Our last dive for the year was at Ricketts Point, and it was a bit of a disappointment...
Diving at Ricketts Point can be a bit hit or miss, and what we see can vary greatly, depending upon which part of the marine sanctuary we swim through, but we were surprised at how barren some parts of the sea floor were, possibly caused by the large numbers of sea urchins that were seen during the dive. We didn't see anywhere near the usual diversity of fish that we have seen in the past, although another diver we spoke to afterwards said that he had been in a different area, and had seen much more life.
There were quite a few Snapper, but very few Leatherjackets, and we did't see any Zebrafish, Normally we come out of the water raving about how great it was, but this time we were talking about how worried we were about the health of the area. Is it as bad as this video makes it look? We'll have to come back and take another look soon.
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: 5kts Northerly.
Visibility: 4-6 Metres.
Water temperature: 18°C.
Maximum depth: 5.5 metres.
Time of entry: 10.10am
Duration: 80 minutes.