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Dive Log

Site Name: SS Yongala Type: Wreck/Night
Location: 12 nm east of Cape Bowling Green, near Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
Water Temp: 21 Deg Celsius (August) Planned Depth: 20 metres
Visibility: 20 metres Planned Time: 30 minutes

The SS Yongala sank during a cyclone in 1911 and lies on its starboard side in 30 metres. The ship is 109 metres (360 ft) long and was built of steel in 1903. As an historical shipwreck, it is totally protected and penetration is strictly prohibited.

The night dive was the fourth dive for the day on the SS Yongala. I wore my 3 litre pony bottle, helmet with two torches and carried my big Toshiba torch as well. Alex and I were given the job of tying Cyalume (chemical light) sticks to the stern marker buoy, on the line at 5 metres and 10 metres, and on the stern bollard.

The wreck was alive with colour as we swam slowly to the bow. My helmet torches and main torch lit up the holes in the ship very well. It seemed to be much clearer than on the dive in the afternoon.

At the bow, there were two large bull rays hovering in the current over the wreck. I swam back towards the stern along the high port edge of the hull and almost ran into one!  It swerved and I moved closer to the hull to avoid its long tail. A beautiful dive.

Andrew Whitehead about to enter from the Water Sport.


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