This was a great dive at Rye! We started out in fog, and ended the dive in brilliant sunsine. Spent some time watching a couple of Maori Octopuses - one at the end of the pier, and one on the shore side of the entry platform. This one was very active, hunting crabs on the pylons, and put on a fascinating display for us.

There were quite a few Seahorses around. Some of them were males, perhaps carrying young, as their bellies were quite distended. We saw one large Smooth Ray, without a tail, and on the way out to Elsa's Reef we must have spotted a couple of dozen Sparsely-Spotted Stingarees. There were a few small groups of Squid off to the side of the pier, a single Zebra, and massive schools of juvening Leatherjackets. Hidden amongst the weeds at the base of one pylon we spotted a very well-dressed Decorator Crab.

Kirsty was able to dive with one less weight than previously, which I carried just in case it turned out that she did need it. I think that she can probably get rid of perhaps another kilogram, which would make walking up the pier easier.

About 9 pm, incoming SS Penola ( 500 tons) struck and ran down City of Launceston which began to settle almost immediately. Passengers and crew transferred with difficulty to Penola. Sunken vessel valued at about 17,000 pounds - not insured. Sold by auction to Barrett, engineer of City of Launceston, who sold to a syndicate but salvage attempts eventually abandoned. Victorian Steam Navigation Board Inquiry held City of Launceston to blame for accident. Two separate Supreme Court actions by the respective owners for damages found in favour of the plaintiff in each case! An appeal by the aggrieved owner of the Penola for a non suit or a new trial was ultimately refused. Eleutheria, lighter, exhibited light at wreck site until it too sank. City of Launceston was the first shipwreck to be declared an Historic Shipwreck under new Victorian legislation. Built for the Melbourne to Launceston Bass Strait run, it was a regular trader across Bass Strait. - See more at: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/shipwrecks/124#sthash.aPC0R645.dpuf

About 9 pm, incoming SS Penola ( 500 tons) struck and ran down City of Launceston which began to settle almost immediately. Passengers and crew transferred with difficulty to Penola. Sunken vessel valued at about 17,000 pounds - not insured. Sold by auction to Barrett, engineer of City of Launceston, who sold to a syndicate but salvage attempts eventually abandoned. Victorian Steam Navigation Board Inquiry held City of Launceston to blame for accident. Two separate Supreme Court actions by the respective owners for damages found in favour of the plaintiff in each case! An appeal by the aggrieved owner of the Penola for a non suit or a new trial was ultimately refused. Eleutheria, lighter, exhibited light at wreck site until it too sank. City of Launceston was the first shipwreck to be declared an Historic Shipwreck under new Victorian legislation. Built for the Melbourne to Launceston Bass Strait run, it was a regular trader across Bass Strait. - See more at: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/shipwrecks/124#sthash.aPC0R645.dpuf

Divers: Kirsty Batchelor, Peter Batchelor

Weather/Sea: Calm.
Visibility: 4 - 6 metres.
Water temperature: 21°C.
Maximum depth: 7.7 metres.
Time of entry: 08:45
Duration: 100 minutes.

 

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