What a difference to our last dive here!
We entered via the ramp at the end of the beach away from the sailing club, and kept fairly close to the rocks on the way out into deeper water. This time, we saw lots of different Leatherjacket species, heaps of Snapper and Sweep, several Old Wives, a couple of schools of Zebrafish, and an enourmous school of East Australian Salmon. We could have spent the entire dive enclosed in the ball of Salmon. I could hear Kirsty squeal with excitement when she spotted them. There were a few more Lion's Mane Jellyfish around this time. Apparently there are reports of large numbers all round the top of the bay at present.
There were still large numbers of Sea Urchins present, and there were some barren areas, but this portion of the reserve hasn't been as badly affected as the area we were in on our last dive.
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: 5-6 Metres.
Water temperature: 20°C.
Maximum depth: 7 metres.
Time of entry: 8.02am
Duration: 87 minutes.