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Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:33 am
by combers
Cameron_R wrote:My summary (and this is for Sean again), is that the Coolidge is a very safe place to dive. You could drive trucks through some of the open parts of the wreck - in fact there are several trucks in the cargo holds !!!! It is very open in places. It is usually quite clear water, it has warm water and a huge variety of options for you to choose from.

What you choose to do is your call. Ali and I never went inside the wreck once, apart from those areas with open exits always visible (eg cargo hold) and we had an AMAZING experience. I dont' feel like I missed out on anything.

Thanks Cameron... it has been a fascinating discussion. I am far enough away from going that if an opportunity arose to get the training, I would take the opportunity. And if it didn't arise, I would probably limit the extent to which I "challenged" myself on the trip. It is great to know that you can spend a decent amount of time there without having to be a silly bugger about it.
Cheers
Sean

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:25 pm
by Andy
Cameron_R wrote:Sorry I have been silent ... not ignoring you. Have just been away for the weekend. (Andy I like your fun factor :) )


No worries! My preferred metric for fun is (time used having fun/time taken to get there and back)... anything over 1.0 is a winner! :)


You've been to the Coolidge and seen what they do, and I haven't.... so I'm really in no position to have an opinion based on anything. I'm sure that they are pretty risk adverse and have taken steps to control things, but even so 60m on a single tank, on a "trust me" dive is just out of my comfort zone!

It wouldn't stop me going if I had the option, but I would take my manifold so they can twin up some tanks for me!!

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:49 pm
by Cameron_R
Andy wrote:
Cameron_R wrote:Sorry I have been silent ... not ignoring you. Have just been away for the weekend. (Andy I like your fun factor :) )

No worries! My preferred metric for fun is (time used having fun/time taken to get there and back)... anything over 1.0 is a winner! :)

Love it :lol:

Andy wrote:but even so 60m on a single tank, on a "trust me" dive is just out of my comfort zone!

And mine!
Edit after the post: but I can understand why some others do this dive with a single.

Andy wrote:It wouldn't stop me going if I had the option, but I would take my manifold so they can twin up some tanks for me!!

Awesome.
Oh, and you shouldn't need to bring it. They have manifolded twin sets for hire (IIRC they are all Aluminium), sorb, sling tanks, O2, Trimix .... whatever a true dive geek/tech head could ever want! (except a recompression chamber that is! It's an hrs flight away in Port Vila)

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:05 pm
by Hybrid
We did a heap of dives with Aquamarine on the Coolidge, including the madness dive to the stern on a single tank. Went all through it - kitchen, medical room, swimming pool. etc... still alive :)
From my experience, the guide took you straight down to deepest section of the deep and you spent a couple of mins then started heading back up via some points of interest. The poor guides are under-paid, living in shared accom in the back of the dive shop, always stressing out that you ( the guided diver) isn't running out of air, and they have stages around the place. They dive profiles that are super padded out, with my Suunto clearing its deco some 20mins before they "let" you surface. But if I was guiding anyone with the interest and cash down to those depth, I'd freaked out that they would get bend, and run the most conservative tables I could find too!

I had done adv deco before I went there, and happy clocking up tonnes of deco, but I'd guess that someone who's never done a deco dive before might find it a bit stressful, seeing 45+mins of deco on there comp!

Its a cool spot, I have very fond memories of my trip there.

Ant

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:15 pm
by Jason
I've heard much amazing stuff about the Coolidge by many. Especially the night diving.
But I've had a small number of Divers come up to me and state how "Cool it was to do a night dive totally stoned!". Apparently this Wreck puts on a good show with Bioluminecence during a night dive. With you guys stating that the Coolidge is totally 'Guided' - how then do these numpties get to do something so stupido :?:

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:27 pm
by Cameron_R
Vampire Squid wrote:I've heard much amazing stuff about the Coolidge by many. Especially the night diving.
But I've had a small number of Divers come up to me and state how "Cool it was to do a night dive totally stoned!". Apparently this Wreck puts on a good show with Bioluminecence during a night dive. With you guys stating that the Coolidge is totally 'Guided' - how then do these numpties get to do something so stupido :?:


Not sure what you mean VS?

They guide the night dive. They take you into a cargo hold, which is a space totally open, and you all turn off your lights. It really is an amazing sight.

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:24 pm
by Jason
Cameron_R wrote:Not sure what you mean VS?

