉 And I found it very funny, even if it's for tourists (not many of them anyway !).)Yasur is very accessible, and it's so much the better for those who are not very physical : but, it's a very different matter, to go on the volcano Garet sur GAUA (5 h of walk + 1 h of pirogue + 2/3 hours of ascent, on the way ! Ditto on Ambrym, for Le Marum and Benbow (4 h + 2 h on the way) and all this in difficult conditions ! 😛 For Vila, everything evolves, slowly but surely ! It is currently building a huge shopping mall (Chinese!) with cinema, restaurant, shops, etc...(2014/2015). But the budget still doesn't exist to redo the broken roads (it was planned for the independance day of the 30/7/2013)... 😳 Finally, from a food point of view, of course, I'm a local style (Laplap, tarot, kava !!) I was going to eat regularly at the market of Santo, but not of Vila, because I was staying at the inhabitant's house, and stayed there only one night just before my return to France. I note for the comic that I didn't see there : you know where we can find it ? 🙂

  3. This hardly credible story could be the prelude to a short story written by a modern day siren ... Why not?

  4. @Corinne: but yes, of course, Vanuatu - how could you not put it on your travel list. On the other hand, diving, except on the Coolidge, it's clearly not on the level of Fiji or even New Cal (even if it hurts me to say that about the country where I grew up... 🙁 ). The biggest accessible wreck in the world (The Coolidge), the most accessible volcano in the world (Yasur), the most beautiful beach in the world (Champagne beach), the best snack in the world (Tuluk made by the women of Mélé at the Vila market). Vanuatu is definitely the "plus" country. 😆

    @Didier: I had all the trouble in the world to get the copy of the method of bislama illustrated in comics, I had found two copies at the supermarket Namba2 in Vila (100m from my old house actually) I have not seen it elsewhere. Especially since there are no bookstores in Vila or Santo.
    So you missed the Vila tuluk! 😡 So you MUST go back!!!!

    1. Well... too bad about the comic book, but thanks for the answer !!! 🙁
      Going back? Ah! But me, if I could, I'd still be wandering halfway around the world! 🙄
      As for diving in Vanuatu, a subject of great interest to Corinne, I'm not sure it would be the ideal destination for our diver! It's not one of the most famous spots! Because of lack of time, I only did 2 dives, one on the wreck of the "USS Coolidge" and the other on "One million dollars point" : I didn't think it was great ! It's true that the conditions were awful : rain, wind, swell, very bad visibility... In short, not a good memory for me. Moreover, I find the diving club very "limited" : equipment in bad condition, almost no briefing, weird stops, and don't trust computers ! Never seen before ! I had chosen Santo Island Diving, because it's the only one who has a boat ! And yes, with Allan Power for example, (another club) it's swimming to get there ! A little commando training course ! That's less of a point of view. I still have excellent memories of Vanuatu for everything else! 🙄

  5. @Didier : mouais, Santo Island diving, not sure if it's the best choice, it's the new kids this explaining maybe that, the fact to have a boat is not at all important, knowing that it's a dive from the shore! 😆
    Allan Power is the discoverer of this wreck, he himself totals 15,000 dives on it and his senior guides a minimum of 5,000 each, unlike SID, they have a "laid out base" in front of the Coolidge and an artificial reef that allows do the steps with blocks of safety. Doing a dive with Alfred or Garry is a real pleasure and a fun party, nothing to do with a supposed training commando, on the contrary, I also plunged Coolidge at Allan Power with a photo editor Lonely Planet which was really in roots mode discovery (and by comparison, it is usually a former bifinal mid-alcoholic mi-mytho who advises the SID in Santo on the French forums, likely that you had some information a little ... hmmh ... biased on the part of the character).
    Also, it's unfortunate that you only did one dive on the Coolidge, Allan Power propose a 3 days program to get used to the depth and to make you visit the more and more interesting places, with the "discovery" deck dive, you can't really realize the complexity of the places, there are quite strange atmospheres, like an Alien spaceship, and I'm not even talking about the night dive with the phosphorescent fish. 😯
    Otherwise Aquamarine are the specialists of Tek and they have a very good experience of Coolidge in trimix or rebreather.

    That Vanuatu is not always consistent at the level of diving is what I said above, however the Coolidge is very clearly a must even for those who like me do not like wrecks and there is when same matter to make more coral dives on the side of PortVila in Moso, Lelepa or on the Tongoa wall.
    Knowing that Corinne doesn't stop at the diving aspect strictly speaking, I think she would find no problem to balance her time underwater with land aspects far above the average of the other Pacific islands, either culturally or naturalistically. 😉

    1. @Ludovic / Wet & Sea: Yep, I'm going to balance my time on land and underwater in the Pacific Islands... But for that, I would need a lot of time at my disposal... Sigh... 😕

  6. Ludo : My choice to go to S.I.D. wasn't only related to the boat: they're the only ones who do wreck dives and reef dives (and there, however, you need a boat!) 😉 . And I absolutely wanted to do both! Unfortunately, a very busy schedule of visits and weather conditions decided otherwise! 😡 ; As for the gugus you're talking about, it's a certain "Laurent", isn't it? But to me, old man, I'm not made for it! I very quickly understood who I was dealing with before I even left ! Confirmed on the spot by local contacts. So, no, no influence from him in my choice ! As for Aquamarine, he's no longer really popular....
    No regrets not to have done more on the Coolidge, the rest largely met my expectations! 🙄

  7. Too good to see that, I sent exactly the same postcard too from Hideaway Island in Vanuatu, and I also sent it from Mount Yasur to Tanna. Moreover, I want to add that all around the post office underwater, it is also the most beautiful corner of snorkelling of Vanuatu (well almost the only one). And the comments of Didier and Ludovic are very interesting. Indeed, Corinne, the Pacific will surely please you a lot, and it is necessary to devote several months to it. I had the chance to sail sailing from Fiji to Australia. And it's in Fiji, that I spent my PADI open water, in the Yasawas, superb. And a few weeks later, I was diving on the Coolidge and indeed, I think that Allan Power is very competent and that to do several dives is really worth, I did 4 over 2 days and went to see "The Lady" at 42 m and the swimming pool at 55 m, an incredible experience.

    1. @Emilyz: Arf, thank you for all these details ... You make me dream with your suggestions for the Pacific. It will be necessary for me to release time, a next day, to take advantage of it as it is necessary ...