Find Expeditions Start an Expedition About Open Explorer - Sydney Harbour Wreck Search

September 9 2014
We are searching for Shipwrecks in Sydney Harbour using side scan sonar as well as reinterpretation of previously collected data and looking to document these wrecks using various techniques including Structure from Motion

September 9 2014


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Mission Underway

ROCK ROCK ROCK grrr@#$%^#$!!!!

Got to say that one looked pretty good on interferometric sidescan data

But we sent 2 divers down and waited for a balloon to surface (our messaging system that it's a wreck and typically when others will gear up to do the dive)

After 40 minutes they returned and said it was rock (that looked a lot like a ship right shape sharp edges to the sand but a rock none the less)

So even with all that gear (and someone's still in the water when the shot was taken) no success

Tossing around naming it Independence Reef given the date for the not wreck list


unbelievable. I thought for sure that would be a wreck.

Yes David I also was pretty sure that would have turned out to be a new wreck )-:

Just shows that stuff that looks like it is a wreck may not be but other stuff that looks no where near as likely can be

They all change in appearance over time

Bummer! Well that's why we look and explore. Check it off the list and on to the next one. :)

Keeping up with traditions

We have had great success whenever we have had Ice blocks before dives on unknown Targets, so even though the weathers not right for it, you can't beat traditions


Current Target to inspect

Its in about mid 60 meters on a sand bottom at right angles to the natural geomorphology

Looks very wreckie

Here's hoping


@nswwrecks I see what you mean about the natural geomorphology running N-S and this object running W-E. It looks very promising.

Any leads on this one or is it a complete "unknown" from just scanning multibeam data?

It's a complete unknown popped up out of some I know's data (got to love it when some one else does the scanning for you)

Erika asked for an image from the weekend as we were not too far from where HMAS Swan had sunk we scanned past the vessel

HMAS Swan was a River-class torpedo-boat destroyer of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It entered service in 1916. The early part of the ship's career was spent on blockade duty in the Far East, before she was transferred to the Mediterranean for anti-submarine duty. Apart from performing shore bombardment during the Second Battle of Durazzo, Swan's wartime career was uneventful. The destroyer was placed in reserve in 1920, but was reactivated between 1925 and 1927. Swan was decommissioned in 1928, stripped of parts, and sold for use as prisoner accommodation on the Hawkesbury River. After changing hands several times, the hull sank during gale conditions in 1933.

The image is from a Klein 595 Sidescan with data acquisition through a National Instruments DAQ card. With the data recorded using Seasone Hunter software (*.SNR file but can be exported as an *.XTF) the Side scan was captured using the 500 KHz frequency of the unit with the range set to 50m (so 100m swath 50 meters out each side)

The image is only the Starboard side of the record (eg towfish on the LHS with the scan going out to the right) Dark colours are strong reflections and light colours are the “shadows” or lack or returns

Going from the LHS of the image you see the water column (so the towfish was approx. 12m above the bottom [5m dashed grid lines]) and then approximately 15m away from where the bottom begins you see the bow of the vessel which has had its back broken and the bow deck rolled towards the scan. The last 2/3 of the vessel is upright with holds and structure the lighter colour to the RHS is the shadow cast by the vessel


Fine tuning the system to the boat still need to adjust a few cables so the system can be better positioned for viewing. But the weekend was all about getting the side scan back out on the water on the new boat with a new 200m cable and working out the various small bugs/nuisances

With the new longer cable (200m c/w previous 100m cable) the starboard sides gain (RHS of the computer screen) was a bit too high so we had to tune the system down for that, by the end of the day the 500kHz was running perfectly but the 100kHz was still a little scrappy. Most likely we will need to get off shore (the weather wasn’t right for that this weekend) where we can run some wider ranges (say 200 -300m range / 400m-600m swath) so we can calibrate it better (the river wasn’t that wide)


Scott, I can't wait to see some of this data! Can you put up an example from a transect?

On the boat out trialing how to set it up on this boat and with the longer cable

A quickly knocked together ply / plastic and all thread - addition to the system to lessen the bend radius on the cable (it needs to be less than 500mm for this Kevlar reinforced tow cable with 5 coax cores and 2 pairs of conductors). Need to prefect it further as it can pick up a harmonic and making an annoying humming sound

Running it in the Hawkesbury River after a couple of weeks of solid rain the water was darker than the coffee we were dinking


The 4WD fully loaded with the scanning gear all lugged from the house down to the car then from the car along the wharf set up on the boat and then all back again at the end of the weekend (at an educated guess a couple of hundred kg’s all up)


Ocean Exploration = No need for the gym!

