Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home Contact Me Sydney Reef Dive Sites Sydney Shipwrecks NSW Dive Sites Australian Dive Sites Overseas Dive Sites Dive Accidents and Incidents Our Yachting Adventures 4WD Trips Weather Search 22 November 2017 22:05
Navigation
Home

General
About Me
My Diving
FAQ
Downloads
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwreck Summary
NSW Shipwreck GPS/Marks
Australian Dive Sites
Overseas Dive Sites
Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
Our Dive Boat - Mak Cat
Our Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
Site Map
Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • Our Yachting Adventures.
  • Login
    Username

    Password



    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station


    Conditions at
    23:49 on 23/1/17

     
    Temperature 25.6°C
    Humidity 65.0%
    Barometer 1003.4hPa
    Rate -0.3hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction S
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 814.6 mm
    Rainfall this Year 827.0 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 31.2°C at 15:48
    Low Temperature 20.9°C at 6:27
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 27.5°C at 17:11
    Low Temperature 19.8°C at 6:29
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:06
    Sunset 19:05
    Moonrise 1:09
    Moonset 15:04

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Cape Banks has lots of swim-throughs"
    MV Konanda
    On 20 January 1955 a vessel called MV Konanda was launched from the D & J Boot shipyard in Aphen, River Rhine, The Netherlands. The ship was built for the Adelaide Steamship Company.

    The new ship was 153.25 feet (51 metres) long and 29.91 feet (9 metres) wide with a depth of 8.91 feet (3 metres). It had a tonnage of 414 gross (145 net) and was registered with Lloyds as 1196736. The ship was put into service carrying raw sugar between Cairns and Mourilyan and Goondi in Queensland. These last two places are located at Innisfail, also in Far North Queensland. I assume that she carried sugar from Mourilyan and Goondi to Cairns where it was on-shipped.

    In 1958 the Konanda shipped the final load of bagged sugar from Port Douglas. After this date the cargo was sent by road to the Cairns Bulk Sugar Terminal.

    In 1961 the MV Konanda was sold to Pearl Kasper Shipping of Nelson in New Zealand. Nelson is on the northern tip of the South Island and it was to be used as a ferry between Nelson and the capital, Wellington, which is on the southern end of the North Island. This means that it was used to cross Cook Strait, one of the most adverse waterways in the World (I crossed it in late 2000 and we had 8 metre swells).

    The KonandaThe Konanda
    The Konanda at an unknown locationThe Konanda about to be scuttled

    Apparently the ship was withdrawn from service suddenly as in the Volume 19 Number 1 of 1967 issue of the New Zealand Marine News it was reported that mystery surrounds the departure of the 415 ton Dutch built coaster Konanda. It was reported that it left Nelson on 10 December 1966. The article did not solve the mystery appears to have also described the vessel and its history on the Nelson-Wellington route. I have not seen the article yet. Its replacement was the Towai.

    In any case, it had been sold to Captain Athol Rusden of Port Vila, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu). It was reported that it was to be used in "the Islands". This may mean around Vanuatu or other South Pacific Islands.

    A later report in the same journal says that the Konanda had been used in the general cargo trade between Noumea in New Caledonia and Wallis Island. It was reported that it was possible that she may join the former MV Holmbrae on geophysical work in Bass Strait.

    In 1966 the Holmbrae was also purchased by Captain Rudsen and renamed MV Paul Markson (also reported as Paulmarkson). It appears he also purchased the Holmrea from Holm Shipping.

    The Konanda BowThe starboard railing near the bridge
    The bow of the KonandaThe starboard railing of the Konanda

    On 7 August 1966 the Paul Markson was sent to Bass Strait (between Tasmania and Victoria) for geophysical work, presumably on the then developing Bass Strait oil fields. Sometime after this she moved to Port Vila. For the next three years or so it was used around the islands of Vanuatu until sometime in 1969 when it was sold to Comptoirs Francais des Nouvelles-Hebrides, also of Port Vila and renamed MV Henri Bonneaud. The Henri Bonneaud is now a dive site in Espiritu Santo.

