SODA FOUNTAIN (Maximum depth 55m)
Swim out to the mooring or you can only swim out till you see the ship's bow. Follow the hull from the bow and go to the western side and follow the Promenade Deck (or at least where it used to be) till you reach the rear section. Once at the end, drop over to the deck below. Here you will see a small wheeled artillery gun. This is upsidedown. It may be the one that was used for practise gunnery on the ship's voyage across the Pacific.
|Kelly and the guide, Charles, near |
the stern end of the Promenade Deck
|The small artillery gun near the pool and Soda Fountain|
The Soda Fountain was located under the Swimming Pool and now it is at the same depth. You can enter through one of the windows (at bottom or top). From the artillery gun, turn right and go up a level and enter through the largest window. You will see the bar with spots for ice cream containers and the soda taps. On the bottom (actually the port wall) there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Coca Cola bottles (did you know that during the War, Coca Cola promised to supply American troops with a bottle of Coke for five cents, no matter where they were and what it might actually cost to produce and ship to them).
|Kelly and the Soda Fountain||The refrigeration unit in the Soda Fountain|
There are also more bottles on the bar and in other locations. There is also the motor and sections of a refrigeration unit. You can exit out the bottom or top or forward. This dive used to be done in conjunction with the Swimming Pool but now does not seem to be done unless requested.
If you exit out the front you will enter the Marine Tea Garden. This is quite wide (that is up and down as you swim through) but not long (the direction you are swimming). You can go up a level (that is to the left) but you cannot exit out this way. If you swim forward and up you will be able to go out near where The Lady used to be located. If you look up and forward there are three toilets and the remains of two more and two basins. I have never seen this before a dive in June 2007 and I have been near this area at least a dozen times on my rpevious five trips to the Coolidge.
|The toilets near the Marine Tea Garden|
A poor photo
|The remains of the three rows|
of toilets looking down
From here we swam on the outside of the ship. We swam over the toilets to the top of the Continental Lounge and past the Skylights and past the lifeboat davits on Boat Deck and over the Bridge area. As we did this, we were slowly ascending all the time. From here we went across the mast and between the upper and lower bow guns back to the deco stop.
|The lifeboat davits on Boat Deck ||The upper three inch bow gun|
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