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Dive Finger/Jump Spools

A dive finger or jump spool is the most compact way of carrying a guideline. A finger spool makes deploying a delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) very easy as there is no way for line to get caught in any sort of mechanism. Jump spools are also useful for make jumps and gaps in caves. They are also a handy way of mapping a dive site as they are quick to deploy and re-stow.

If you're looking for a dive reel, please see Dive Reels.

Tech Tip:
Finger Spools Are Not Guideline Reels

The skills required to deploy a finger spool are different than those required to use a typical guideline reel. At first glance the simple spool looks easier, but compared to guideline reels the finger spool requires specific techniques for successful use. If this is your first finger spool then seek advice, get a demonstration, and most importantly you should practice under controlled conditions.

A common usage mistake is rewinding a finger spool in a manner that applies a lot of tension to the line, such as when hanging under a lift bag, causing the line to be very tightly wound on to the spool. Upon re-use the line doesn't smoothly unwind and sticks, causing the entire spool to be jerked out of the fingers or disappear with the lift bag.

Another consideration is the method used to rewind the line on to the spool. Hold the line loosely and use the spool to take up the line; if you hold the spool in a fixed position some wrapping motions with your hand will put a 'twist' in the line with each wrap around the spool. Depending on how you later unspool, you might wind up with a tangled mess of line (aka 'birds nest') if you hold the line in your hand while it unspools.

Although your finger spool is not a guideline reel the basic care is very similar. You should rinse your finger spool with fresh water following each dive. We recommend pulling some or all of the line off the spool before each dive, then rewinding it neatly but not too tightly, so as to help prevent problems during line deployment. If the line on your finger spool is new or very dry, we recommend pulling the line off into a bucket of water. This will moisten the line, precluding it from swelling on the spool and causing further issues or damaging the spool.

Finally, too much line on the spool can cause tangles during initial deployment, if you are having a consistent problem deploying your finger spool try removing a few metres of line.

Apeks LifeLine Spool - 45m Blue

Apeks LifeLine Spool - 45m Blue

Sale: $208.80
Save: (13%)
Apeks LifeLine Spool - 30m Green

Apeks LifeLine Spool - 30m Green

Sale: $191.40
Save: (13%)

S.F. Hersey

Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Boat access Boat access

Inside Port Phillip Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Coal Hulk | Max Depth: 7 m (23 ft)

S.F. Hersey
S.F. Hersey | © Unknown

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The S.F. Hersey was a fine American built ship of 991 tons purchased by the Tasmanian Steamship Company in 1890. She was the largest square rigger registered out of Hobart. She made several voyages between Hobart and Newcastle under the command of Captain Wilson before she was converted to a coal hulk.

The S.F. Hersey lies within the Prohibited Area of Swan Island (Department of Defence) and is therefore out of bounds.

Diving the S.F. Hersey Shipwreck

The S.F. Hersey shipwreck site lies alongside and under the starboard side of the J3 Submarine at Swan Spit. The S.F. Hersey is protected by the submarine from the effects of a South swell or wind, but the scour pattern caused by the submarine has partially destroyed the site.

The sternpost is lying on its own and faces into the main area of the site. There is a large overhanging section about amidships where the outer planking and some of the frames can be easily seen. Towards the bow is a large number of broken timbers of the hull and some of the timber cargo. The forefoot (bow) of the vessel is exposed and subject to the strong tidal movement at the stern of the submarine.

Bricks and some timber cargo can be seen strewn about the site. There are iron and brass fastenings and copper spikes on the vessel.

Water depth is 5 to 7 metres. Sea bottom sand and a lot of kelp and seaweed. The tide race is very strong on this site, particularly at the stern of the submarine where it can reach 4 knots (7.41 kpm) at flood tide.

S.F. Hersey Shipwreck History

The S.F. Hersey was named after Samuel F. Hersey, a prominent Maine, USA politician and a founder of the Republican Party, being a wealthy lumber merchant. She was built in 1865 at Searsport, Maine, USA. The vessel was 168.8 ft (51 m) in length, with a 33 ft (10 m) beam, and a depth of 22.8 ft (6.95 m).

S.F. Hersey Sinking

On 21 May 1923 the SF Hersey was scuttled to be used as a pier in Port Phillip at the north end of Swan Island, next to the J3 Submarine.

The S.F. Hersey is within the Prohibited Area of Swan Island (Department of Defence) and is therefore out of bounds.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: S.F. Hersey, and
Heritage Council Victoria: S.F. Hersey.

Heritage Warning: Any shipwreck or shipwreck relic that is 75 years or older is protected by legislation. Other items of maritime heritage 75 years or older are also protected by legislation. Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the legislation, and penalties may apply. The legislation requires the mandatory reporting to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable of any archaeological site that is identified. See Maritime heritage. Anyone with information about looting or stolen artefacts should call Heritage Victoria on (03) 7022 6390, or send an email to

Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country
Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.


S.F. Hersey Location Map

Latitude: 38° 14.720′ S   (38.245333° S / 38° 14′ 43.2″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.110′ E   (144.701833° E / 144° 42′ 6.6″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-26 20:31:19 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: J3 Swan Island Submarine, 178 m, bearing 36°, NE
Coal Hulk.
Built: 1865.
Sunk: 21 May 1923.
Depth: 5 to 7 m.

DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.


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