I mena, the impression I get is that these Dives are strictly 'guided' but then I have had people say to me (in the past) that they have done these dives 'stoned' (under the influence of the narcotic - marijuana). So I'm wondering 'how' these people were able to do these Dives in such a silly state? Is it 'strict' no diving but guided diving or are very wealthy privateers able to run their own show as well?

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:31 am
by ChuckyBob
Perhaps its because they are guided for the dive, not the hours preceding the dive. Im sure they are not sparking up on the boat ride out.

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:39 am
by NEMES1S
Pete and I and I think also Oskar it was saw a group of "Divers" (Vey loose term in this situation) at Whitirea Park passing a joint around on their surface interval,I just thought what a bunch of screaming idiots.
Only funny part of it was when they went back in for dive two and swam around in circles in the shallows as they couldnt seem to work out the channel out to the reef.... :roll:

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:38 pm
by Cameron_R
Vampire Squid wrote:
Cameron_R wrote:Not sure what you mean VS?

I mena, the impression I get is that these Dives are strictly 'guided' but then I have had people say to me (in the past) that they have done these dives 'stoned' (under the influence of the narcotic - marijuana). So I'm wondering 'how' these people were able to do these Dives in such a silly state? Is it 'strict' no diving but guided diving or are very wealthy privateers able to run their own show as well?


Oh. Well, I can't really answer that apart from saying that they don't blood test, or breath test you before the dive! Either way, those divers sound like idiots to me.

ChuckyBob wrote: ... on the boat ride out.


Its shore dive :D
Crazy hey !!!!!
Just blows your mind to walk out, leisurely put your fins on, swim through some nice coral, then drop down to 15m and see a bubbles great big hulk in front of you! :shock:

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:59 pm
by Jason
I'm impressed anyway when any popular and unique Dive location is Guided/Strictly Guided. (Much like the Milford Sound)
I think its a luxury in itself when the Guided dives are well managed and performed.
Many people dissagree and want the 'freedom' of unguided Dives because they are vastly more experienced than the numpty Guides in comparison, but I think its more with the site itself taken into consideration that places are guided.

I would be hard to 'monitor' any Stoners, let alone anyone 'under the weather' from any influence. There is always the 'legal' ramifications if they cry 'discrimination' etc, to deal with. Mind you I consider it a Health n' Safety issue more than a legal one.
What would I do? Its hard to tell what the Diver is red-eyed about, it could be from many things like seawater itself. If I could absolutely tell, more from their behaviour, I would cancel their dive and face the music. I might even arange a set-up and make it seem like the water below was frothing with Bull sharks on the prowl just to watch them freak and cancel their own dive :wink:

Re: training required for Coolidge?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:35 pm
by Azza
They were using DCIEM AIR Tables when I was there in 2002 (Might have been 2003) regardless of if you were using nitrox at all (We weren't allowed to use pure 02 at all and I think the reason was the cost as everything has to be imported). I found it crazy that they didn't allow deco profiles to maximize the use of Nitrox but then with everyone diving different mixes...they got a little antsy when I refused to ascend as fast as they did. I remember being at the swimming pool at around 55m then the guide gave the thumbs up and before I knew it they were way above me and my computer was screaming at me to slow down...just gives me the willies.
Adv Nitrox, Deco Procedures, Wreck and Advanced Wreck would be my recommendations for training however not for use during the dives, rather for confidence and/or in case the guide has a heart attack while you are deep in the bowels of the mighty ship.

I went up in hurricane season so there was only myself and one other guy (A tech instructor) on most of the dives (Apart from the first one) and me and the guide on 3 of them.
My girlfriend at the time did two dives then got totally freaked out on the second one, to the medical stores, when her and I were hovering nicely just inside the wreck and two medical students descended in feet first kicking up clouds of silt...something the guide never mentioned in her pre dive brief (I was a newly certified DM at the time so I remember thinking how average her pre dive brief was :P ).

Overall I had a lot of fun and did all dives on doubles with a sling so felt at ease about my gas reserves. I always meant to get back there but alas I have never made it back...then again I am not at ease diving other peoples profiles so unless I can get my own dives in I probably wont go back.

In saying that, I am glad I went and those dives stick in my mind as some of my favourite dives.
I would recommend it anyone for a looksie...even million dollar point was pretty cool.