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<font color='#000080'>Last we year we decided on a "grand expedition" to dive the wreck of the SS President Coolidge probably around the middle of next year. Unfortunately I am no longer in a position to go but a lot of my friends are still going ahead with it and I would be interested to know if any of you guys have been there, or "know a man who has" for a first hand opinion.  

When we originally looked at it the idea was that it was supposed to be an essentially undived wreck and offered the opportunity to do something unique. From what I can find out it would now appear to be the South Pacific's equivalent to the Thistlegorm so possibly not the great adventure that they are expecting, especially considering the logistics and expense involved.

Any comments would be most welcome.
 

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Hey Kim, seems strange that no-ne has bothered to reply to your enquiry. Been to the Coolidge many times over the last 10 years and whoever gave you the impression it was rarely dived must have rocks in their head. The Coolidge is probably dived each and every day of the year. There are two or three operators who take people there and it is very regimented as in you are not allowed to dive on your own without a guide. Certainly I visited the place 3 0r 4 times before given free reign. Even then there are parts of this wreck that I will never see and even people diving on the wreck over the past 40 years have never seen. It is a monster of a wreck.... like 660 feet long, and at the stern  70+ metres deep. Having said that dont let me put your group off. they will have a ball... it is fantastic diving with lots to see.. Bob
 

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<font color='#000080'>Hi Bob and thanks for the info.

This was the sort of answer I was expecting.  The reason for the post was really that I believe there is some misrepresentation going on by the trip organiser to get people to sign up and do a lot of unnecessary (but financially rewarding for him) training.  Whether they actually get to make the trip is another question.

I always fancied the dive and in light of your comments I'm going to try and go it alone, just me and the wife and possibly a couple of close friends.

Thanks again, I shall pass on your comments to the rest of the gang.  
 

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You have to bear in mind that apart from the Coolidge and Million Dollar Point, that is what most people want to see. The area is not world famous for its reefs or walls so as long as everyone are wreck freaks they will have a ball.... (plug) do yourself a favour and go to Munda, we have wrecks, reefs, walls and cave.... oh and great vis, food, beer etc etc etc.
 

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hi kim. i spent some time last year working as a divemaster in vanuatu (in port vila, the capital). i then spent two weeks in santo diving the coolidge, and i would say it was some of the best diving i did that year. (the other places i dived were: the similans in thailand, the perhentians in malaysia, sydney, the great barrier reef, the coral sea, and sipidan, just for comparision!)

i would disagree that it was like the thistlegorm - yes there might be a couple of groups on the wreck at any one time, but it's so big that i hardly saw any other divers during my two weeks diving on it.

however, it definitely isn't far-out adventurous diving - you are taken down by a guide who really looks after you, which was fine by me as it makes for very easy diving! because the wreck is so huge i wouldn't have been happy going inside like we did without a guide. as you are so well looked after i wouldn't think there was a need for any specific training, except a familiarity with decompression diving.

it's a fantastic wreck, with loads to see and loads of life - the night dive was definitely one of the best dives i have ever done... no torches as all the illumination was provided by the flashlight fish.

the town defintely isn't a resort town or anything like that - there are only a couple of places to stay and none of them are that flash! the only reason people go there is to dive the coolidge, and when i was there there were only about 10 non-resident westerners on the whole island.

anyway, i'm very happy to talk about my time there so if you want any more information please PM me!
 
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