Kirsty and I did our first dive for the new year at Ricketts, looking for Port Jacksons Sharks, in very murky conditions.
We didn't find the PJs, but there were lots of Scalyfins and Zebrafish to make up for it, along with a couple of Fiddler Rays and some large Yellow Leatherjackets hiding in the reef crevasses.
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
Visibility: 4-5 Metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 4.6 metres.
Time of entry: 08:12
Duration: 92 minutes.