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SS Coolidge Dive Briefs

SS Coolidge | SS Coolidge Dive Briefs | SS Coolidge Dive History

Below is an outline of the great dives we conduct on the SS Coolidge.

DIVE NAME:  Orientation Dive (Promenade Deck remains)
RATING:  Non-decompression
LEVEL:  Novice
MAX DEPTH: 35 metres
DESCRIPTION: Normally your first dive on the Coolidge.  A light penetration dive where you follow the rope down to the bow, pass the anchor winch and one of the huge 3" guns stacked with live ammunition.  You then cross over the starboard side promenade deck remains to your maximum dept of 35m.  You then sweep over the side of the ship, past a cooking pot with US1940 engraved on the lid.  Then swim over the keel where you get to fully appreciate how big this wreck really is.  Air and time permitting, you then drop into one of the salvage cuts into the number 2 hold and back up to the bow.  A great orientation dive.

DIVE NAME:  Cargo Holds 1 & 2
RATING:  Non-decompression
LEVEL:  Novice
MAX DEPTH: 35 metres
DESCRIPTION: You enter into cargo hold number 2 first which is a open penetration dive.  The first thing you come across is the barrel of Long Tom cannon, a 155mm Howitzer.  To your right is the crew's barber's chair and doctors office.  Continue swimming towards the back on number 2 hold over the tracks of an armored troop carrier.  Now to your right, you will see four 155mm Howitzers wedged in the deck, including wheel carriages.  At the back on the number 2 hold are the GMC trucks.  From the number 2 hold, you make you way up one of the decks into hold number 1 where you see a number of Willys Jeeps.  Exit from hold number 1 back to the bow.  A good first penetration dive with plenty of room to move around.

DIVE NAME:  20mm Cannons
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Novice to Intermediate
MAX DEPTH: 45 - 50 metres
DESCRIPTION: You drop down to the lower 3" gun and below cargo holds 1 & 2 where you can rummage amongst packs of rifles, fire extinguishers, fans and other military supplies.  You swim over the 9-ton anchor, around the crow's nest, until you come to two sets of 20mm cannons (anti-aircraft).  This dive has an option of a light penetration or remaining outside the wreck.  A great dive for getting used to diving at depth and as a first decompression dive.
 
DIVE NAME:  Medical Supplies
RATING:  Non-decompression
LEVEL:  Novice to Intermediate
MAX DEPTH: 30 - 35 metres
DESCRIPTION: A dive of many stashes of medical supplies as most of them has air pockets and would simply float away.  Weave your way through decks B, C and D to see medicines, catgut, bottled tablets, insulin kits, coloured powders and other medical supplies.  You also drop into cargo hold number 4 where you see the drop fuel tanks from airplanes.  Exit from hold number 2 or one of the salvage cuts.  A full penetration dive that requires good buoyancy skills.

DIVE NAME:  The Lady
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Intermediate to Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 40 metres
DESCRIPTION: The world famous "The Lady" and the Unicorn - probably the most photographed underwater icon.  Formally positioned in the first class smoking room, now resides in the first class dining room.  Approach from entering a sea-door from deck C where you swim along deck C and "The Lady" is mounted in front of you at 38 metres.  Turning around, you head back towards the sea-door where you can exit the wreck or drop down and swim through the first class lobby crossing over the skylights of the Continental Lounge to the front of the promenade.  A part penetration dive.  A must to do, don't forget your camera!

DIVE NAME:  ABC Deck
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Intermediate to Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 40 metres
DESCRIPTION: A dive that weaves its way through A, B and C decks consisting of second class accommodation.  You swim over and below bathroom suites with some confined spaces.  Not for the faint hearted and good buoyancy skills a must.  A full penetration dive with very little natural light.

DIVE NAME:  Engine Room
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Intermediate to Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 45 - 50 metres
DESCRIPTION: To approach this dive either a shallow swim down the wreck, surface swim to the mid-ship buoy.  You enter the wreck dropping down into a large salvage cut on the starboard side.  You drop down onto the main condenser and then facing the stern you will see one of the huge propulsion motors.  You then enter through a penetration into the control room.  Here there is a series of gauges, control levers and four brass telegraphs.  You exit the wreck out of the number 2 funnel and swim back up along the outside of the wreck, past the number 1 funnel to the bow.

DIVE NAME:  First Class Swimming Pool
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 52 - 55 metres
DESCRIPTION: To approach this dive either a shallow swim down the wreck, surface swim to the mid-ship buoy.  Probably the deepest swimming pool in the world that is accessible on scuba.  You drop straight into the pool with remains of stainless steel ladders and the colourful mosaic tiles can be seen.  You can either swim back along the outside of the wreck or along the starboard side of the promenade deck.  This dive provides the option of non-penetration.

