Chowder Bay
(Clifton Gardens)

Expand here for a description of the dive site

This site is well known to most of the local divers, and already described in Michael McFadyen's website so I won't repeat what has already been done. What is new is a map of all the objects that you can see underwater in Chowder Bay.

They may not be the most precious historical wrecks, but finding them and tuning navigation skills can be fun and if you ever get lost, which is quite easy with the lack of other references, just aim for NW and sooner or later you are going to hit the jetty or the beach.

Most of the objects listed in the picture above have been found night diving in June and July 2020. There are other smaller items on the seabed, like buckets and garbage bins, which I have ignored.

You can download a high resolution image of the map by clicking on it, or a Acrobat PDF file hereThe maps are 1:1000 scale (1 mm = 1 m), you can measure distances on the bitmaps with a photo application or on PDF with the ruler available in Adobe Acrobat Reader.Please note: all the GPS locations are in WGS84 datum. All the depths are at zero tide.

Details of the wreck site

The wreck is a good variation to the usual dive under the jetty. It's a 7 m long boat, sitting in 16 m of water, often surrounded by marine life. Mind that the whole bottom is very silty, so if you plan to take pictures you need to approach with caution of it will disappear into a cloud.

Due to the silt, the visibility can be better or (often) worse than under the jetty. Here a video I shot in June 2022.

Two ways to get to the wreck: underwater trail or surface swim

Underwater trail, a fun way to test your navigation skills: from the wider section of the jetty (see bigger map), swim perpendicularly to the rubble patch and to the big plough anchor that sits in the middle (28 m from the jetty). From there follow its big chain that departs from the anchor. After about 10 m it may disappear under the sand, keep the same heading and after a few metres it will reappear from the sand. Follow the chain to where it meets 2 more chains, forming a shape like chicken fingers. There, at 11 m of depth, you are right below the big white buoy. 

Take the chain to your right and swim along it for 20 chain rings, then turn 90' left and hold the bearing. After about 10 metres a similar chain will appear from the sand. Follow it for 45 metres, passing a tubolar structure to the left and after a few metres you will se the wreck to your left. To return, follow the same steps.

Surface swim to the big white buoy but look out for boats during the weekends. Drop along the chain to the bottom at 11 metres, you will see the chicken fingers (3 chains departing from the base).  From there follow the instructions described above for the underwater trail.

Please note: over time the sand may move covering or uncovering the chain differently from what illustrated here (as of June 2022).

The 3 chains departing from the base of the big white buoy (aka chicken foot)