Moana Wreck - Aramoana Mole
Moana Wreck - Aramoana Mole
Maximum Depth: 10-25m
If no swells have been hitting harbour side of the Mole for several days beforehand visibility will be at its best. Also watch diving here after rainy periods as the Otago harbour can become quite muddy / silty and visibility is often reduced. Watch for the eddying effect of the tides in some situations, can be identified by looking at which direction the macrocystis kelp is floating in. Best to have boat support for this dive, as currents can drag divers away from the rock wall.
The Harbour side of the Mole can become very tricky to enter and exit off the rocks, with the Nor'East wind being the predominant direction of swells to look out for, but anything from the East has been known to generate a little . Make sure you keep an eye on your equipment whilst gearing up at the water's edge. The wrecks themselves pose no immediate danger of an overhead environment as all areas have direct access to the surface, but the sharp edges of the rusted hulks could become hazardous so appropriate exposure protection is advised. Entanglement could also occur as the hulks have become a large area of bladder kelp forests and monofilament fishing line, a dive tool or knife is a must have for this environment. Small recreational fishing boats are often around as well, so make sure you have a surface float and flag to let them know you are diving in the area.
Sea and Weather Recommendations
Avoid: NE swells that will cause surge, also avoid diving mid tide as currents can get quite strong.
The Moana stern is located around 150m shy from the end of the Aramoana Mole, and extends back towards the other wrecks for 110m. A large kelp forest encompasses the bulk of the wreck and it lies very close to the rocks of the Mole.
The Moana was a steamship built in 1897 and measured just over 106m. The ship accommodated 198 first class and 100 second class passengers. The Moana spent many years sailing between Auckland and Sydney and through to Canada and USA. Eventually as other newer ships joined the same routes as the Moana, and due to the fact that she was in need of a major overhaul the Moana was withdrawn from service and laid up at Port Chalmers on 13th March 1931. For six years she lay idle in the port before items of value were removed and the superstructure dismantled. The Moana was sold to the Otago Harbour Board, and was towed to the Aramoana Mole were she was sunk in her current position on 31st October 1927.
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