The water temperature is starting to drop, so this was a longer dive than we expected in the cooler water.
There wasn't as much life as we have seen around Rye Pier before, but we still managed to see a variety of worms, a Spider Crab and an octopus on the trail out to Elsa's Reef, Hermit Crabs, Spiny and Horseshoe Leatherjackets, Old Wives, Magpie Perch, Wrasses, Moonlighters, and lots of small Goatfish. Another, much larger, octopus was lurking under the wreck, but it was so far in that I couldn't get a photo of it. I spotted it because of the empty crab shells that were scattered on the sea floor nearby. There were also a couple of Stingarees around the wreck.
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
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