We used to load 3-5 hundred pounds of lead into the sub before and after every dive. Talk about exploration biceps! Haha.

Just about to lug all the gear out for a bit of a shake down trial and make a few modifications

Why is it soooooo heavy?


Haha because if it was cheap and light it probably wouldn't be rugged enough for marine use. Best of luck this weekend with your equipment tests!

The first was a target in about 30 meters of water and came up on the multibeam analysis as a disturbed area of about 25m long by up to 10m wide and only came off the bottom by about 300-400mm

I descended onto a flat sandy bottom with fairly poor visibility (there have been a few storms of late and a fair sea running so there was a fair bit of runoff and a lot of suspended sand lifted off the bottom)

There was a quite distinct collection of obviously manmade objects forming a long cigar shape on the bottom. These objects consisted of a number of pieces of ceramics (plate and some sort of larger "jar" / container) some wire / rope like objects as well as several pieces of obviously "worked" wood and several shaped (square and linear objects) materials. There were a large amount of "non natural" rocks (eg not local geology) that looked like "blue metal" that had regularly been shipped into Sydney from approximately 100km south of Sydney from Kiama for use in construction

After a bit of a swim around the object I saw nothing conclusive that it has come from a ship (eg no anchor etc) and that it is not dumped by some garbage barge sometime in the past, but I do not think it is conclusively a spoil dump of a barge either.

I believe this object will require a bit of further investigation to make a conclusive call on its nature

Have a look at the video (it's nothing fancy just the swim over of the site - sorry its 11 minutes long no cuts) and feel free to postulate


From watching the video, it's odd because there looks to be a clear distinction between the surrounding terrain (sand) and this pile. Although you mentioned and found a few pieces, I agree that I wouldn't call it a wreck, at least not on the surface. Maybe a light blower/suction to see if there is anything under the sand?

Hi Kevin
Yes there was a very clear delineation between the clean barren sand and the collection of objects, there were a fair number of manmade objects and stone "blue metal" which as its is imported into Sydney is a bit strange to be dumped but nothing obviously maritime

When we were dumping off shore garbage and spoil we were using barges with "bomb doors" that bottom dumped so you would expect to find it all in a localised area (and I have found a fair few of these but they are typically all just one material) the vessels were similar to this

Yep agree a few more swims around the "objects" and or a bit of digging or a metal detector to look for more conclusive objects of either a old wooden vessel ballast pile of a garbage dump

OK it has been a couple of months since I have done any real searching for new shipwrecks (although I have been doing a fair bit of data review of a few different government departments survey work)

Yesterday we went out and dived 4 different potential targets

After a few issues with the Navigation laptop (for some reason Google Earth wouldn't boot up even although it had the night before when checked) we realised nothing was going to go smoothly and we weren't going to get any beautiful bathymetry overlayed with the vessels position onto it (can't win them all)

So with nothing else to do we reverted back to "Old School" pen and paper and entering the waypoints into the boats GPS


So, the first OpenROV deployment of this Expedition happened today in Balmain.

We did 4 or 5 tries to find the structure based on the site scan data just to be interrupted by the Sydney Ferries. That's why you deploy an ROV that you can pull in in the case the ferry comes around and not a diver.

As the exact position from shore is not yet known and the water is rather murky we tried to run some search patterns following the compass headings but sadly, the most exciting thing we found was a deck of cards with a bow and arrow.

A few lessons learned on this deployment:
- Know your compass heading
- if you deploy in a boating channel and you don't want to pull back every time a boat goes by, don't put too many floats on your tether. If the tether sinks to the ground and you are deep enough, let the boat pass
- Stop the screencastify video BEFORE your laptop battery dies - we don't have the screencast :-(

Anyway, a big thanks to Sarah, Scott, Neill and Bryan!
I wan't to go back and have another go now that we have a bit of a better idea!


Shoot! Would've loved to see the video!

I know, but it was a lot of waves, sand, fish shooting away and kelp. :)


Nice effort! Let's see if we can get have a think about a positioning system. Great to see the ROV in action!

So wonderful!!! Great shot, we should use that in marketing!

Thanks, we should get a few even better shots from Neill from his SLR.
Feel free to use it, but once I've got the 2.7 I'll go and get some good shots done.

Thanks to all who came along especially at such an inconvenient/early time.
Interesting to see the Ferries running between the ROV and the shore

Great work and thanks for sharing the lessons learned. I know that once we get ours in the bay they will help us be more prepared. I love the picture of the ROV too!

