Had a particularly busy week in Townsville so I’m only just getting around to writing and posting this blog I’m afraid!
Cameron Williams and the team from Channel Nine’s Today Show headed up to tropical north Queensland to join me on a rather incredible dive. That of the S.S. Yongala.
During Best Job I was lucky enough to drop to the ocean floor to visit this incredible wreck site, one that is exactly 100 years old. You can read the blog here so that I don’t go over the same ground twice!
I was very interested to find out how the wreck had stood up to the rigours of Cyclone Anthony and Yasi in the early part of 2011. Rumour had it that some of the hard corals have been stripped from the hull and it had been tipped a few more degrees over.
Heather and the team from Yongala Dive were to be our hosts, we stayed the night at their HQ and we’re ready to go at first light. The weather had been pretty windy for the days leading up to our morning at the wreck and the chances of a smooth ride site and an easy dive weren’t looking good.
It only takes 30 minutes to get out there and after bouncing over the tops of the waves we were ready to go straight away. Being a fairly deep dive it adds an air of adventure to the whole experience and Cameron and I buddied up together, did our safety checks and r0lled into the wet stuff.
DIVING THE YONGALA!! This is where the big stuff comes to hang out. Imagine an oasis in the middle of an sandy ocean floor….huge rays, lots of snakes and big sharks too!
The wreck suddenly appears out of the darkness below. We spent two full dives patrolling the upper and lower sections of the ship. Winding around the Whip Corals, swimming between the schools of fish and every so often glimpsing the outline of a huge Queensland Grouper, a Maori Wrasse (one of the Great Eight we’ll be covering in the next few days) and even the resident 4 metre Bull Shark.
It’s renowned to be one of the best wreck dives in the world and would certainly have to agree. The cyclone has had some effect on the windward side of its hull but to be fair it’s cleaned it and readied for the next generation of coral to infest!
The film below was shot using the excellent Nikon film equipment which has been supplied for the expedition:
A massive thank you to Heather and the team at Yongala Dive for one of those incredible underwater experiences….if you like diving don’t be a muppet – get wrecked here!