DIVE NAME:  Galley
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 52 - 55 metres
DESCRIPTION: To approach this dive either a shallow swim down the wreck, surface swim to the mid-ship buoy.  You enter the wreck through another sea-door on C deck into the tourist class lobby through one of the watertight doors into the tourist dining saloon.  As you are swimming back along the ship, the colourful lino floor coverings are to your right.  This then changes to square tiles indicating the start of the galley.  In the galley there is stainless steel plate warmer, electric hot plate, copious amounts of china and crystal glass.  You swim over the top of a potato peeler machine and big steam cookers, which resemble witches caldrons.  You then enter the first class dining room where you can see the ornate light fittings on the ceiling and exit through the sea-door, which is the usual approach to "The Lady".  Alternatively, you can continue along C deck and exit from the number 2 hold.  A full penetration dive with no immediate exit from the wreck for the majority of the dive.
 
DIVE NAME:  Ghost Train
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 55 - 60 metres
DESCRIPTION: A dive that takes you all the way down A deck which can be done from shore, entering A deck by way of the number 2 hold and do it reverse and enter below the pool.  The dive takes you through second-class accommodation on A deck, through the lobby and the first class accommodation.  Named the "Ghost Train" because you weave up and down through bathroom suites and bulkheads as you get deeper and deeper.  The dive is strewn with personal effects, including shaving mugs, combs, soldier's boots and personal belongings.  Look out for the gentlemen and ladies toilet signs.  As you duck under the last bulkhead, you will see the A deck sign on your right hand side, past the barber's chair, barber sign and beauty shop.  Exit the wreck below the pool.  A full penetration dive and requires very little finning action and use of your hands to reduce the risk of silt out.

DIVE NAME:  Frog Haul
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 60 metres
DESCRIPTION: To approach this dive either a shallow swim down the wreck, surface swim to the mid-ship buoy.  Named as such by Frog Dive, Willoughby, Sydney, NSW - as they were the first dive group to be taken and to connect this part of the wreck.  You enter the wreck through the number 7 hold, passing under the Japanese bath, weaving your way through to the number 6 hold.  Just before entering the number 6 hold, you will see a storage cupboard piled with china.  From the number 6 hold, you pass into the tourist class lobby, tourist class dining saloon, galley, first class dining room, swimming all the way up C deck into cargo hold number 2, not cargo hold number 1 and exiting from the wreck from the chain locker near the bow.  On completion of this, you have done a full penetration dive practically the entire length of the wreck.

DIVE NAME:  Big Fish
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  All levels
MAX DEPTH: 35 - 60 metres
DESCRIPTION: A dive where you really appreciate the sheer size of the wreck and the variety of big fish that live and around her.  To appreciate this dive to the fullest, it is best done on a day with good visibility.  Starting off cruising down to the right hand side of the wreck.  Looking above and to your right you will see large schools of yellow-tailed and scissor-tailed fusiliers, giant trevally and dog-toothed tuna buzz by you.  As you circumnavigate the wreck, you pass back over the engine cut swimming shallower where you can encounter the large resident school of chevron barracuda.  This is a non-penetration dive that is great for big fish action and all level of divers.

DIVE NAME:  Cargo Holds 6 & 7
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 60 metres
DESCRIPTION: To approach this dive either a shallow swim down the wreck, surface swim to the mid-ship buoy.  Entering into the number 7 hold first where you swim over the top of two GMC trucks scattered around the hold, a series of two wheeled 58mm anti-tank guns.  In the back right hand corner, boxes and boxes of ammunition still stacked there, with some split open.  Heading back towards the exit, looking at the next deck towards the stern you can see the solid bronze spare blades for the propeller.  After there, you can swim over the top of the blades into a small room that contains the rudder steerage motor.  Returning back to where you came from in the number 7 hold and pass through underneath the Japanese bath into cargo hold number 6.  Hold number 6 contains numerous vehicles, mainly ambulances.  There are many choices of route back to the bow from this point.  A great preparation dive if you want to dive the Frog Haul. 

DIVE NAME:  Stern
RATING:  Decompression
LEVEL:  Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 60 metres
DESCRIPTION: To approach this dive either a shallow swim down the wreck, surface swim to the mid-ship buoy.  Swimming down past the swimming pool, cargo holds number 6 and 7, and then swim passed the docking bridge and the telegraph that controlled the stern when the ship was being berthed.  You then swim over the top of the huge 5" gun mounted on the stern, which then leads you around to the back end of the wreck.  You can now view the brass 30cm lettering spelling the name of the ship, as well as lettering of the port of registration (San Francisco).  Then swim up over the limp rudder with the starboard side propeller shaft above you and the port side propeller shaft below.  Continue up the keel side, which resembles a huge wall dive with some marine species not found anywhere else on the wreck.  A non-penetration dive and be prepared for the long swim back.

DIVE NAME:  Night Dive
RATING:  Non-decompression
LEVEL:  Intermediate to Experienced
MAX DEPTH: 35 metres
DESCRIPTION: A night dive like no other in the world!  Timing is critical for this dive as you enter the water just on dusk and approach the wreck with torches turned off.  This unique dive is to experience the wonder of flashlight fish (Anomalops katoptron).  The fish have a gland under each eye full of bacteria where they lift a little flap sending out a fluorescent light.  These fish live in all the dark spots of the wreck during the day because they are sensitive to light.  At night, they make their way up the decks, through the continental lounge and into the two forward cargo holds.  Customer's comments vary from feeling like being in the movie "The Abyss" to "Peter Pan".  A real TRIP - more of an experience than a diveā€¦





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