Hmm, good note on the screencastify. I was under the impression that it stopped and would still be saved. Good to know.

Thanks for the tips, this is helpful.
A positionning system can be done, floating GPS devices are available and can be attached to the ROV.

We're at Balmain,

Illoura Reserve
Balmain East NSW 2041


Overlaid side scan with some multi beam for the same area the collection of objects is a "lump" coming about 400- 500mm above the surrounding bottom (not the best image but when I rotate it on the screen it shows it better)

So two different sources so there must be something there (could also be dredge spoil from a channel widening some time back in history)

PS looks like it is in only 6 or so meters of water


Wow, that's not far from the surface. I'd be comfortable free diving the are if it weren't for the deep drop nearby and ferry traffic. I'm looking forward to seeing the result of your dive!

This is amazing! Your sonar skills are way better than ours ;)

We'll order the book you recommended.

Balmain by the mid 19th century was Sydney’s biggest maritime industrial area, full of boat yards, ship repair companies and shipbuilding yards abounding around the foreshores of Balmain, as well as on Cockatoo Island and neighbouring headlands.

The site we have identified in the side scan is only 35m off the sea wall and located in a park and so should be an ideal place to set up.

BUT the site also lays directly under one of Sydney's main ferry routes with the Balmain East Wharf less than 100meters away (so we will need to keep an eye out for the morning peak hour ferries coming every 30 minutes or so)


I like the image overlaid on google earth!

You have far more courage than I for doing battle with the ferries. Looks like an interesting site though, definitely a good outline.

Just looked at the high tide for Friday 6:49 am local (8:49 PM (20:49) Previous Day UTC) uuurrggg

Not a morning person !!!!!!!

Hoping it is something not just a garbage pile


for the past 30yrs I did most of my exploring on land. Now that I've focused more attention to the sea, I'm not a fan of my schedule being controlled by the tides.

Haha, as a lifetime ocean explorer turned part time land explorer, I feel spoiled everytime I don't have to wake up at 4am or stay up to midnight...but I feel your pain :)

Good luck! I also hope it's not a pile of garbage. Though that being said, Human Impacts studies are still pretty interesting. We once found one of those BIG outdoor umbrellas fully open and perfectly intact with a whole colony of shrimp living under it, 20 miles offshore and 300 meters deep....

Erika, thats a great story with an unexpected surprise. I'd never have expect to find an umbrella packed with shrimp that far offshore. My surprises usually involve wild animals in caves. Not as much fun. :(

Thanks Michael and Erika,
From doing this looking for wrecks thing I have seen lots of weird things I would never have seen as a diver, I dived on large pieces of concrete in 70 odd meters that from the sounder and the side scan you would bet a million dollars were a wreck, whilst at other times I have dived something to "just clear it off the list" and been surprised that it was a wreck

All you can do is just get out and look (either with the ROV or other techniques) and with a bit of research you will find an new wreck site

But no matter what I HATE EARLY MORNINGS!!!

We have a date.

Myself, @ROV463 (not sure if @ROV463 is bringing its owner Dom or not) and Sarah are heading out this Friday Sydney time, to have a look at that odd collection of objects


Ok getting back to shipwreck matters

We are still keen to get out and check out a few interesting / strange looking anomalies from various previously done surveys

One of the first is this collection of items looking like potentially an old wooden vessel where all of the wooden structure has been eaten away with time

We are also getting a Maritime Archaeologist (Sarah Ward) to come and assist us when we investigate this site and for her thoughts on what the collection of objects could be


Nice! When are you heading out? Are you and @codewithpassion going to hit the seas together?

Yep Erika Dom's coming I'm picking him up at 6:15am on Friday our time

Wow, very impressive operation, and it looks like a great target! I look forward to seeing what you post after your dive on Friday.

Michael don't over read us our operation is me Dom and Sarah (who I have know for quite a few years) as you know its all just about getting out there and having a go

Typical dawns with a super flat ocean after getting up for a 2am watch and spending hours watching a screen it was always a great site seeing the sun come up

(Note the auto pilot we put in whist underway [loose display with the white wire on RHS of image] we found out after 2 days it worked much better after reading the instructions and re mounting the gyro compass in the correct orientation - it was surprisingly good considering it was mounted in the wrong plane)


Though I often find that things work better when I read the directions, I still only read them long after I've installed the item. Its good that it didn't head you in the wrong direction hen it was setup incorrectly.

