Today was too good a day not to go diving, so we skipped work for the day, and came down to Rye. There were quite a few divers getting ready whilst we were there, so it seems that midweek diving is a thing for older divers on the peninsula ;-)
We were told that a couple of Wobbegong had been sighted under the pier, and we were exited to be able to see one of them on this dive. They hunt at night, so this one was just lying on the bottom, minding it's own business, and being very photogenic! We kept looking for the other one, but didn't find it. The one we did see seemed larger than the ones I saw up at South West Rocks, and is the first I have ever seen at Rye.
We were also told that a new artificial reef had been added, out past Elsa's, and that it as a favourite haunt for Octopus. Once we got to Elsa's Reef, we spotted the new star pickets that led to the new reef. It is made of old toilets and large PVC tubes, and there were lots of Pale Octopuses taking advantage of all of the new homes on offer. Kirsty and I both found Weedfish, walking on their fins, out at Elsa's as well.
A great first dive for the season, after a long break due to the various lockdowns of 2021!
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: 6-8 Metres.
Water temperature: 16°C.
Maximum depth: 9.5 metres.
Time of entry: 10:20am
Duration: 54 minutes.