Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
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St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
Sydney Dive Visibility, Swell and Temps
Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwreck Summary
NSW Shipwreck GPS/Marks
Australian Dive Sites
Overseas Dive Sites
Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles
Free Shipwreck Books

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
Site Map
Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "There are only female and juvenile male grey nurse sharks at Magic Point"
    SS President Coolidge - Stern
    STERN - For more details see separate page (Maximum depth 70m)

    The most memorable dive on the Coolidge is the stern. To do this dive you need to swim out to the furtherest mooring or if doing as a boat dive, attach to the mooring. This is located towards the rear of the Promenade Deck. Note that in windy conditions and strong currents, it can be quite a task to snorkel this far out (well over 200 metres). I would recommend planning this for about two days before your last dive if possible in case you need to delay doing it due to the conditions.

    The upper propThe upper prop
    A bunch of divers descending to the upper prop shaft (55 m)Kelly above the upper prop shaft (55 m)

    Once at the mooring, you take a while to catch your breath. Drop down the mooring and once in sight of the ship's hull, swim at 45° to the ship's deck. This will cross behind the Engine Room Cut down straight onto the huge fairings around the upper propeller shaft. Follow this and it gets fair more obvious and then you will see the end of the shaft itself. It is huge!

    The upper prop and shaftThe lower shaft
    Kelly and the rudder and upper shaft (60 m)Kelly above the lower prop shaft (65 m)

    Just below this is the rudder, again, huge, far bigger than any other rudder you will ever see. Underneath is the port shaft (62 metres). It can be dark here so make sure you have a torch. A short swim takes you to the stern itself where the ship looks biggest. Here you may be able to see the raised lettering of the ship's name. Some of Aquamarine's staff cleaned off the growth in about 2005 or 2006 and since then they have periodically been cleaning it. In June 2007 all you could see was OOLIDG and even this it was not that clear.

    A bit further on you can see the huge Six Inch Gun and if you swim out a bit, the great bulb of the hull is awe-inspiring. Below and just off the stern at 70 metres (230 plus feet) below the surface of the ocean are the remains of a lifeboat, a lifeless keel is all that remains.

    The sternThe 6
    The name of the ship at the stern - only OOLIDG is visible (60 m)Kelly above the 6 inch stern gun (60 m)

    After examining the 3 inch guns on the stern (the starboard one lies on the sand), if you have time and twins, you can go into the Hold Seven (the rear hold) which has a number of six wheel drive trucks and artillery guns. These guns, like the one visible in Hold 2, may be one of four 155 mm guns modified in Noumea and loaded onto the Coolidge at her last stop. These were to be linked up with bases being built at Santo. See Joseph Ritz's memories on the Coolidge's last trip page. There are also thousands of rounds of ammunition lay waiting for an enemy that never came while what at first looks like a large grader lies on the sand. However, this is probably the carriage for a large artillery gun, probably a "Long Tom" which has fallen out of the hold.

    Past the rear Tourist Smoking Room (this is large and empty but interesting nonetheless) and the pool you swim, back along the entire length of the Coolidge. A sensational dive unlike any you will experience anywhere else in the world. Definitely only for the experienced deep diver. The lounge and Hold Seven can be done as separate dives without too much trouble.

    Return to the SS President Coolidge Dive Index Page.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
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    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!