Rough Ticket.

Komodo Dragons they don't look to dangerous, dry and hot just before the monsoon season


Whoa! They do look dry. Very cool shot.

With the dry dusty dirt and the way they're sprawled out on the ground made me think they were dead when I first looked. I wouldn't want to get too close to them.

Dawn over the active Volcanic Sangeang Island

Great dives with Black sands and heaps of soft corals and Volcanic gases escaping from the sand


Wow! I've only been to one area in the northeast with black sands, but there wasn't any volcano nearby.

Nice pic!

For some time I've been imagining taking an OpenROV to Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii, it's been erupting into the sea for decades in glorious bouts of plume and pillow lava. The lava is pretty consistent on a scale of days, not minutes or hours, so it'd be fairly safe to sit a few hundred yards away and fly the ROV. It might be an interesting test of the ROVs heat capacity...

Interesting test of the ROVs heat capacity

Another test to destruction got to love that

OK back from 1400 Nmiles (2600km) had a great trip everything went well with a heap of diving (still not sure how many 20 odd?? waiting on my dive computer to get back)

Caught and released a Black Marlin as well as a large Sailfish and dived some exceptional walls were the boat anchor was in 2m of water but the boat was hanging back off the edge and showing 300m on the sounder. I also saw 4 groper about the size of a dinning room table (huge and a little bit intimidating when they charge you to get out of their area)

Great trip would love to do it all again

Anyway still some new wrecks to find


That was quite a trip! We want to see some pictures!!

OK here a few

Hey Scott, glad to have you back! I'll get you some updates and imagery this week.

Here's a picture of the boat (looks good for a bit of side scan action from that back deck)


Excited to hear how it goes!

Very nice!

Yep looking forward to it and will let you know how the trip went when we get back

Hi I'm going to be out of contact for about the next 3 weeks as I fly out to Bali on Wednesday to bring a 12m Noosa Cat back from Bali to Darwin (about a 2400km trip). I expect to be doing some great diving over the whole trip and looking forward to trying out the new Hero 4 Silver GoPro

Here's the expected route


Sounds like an adventure! Stay safe!

Have a nice trip. Can't wait to see your next video!

Have a great trip! I look forward to seeing your posts when you return.

Have you had a chance to check out Momento yet?

Dave I hadnt heard of that one it looks interesting as well

C'est la vie

S*%#@ Happens

God's of the sea's claim some more equipment

(but we did get some video still to download and edit it yet)


Bummer! I guess we have to live by the mantra "if you put it over the side, be prepared to lose it!"

I have to agree with you sooner or later everything gets dropped into the ocean/dropped on the deck and broken/flooded or generally some other way of be stuffed up

Nothing you can do but accept it, but I do like to think in this case we have set up a wreck monitoring station

Bummer is right! The universe hinting about the Hero 4?

Yep - Bummer
Also no SfM of this wreck till I get a new piece of gear to do it
I'm thinking Hero 4 Silver but put back in a Hero 3 case (I like the 60m depth rating of the older housings rather than the current 40m rating of the new housings and as this shows it was lost not flooded the old 60m case will handle 73m)
PS great going with the Girls underwater thing Erika good on you

A couple of guys I was with when we found the New wreck site are trying to get out there tomorrow (weather dependent) to put a tape across it to try and confirm its identity (we are currently thinking it is a scuttled 27m tug called the Yamba

Hopefully we should also get some stills to do a SfM model of the wreck site

Still celebrating the find with a cool sparkling beverage


This one sound cool, too! Excited to see photos.

I will try and get some video or more stills up over the next day or so

The wreck we have just found has made it into the newspapers

although still not sure about how I feel about the quote

"self-confessed history “nut” Scott Willan"

ha! Either way. Way to go, Scott! This is very cool!

Congrats Scott! Always a win to be recognized for your work! Glad you can make an assessment as to what she was instead of just another anonymous wreck.

Thanks Dave and Kevin, its also be picked up by one of the TV stations and they are using the same tag line ....... so it looks like it may stick

Stern of the newly discovered wreck


Whoa! Stunning photo, the water is surprisingly clear! What was vis? looks 8-10 meters...

Yep that was about the vis, it had a fair amount of suspended matter but for the depth we were still getting OK ambient light

Also we big lights (around 10,000lm dive torches) and these pictures are from a good low light camera with a superwide fish eye

Success !!!

A new wreck in 73m found and dived for the first time

A bit hectic, I will add some more info in the morning


Excited for more info!! Great photo!

