There were masses of Sea Stars off to the West of Rye Pier on this dive, particularly about half way along the pier. Some just seemed to be sitting on the bottom, but there wre lots that were seen hunched up, feeding on something they had caught. There were several Magpie Perch around, along with a few Senator Wrasse, and a good school of Herring. We saw lots of Feather Duster Worms on this dive, both under the pier, and out at Elsa's reef. We only spotted one Pale Octopus out past Elsa's. There were a couple of large Smooth Rays around, one with a tail and one without. Kirsty managed to film the one with a tail as soon as she got into the water, but I didn't see it. All in all, a nice way to end the year!
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: Peter Batchelor and Kirsty Batchelor
Visibility: 6-8 Metres.
Water temperature: 19°C.
Maximum depth: 9 metres.
Time of entry: 9:35am
Duration: 95 minutes.