Kirsty and I had a great Valentine's Day dive at Rickett's Point, shared with thousands of Snapper! There seemed to be lots of Sea Urchin shells on the floor, so perhaps the culling is continuing in the reserve, and the Snapper are following divers around in the expectation of a free feed... they treated us as the lead fish in the school, and followed us around throughout the dive.
There were a few Leatherjaclets around, and some of them were species that we haven't recognised. We also spotted a couple of maie Moari Wrasse, as well as a Brown-banded Morwong, a couple of Dusky Morwong, a Banjo Shark, Magpie Perch, Silver Sweep, Old Wives, Moonlighters, and Flathead. The visibility varied from over 6 metres in the shallows to under 3 metres in some spots, apparently due to the level of spawning that had been taking place.
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: 3-6 Metres.
Water temperature: 21°C.
Maximum depth: 5.1 metres.
Time of entry: 10.15
Duration: 90 minutes.