    The Konanda was later sold to Burns Philp Vanuatu Limited. When the rebellion occurred on Santo in May 1980, the ship was used to evacuate refugees from Santo. It is stated that on the night of 30 May 1980, a large number of the residents of Santo fled and went to Tangoa Point at South Santo.

    Together with the MV Nalkutan and MV Semle Federsen, the three ships ferried 2,000 people from Santo to Malekula

    Over 7 to 8 February 1987 she was wrecked by Cyclone Uma and declared a total loss. I arrived in Port Vila a couple of days after this event and the place was a shambles. There was damage everywhere and boats aground all over the harbour. The vessel was later sold to Iririki Island Resort to be stripped and sunk.

    In the early or mid 1980s, Iririki Island Resort asked a dive company operating out of Port Douglas called Coral Sea Diving Services to run their dive operations. After the Konanda was wrecked, it was Coral Sea Diving Services who suggested to Iririki that they purchase the ship with the view of sinking it as a dive site.

    In November 1987, Paul Gaddes was the senior partner in Coral Sea Diving Services. As he was a commercial oilfield diver, he was asked to go over to Port Vila and undertake the scuttling of the wreck. The ship was successfully sunk by Paul and became a favourite with visiting divers. Hopefully I will have some photos of the sinking soon.

    The Australian pilot strike of 1989 (started in August and went into 1990) not only affected internal Australian flights, it affected flights to other countries. The tourism industry in places like Vanuatu was greatly affected as at that time. Coral Sea Diving Services was forced to stop running the dive operation as a result of the strike.

    The KonandaThe stern capstan
    A porthole on the KonandaThe stern capstan of the Konanda

    As mentioned, in November 1987 the Konanda was scuttled off Ifira Island. This is the island to the west of Iririki Island and is the southern headland of Port Vila Harbour. The wreck is approximately off the small gap between the island and the mainland.

    Today the wreck of the MV Konanda sits at about 26 metres with a mooring located on the top of the mast in about 12 metres. A GPS reading of S17° 45' 09.9" E168° 17' 17.5" using WGS84 as a datum will put you on the wreck. Note that there is a very shallow reef located to the north-west of the wreck, it is only one metre on the top so be careful.

    The wreck faces south. From the mast, head to the bow and you will see that this is quite an attractive photo opportunity. There is a nice bow winch as well. Behind the bow there are two holds. Inside there are portholes, unusual, but remember that this at one time was a ferry on the Nelson to Wellington run. Drop down into the front hold and you can swim through into the second hold. At the end you can swim up through a hatch to the deck level.

    The Konanda's sternThe prop of the Konanda
    The stern of the KonandaThe prop of the Konanda

    Go through the starboard door and you enter a large cabin. You can go across to the port side. This goes past the entrance to the engine room, but it is a bit tight and I would only go there after a couple of dives here.

    Once out the port door, drop over the side and head to the stern. Here you will reach 26 metres and there are some great photos of the propeller and rudder available. The rudder is hard starboard. Once you have examined the prop and stern, go up to the main deck again. There are some nice railings here (also at the bow) and they again make for a great photograph.

    At the stern there is a huge capstan and in front of that there is a door. This is narrow and inside there is a toilet in the second room on the left. On the right there is the galley and further ahead you come to the engine room again. You can exit up through the engine room skylights here. Behind you is the funnel and an access hatch. Forward is the bridge.

    The engine room skylightsKelly in the hold of the Konanda
    Sonia exits through the engine room
    skylights of the Konanda
    Kelly in the front hold of the Konanda

    From here, go to the bridge and then ascend up the mast and the mooring. Note that if you swim at 290° from the stern of the wreck you will come to the nearby reef and you can end your dive here. It is only a couple of minutes swim. This mooring is located at S17° 45' 07.5" E168° 17' 13.4".

    This is a very good dive, well worth doing at least once on a trip to Port Vila. Visibility was about 20 metres and the water temperature 26 to 28° in May.

    References:

  • New Zealand Marine News 1967 Volume 19 Number 1 Page 25
  • New Zealand Marine News 1967 Volume 18 Number 4 Page 126
  • http://www.news.vu/en/news/national/050808-Vanuatu-Santo-rebellion-remembered.shtml
  • Email dated 21 August 2012 from Paul Geddes
  • Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2017
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!