August on the Great Barrier Reef 2013
Make Your Own Mind Up
By Captain Trevor Jackson
If you had the opportunity to dive every good wreck in Australia, and had to decide on the top three, the list would go something like this….
1) SS Yongala
2) RMS Quetta
3) Nothing else rates compared to those two
You might also flip them over and put Quetta in the top spot. Of course both these ships lie at the bottom of Queensland waters so naturally I’m biased, but I’d be willing to wager that most folk would think along these lines. These two shipwrecks offer that intangible element that divers crave, yet very rarely find…. A sense of awe…… REAL AWE.
You can get it standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon; you can get it at the foot of the Egyptian Pyramids; and you can get it underwater, staring up at the bows of either of these two great steamers. Life explodes around them, history oozes from them, tragedy echoes along their watery passageways.
In 2014 Mike Ball Dive Expeditions is offering something that no-one else does ………………the chance to dive them both.
The month of May sees Spoilsport return to Townsville for a series of three day sojourns to the Yongala, with side trips to the SS Gothenburg and the SS Lady Bowen. The highlight will be two full days on Yongala, with the deck open from dawn till dinner. Dive all day long, dive in style; and when you get back on board, that famous Spoilsport hospitality awaits.
In December we return to the fabulous RMS Quetta, the only shipwreck in the country that gives Yongala a run for her money. The Quetta lies in remote Torres Strait, about 5 hours steaming time east of Thursday Island. Divers returning from her on this year’s January trip described the 120 metre long steamer as an “eleven out of ten dive site”.
Having had the opportunity to have dived them both the crew of Spoilsport are divided in which they rated the highest; the Yongala and her stunning marine life, or the Quetta with her eerie enormity.
In the end it’s up to the individual I guess, and in 2014 the opportunity awaits for a lucky few to have a crack at the two biggest draw cards in Australian wreck diving. You will have the chance to see for yourself, and the chance, to make your own mind up.
Photos of the Month