The weather was good, the rest of the week wasn't looking all that promising, work was winding down for the year, and there was time for another dive before the Christmas rush on the Peninsula...
I used Will's tank on this dive, which is smaller than mine, and I could hae done with a bit more weight in the shallower portions of this dive, but it was still manageable at 7kg. There was a very large school of Australian Herring under the pier, and we could have spent much of the dive just sitting on the bottom watching them flow around us. We first headed off to the Eivion wreck, which sank 100 years ago this month. There were a few small Stingarees and a Banjo Shark near the wreck, and some Leatherjackets, Zebrafish and Moonlighters hiding amongst the timbers, but we didn't see any Cuttlefish this time. We did see a couple of colonies of Grape Ascidians on the way out to the wreck.
After swimming the length of the pier we headed out to the new reef, via Elsa's. We found a small group of Barber Perch at Elsa's, and there were even more Pale Octopus at the new reef this time than there was when we first made it out to there. Many of the breeze blocks near the star picket trail were also occupied by octopus, all pretending to be seaweed, and exhibiting a creative variety of colours and tassels.
There were qute a few student divers in the water today, but most of them were further in towards shore, so we only saw a few of them. The carpark was nowhere near full, and after we had filled our tanks Kirsty and I came back and had fish and chips to celebrate another great 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
Weather/Sea: 10kt Southerly.
Visibility: 6 Metres.
Water temperature: 17°C.
Maximum depth: 9.1 metres.
Time of entry: 11.00am
Duration: 70 minutes.