At North Haven, scuba diving the wreckage of the huge Titan crane lies in 28 metres of water is awesome. Divers can swim in and out of the crane structure and explore the deck area.
The Titan has attracted a fantastic variety of marine life and is excellent for underwater photography. Beautiful jewel anemones and encrusting sponges adorn the structure, wobbegongs rest on vacant vantage points, rock lobsters shelter in holes, and lovely nudibranchs crawl over the beams. Schools of bullseyes, yellowtail, kingfish, jewfish and trevally are always around, as well as the occasional snapper, blue groper and Port Jackson shark.
Red – lined Flabellina Flabellina rubrolineata nudibranchs inhabit shallow and deeper waters along the New South Wales coast, both on inshore and offshore reefs. They grow to 40 mm and feed on hydroids. ( photo: Neville Coleman)
Titan Crane Wreck
The Titan, the largest floating crane in the southern hemisphere, played an important part in the history of Sydney. In January 1992, the crane was being towed from Sydney to Singapore under controversial circumstances as many felt that such an historic item should not be sold overseas. The crane sank off North Haven (a small holiday town 470 km north of Sydney) in 38 m of water. The Cool D Dive Shop organises dive trips to the Titan and a number of other exciting reefs and wrecks in the North Haven area.
Diving on the wreckage of the huge crane, which now lies on its side in 28-38 m of water, is somewhat like visiting an underwater construction site. Divers can swim in and out of the crane structure and explore the deck area.
The Titan has attracted a fantastic variety of marine life in the short time it has been under water. Beautiful jewel anemones and encrusting sponges adorn the structure, wobbegongs rest on vacant vantage points, rock lobsters shelter in holes, and lovely nudibranchs crawl over the beams. Schools of bullseyes, yellowtail, kingfish, jewfish and trevally are always around, as well as the occasional snapper, blue groper and Port Jackson shark.
Only a few days old, this little Port Jackson Shark Heterodontos portusjacksoni hatched from a spiral egg case wegded into the rocks. This species has no anchoring tendrills attached to the egg case. The species is found around Southern Australia, from southern Queensland to south Western Australia.
( photo: Neville Coleman)
The Cod Ground has a number of rocky pinnacles, in depths from 18-40 m, cut by gutters and ledges, lined with sponges, ascidians and black coral trees. While many beautiful reef fish and invertebrate species are permanent residents, the larger species dominate the scene.
The first species of shark to be protected in Australia, the Grey Nurse Shark Carcharhinus taurus can be seen at many dive sites along the New South Wales coast and on offshore reefs. They feed mostly on schooling pelagic fish, especially tevally. ( photo: Neville Coleman)
Grey nurse sharks gather in the gutters, sometimes over a dozen are seen at close quarters. Wobbegongs and Port Jackson sharks lie side by side under ledges, with rock lobster and rare black cod. Likely to be found hovering around the pinnacles are schools of yellowtail, pike, jewfish, kingfish and trevally.
A favoutite food of Grey Nurse Sharks, White trevally Pseudocaranx dentex may be seen in very large schools, or as small groups. It grows to 94 cm and may be seen around coastal and offshore reefs. ( photo: Neville Coleman)
The Cool D Dive Shop regularly visits about 20 other sites. Some are shallow dives with a good range of reef fish and invertebrates, while others are deeper dives with marine life similar to that found at the Cod Ground. A number of shipwrecks are located in the area, including the Telegraph in 17 m, the Iron Chief in 9 m, the Prince of Wales in 4 m, and the Indent in the Camden Haven River, at a depth of 6 m.
Mostly found in shady areas beneath caves, arches, ledges, jetties and wrecks the Jewel Corallimorph Corynactis australis is a common inhabitant of shallow and deep water and may be seen in several colour variations. ( photo: Neville Coleman)
More often seen on offshore reefs than on the coast the Lord Howe Island Butterflyfish Amphichaetodon howensis generally occurs in water below 20 metres, although juveniles may occur in the shallows. ( photo: Neville Coleman)
Some of the deep water reefs have an amazing array of fauna and flora, mostly dominated by sponges and algae. Visual identification has now progressed that far that we can identify almost every species in the image.
( photo: Neville Coleman)
One of the most frequently seen sea anemones along the walls and reefs on the east coast of New South Wales is the White – striped Sea Anemone Anthothoe albocincta is venomous and should not be allowed to come in contact with unprotected skin. ( photo: Neville Coleman)
Neville Coleman's diving expeditions, fauna surveys, photographic fauna surveys and marine life identification courses include every major group of marine life.
Neville Coleman's expertise in living taxonomy and marine life identification extends to the identification of Algae, Sea Grass, Forams, Sponges, Stony Corals, Soft Corals, Sea Anemones, Sea Jellies, Zoanthids, Corallimorphs, Black Corals, Flatworms, Segmented Worms, Crustaceans, Barnacles, Shrimps, Rock Lobsters, Hermit Crabs, Squat Lobsters, Molluscs, Chitons, Univalves, Bivalves, Cephalopods, Octopus, Cuttlefish, Squid, Opisthobranchs, Nudibranchs, Sea Slugs, Bryozoans, Sea Mosses, Echinoderms, Sea Stars, Feather Stars, Brittle Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers, Ascidians/Sea Squirts, Marine Fish, Sharks, Marine Reptiles, and Marine Mammals, all found in the waters around North Haven
( Copyright Neville Coleman/Nigel Marsh)