Tony swimming through a hole in the stern of the vessel

Exploring: Ark Rock Eastern Wreck

Ark Rock
Ark Rock

Ark Rock is a roughly rectangular flat topped rock (surprise!) off Seaforth beach.  On the navy charts it’s marked as Noah’s Ark – its distinctive shape gave rise to the name – and divers typically refer to it as Ark Rock. There is an assortment of small wrecks and other interesting underwater features surrounding it.

Perfectly placed shot line
Perfectly placed shot line

Tony and I were fortunate enough to join a small group of divers who planned to explore two undived features that had been spotted on the sidescan sonar attached to the dive boat. Two short dives were planned, so that we could explore more than one site in the area. It was the first weekend since summer started departing that allowed for good False Bay diving – until then, we’d been flailing around in pea soup.

Overgrown hull (and green water!)
Overgrown hull (and green water!)

The first site we were to visit is about 85 metres from Ark Rock, roughly to the east – hence the name “Eastern Wreck”. It’s a smallish iron or steel vessel that has been down there for some time. Its actual identity is not known. As we descended through a murky surface layer, we could see almost the entire ship before us.

Gap in the hull
Gap in the hull

It’s probably about 15 metres long, only a hull, with some gaps and holes large enough to admit a diver. Even though there were only six of us in the group, it felt pretty crowded on the wreck at times because it’s so small. It might be a fishing boat or similar vessel.

Tony swimming through a hole in the stern of the vessel
Tony swimming through a hole in the stern of the vessel

The wreck is lying on the sand and is heavily grown over with lovely sea life. There’s no interior structure and no deck or other bits and pieces lying around. I found it really pretty and of an appealingly manageable size to explore in one dive. We only spent 20 minutes on the wreck, which was long enough to survey the structure, but I could have stayed longer and checked out more of the life encrusting the metal remains!

All that remains of the interior structure of the wreck
All that remains of the interior structure of the wreck

My photos from this dive aren’t great. I was a bit enamoured of the shape of the wreck – so easily identifiable as a ship – and the good (comparatively!) visibility, so I took too few macro shots and too many green water pictures of indistinct shapes!

The bow of the wreck, viewed from above
The bow of the wreck, viewed from above
Tony behind some holes in the hull
Tony behind some holes in the hull

Dive date: 21 March 2011

Air temperature: 25 degrees

Water temperature: 8 degrees

Maximum depth: 10.1 metres

Visibility: 6 metres

Dive duration: 21 minutes

Shot line on the side of the wreck
Shot line on the side of the wreck
Encrusting marine life
Encrusting marine life

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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