Two images of the one target

The image on the LHS was captured on thermal paper in 1982 using a Klein 521 side scan sonar whilst the image on the RHS was captured in 2002 using a Klein 2000 SSS (remember the 2 passes would not be on the same course).

We have been out and sounded over this region and identified a potential lump in 72m of water approximately 6.5km off Sydney Heads

The old pre GPS 1982 location (unknown layback/distance of cable out from the boat to towfish sensor) was determined from bearings to the shore and is about 300 odd meters from the 2002 location, which was about 50m from the sounded location.

/we are intending to dive this target tomorrow. Hoping it proves fruitful


Wow, that's cool! The similarities are so clear especially with the double lines on the hull on the left side of the sonar scan. Looking forward to having you regale us with tales of deep water shipwreck diving!

On the same day we also found a modern wreck, Which we have christened "Adam's Wreck" for his first day out looking for wrecks and the effort he put in throwing out and retrieving the shot line all day

It appears to be a modern runabout upside down on the bottom about 4.2m long with an outboard still on the back of the boat pointing to the surface.

It was located between the Sydney Harbour heads in about 18 meters of water


Whilst out yesterday we also found what appears to be an old small/medium sized Admiralty Anchor

It was found at the entrance to Middle Harbour next to Middle Head in approximately 10m of water.

The steel projecting from the sea bottom appears to be the "Arms" of an Admiralty Anchor (about 1500mm sticking out of the sand) where the "shank" of the anchor has broken off and fallen into the sand below

We went out yesterday to clear out a number of targets, I dived 12 targets in about 2 hours ranging in depth from about 23m to 8m showing what a well oiled crew can do.

We found all sorts of weird stuff, some geological, some natural (organic?) and many man made objects which we are still to identify such as this Large Heavy walled Steel object

It was sticking out of the sand by about 600mm and was about 1200mm in diameter and was obviously "robust" and constructed from heavy steel sort of like a old boiler, but not obvious internals


We dived this site again yesterday and in short still no clearer as to what the objects are (and yes, the visibility was worse yesterday than previously)

Thoughts are ranging from a possible wreck site, a possible site of a long gun (either from a vessel or used as ballast or dumped) or a good old fashion garbage heap

Still more investigation need at this site


Hmm, interesting. Do you have an SfM mosaic yet? That might help understand the site as a whole.

No unfortunately, but I took a heap of pictures (all very green looking) but yesterday wasn't ideal day (basically dived it at about the worst time - mid tide so a strongish current and quite poor for that area visability)

I did get the time on the bottom (about 45min) for a good swim around pair of sites and off in all directions looking for "other stuff" didn't find any new areas but di have a good look at the mound area (NW site) and it looks interesting with a few "nautical" pointers (some very old hemp rope under the sand and another metal pin)

Hoping to get back and do some SfM and maybe clear up what all of the individual components of the site are materials of construction etc (so far have seen shaped wood, steel pins, steel pipe, hemp rope, large metal thing, something like concrete and rock that isn't geological for the area)

(Kevin FYI I was speaking to a mate on and he said the Sydney Uni AUV over there is using tailored opensource SfM software so you can look into that maybe with your stuff and avoid the cost of the agisoft stuff)

Wow, you've got a real mystery on your hands then! I can't wait to see what it is and the research you are going to do on it.

(And thanks for the link to that opensource SfM software. I don't mind a little cost as I already pay well for some side scan and GIS software. I think I'll try a little bit of everything once I get some footage!)

We are heading back out to the Unidentified (potentially an old wooden vessel wreck) Site with a Maritime Archaeologist tomorrow.

The intent is to run a tape between the 2 sites and then use this as a base for searching (up to around 30m from this centre line) and use pegged flags to mark any other smaller objects and then run lateral lines back to the main tape between the 2 sites.

After this it is hoped (dependent upon water visibility) that we shall do a Structure from Motion, mosaic of the overall site (to develop a site plan post dive), also take images, measure up, and try to identify the individual items found

Here is an image of the South Eastern site where there is a sizable piece of wooden structure leading into the sand


Hey, Would you be interested in crowdfunding for this project with FundScience Australia?

