M@re Nostrum

Saturday Feb 14,1998
by Mike Scotland

aturday Feb 14,1998 we dived (Les is our sixty year old coxswain and deep diver, and four other divers) our favorite wreck off Sydney, Australia, the SS Tuggerah. This collier sunk 78 years ago and is a good dive into 19th Century steam technology but ... it has great marine life.

Here is a description of the dive.

A sunny day, with clear water at 22 degrees celcius at the surface and almostly no current.

The wreck is at 47 metres and is obscured by fish called Nannygai and Yellowtail scad, both small fish. Some bonito flashed through the fish. Dozens of Sea Pike (a small cousin of the barracuda) hover over the wreck. A small spotted wobbygong sits under the three metre prop.

A most pleasant narcosis adds to the exhilaration. I notice the Giant Serpent eels at 8 feet long in their sand burrows. Eggs of the Local Baler shell everywhere. NO Stargazers today. (A fish I have been stalking for six years now and photographing.)

We deco for 25 mins after 14 minutes bottom time and 4 mins ascent. We keep our eyes peeled because of recent sightings of bronze whalers and one Bull whaler.

A brilliant dive. I've been to Truk, Rabaul, the Coolidge and Guadalcanal... but the Tuggerah is still a great dive, and it is just down the coast.

© Text: Mike Scotland


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