A bit of cash would always be good, but at this stage I'm just an individual doing what I love (looking for new shipwrecks)

Preparation Stage

Whist out on Monday checking previously identified potential targets we also dived a pair of target sites approximately 30m apart

The southern site consists a large piece of old shaped and worked wood (about 600mm by 250mm by 6m long) extending into the sea bed

Whist the northern site is a large mound (and an associated hollow) as well as a grouping of man made objects buried beneath the sand including a metal pin typically used in ship building as well as a number of other objects protruding from the sand. This area also has a different bottom (a type of "algal" growth) where away from the site it is back to clean sand

The video bellow has now been seen by a two different Maritime Archaeologists both who suspect that the site may be the site of an old wooden vessel but it is still not conclusive

At this stage it is still to early to sure of exactly what the collection of objects is more diving and exploring to be done at this site/s


The video is wonderful! I'm curious if there has ever been any timber industry passing in and out of the port. Do you know any of the history around construction lumber imports as Sydney was built? If it's not a shipwreck, It could be fallen cargo.

Thanks for the kind comment Erika (but "wonderful" could be a bit strong ;-) - it was just simple point and shoot GoPro footage and I know too many people who take great footage and

Sydney Harbour did have a fair amount of wood come into it for the construction of the city (say with the peak from around 1840-1930's) most (not all) of the imported wood was typically as rough sawn lumber and "sleepers" that typically underwent further milling on the water front

The bits "looked" assembled (eg fastened together) rather than just pieces of lumber although there is the possibility it may be material lost over the side of a vessel or wharf infrastructure that drifted to this location

I suspect a few more visits will be required to get any answers (if ever) maybe another job for a bit of Structure from Motion to define up the site

Of course not every thing can be interesting sometimes it just a large concrete block (about 3m by 3m by 1.5m)


Figures...At least it wasn't a rock and it was something man-made.

It was fairly "green" in that section of the harbour yesterday, we were actually aiming for the "larger object" (see previous post image below) about 10m south where the "pin" is in the image. But I suspect this concrete block is part of the same overall "hit" all of which is modern (it actually had a whole heap of wiring associated with it in a cable similar to our side scan cable) and may be part of some Navy experiment

As for diving rocks, we also dived a couple of those yesterday as well..... looking for wrecks is all about persistence

We went out to dive a few targets that we have been collecting


A closer view of the potential Balmain target


Was the harbor dredged at any point? This looks very similar to disposal zones in Seattle and Miami outside of the main channel. The circular object 2 meters wide in the upper right corner looks like a cross section of pipe or a pipe clamp.

This area was one of the heaviest marine precincts in the harbour prior to the 1930's

Parts of the harbour have been dredged (typically not too much, as it is an old fairly deep flooded river valley) and you can never tell until you get there but it looks somewhat consistent with other old wooden vessel images (eg Iserbrook (details of vessel and a side scan image of the site

Most of the targets that we have found to be "not wrecks" have actually not been dredge spoil but just old garbage dumps (up to about the 1950's barges were used to take some "garbage" (typically construction style waste) out to sea and dump and may not have got all the way out think stormy Friday afternoon and that's far enough)

But that is in part why it is a "target" at this stage

As part of the preparation stage, we are conducting a data review hoping to identify potential targets with in the harbour

As part of this review, we have identified numerous potential targets including a feature at Balmain approximately 20m long with a collection of man made looking objects

This is a part of the harbour is full of heavy boat traffic and typically has somewhat poor visibility


Wow, that's a great side scan sonar you guys have!

Unfortunately that image hasn't come from our Klein 595 its come from a trial that was under taken a couple of weeks ago using a Sonardyne Solstice before it's been integrated into a AUV for further trials (so images will get even better once its on the AUV and can get better motion sensing corrections)

We are only getting an A/D conversation of 1024 per side (so for a 100m range about 100mm resolution) from our unit (........ and out tuning isn't always as crisp as this....)

Expedition Background

Sydney Harbour has been a significant maritime hub for over 200 years with many wrecks contained within its area

We are looking to document many wrecks and potential wreck sites within its bounds

Firstly there is a data collection phase where we review our own side scan sonar records as well as the reinterpretation of others data that had been collected under broad scale hydrographical surveys looking for potential "targets"

Next we intend to dive these targets (either SCUBA or with an OpenROV) to confirm their nature (a wreck/a garbage pile/ a strange bottom anomaly)

For confirmed wreck sites we shall undertake some basic documentation including (dependent on conditions) Structure from Motion documentation of the wrecks site

Similar to the wreck of the Colonist we have previously found and documented


Shipwrecks are so fascinating and eerie at the same time. There are so many of them around the world, and each with a compelling story. I can't wait to hear more! How long is the wreck in the photo?

The Colonist was 23m long you can see a couple of measuring stick (1m long 100mm segments) on the LHS of the image