The Valiant is a small tug that sank off Barrenjoey Headland around 1981. Around 22m long, it lies upright on an angle on the sand in 27m of water, less than 10 minutes boat ride from any of the boat ramps or piers behind Palm Beach. Its a fun little dive, and as the wreck is small you can explore it fairly thoroughly in the 25-30 minutes you have before exceeding no decompression limits.
We were picked up by the Frog Dive boat Avanti, just after midday at the Sandy Point boat ramp, which is adjacent to where the seaplanes take off from. The sea conditions were near perfect for us, with only a light swell and no wind, which made for a smooth 10 minute boat ride out to the front of Barrenjoey Headland.
The wreck is not buoyed so the captain Peter dropped a shot line based on sounder readings, which we used as a guide to descend. He did a good job, as we ended up just in front of the bow.
Visibility was good at around 10m, meaning we could see about half of the wreck from the front. We cruised around the old boat slowly, noting the main features, completing a circumnavigation in around 6 minutes. There was a bit of fish life on the wreck, including a couple of wobbegong sharks and a large cuttlefish, as well as the standard school of Blacktip Bullseyes. Interestingly there were a squad of squid laying eggs on the wreck, each time we would come near them they would fly away, only to return a little bit later to finish their work.
We explored the main hold area, which contained the large cuttlefish, and then I took the below video, which covers most of the wreck. At around 24 minutes my deco limit was reached, so we returned up the line and back into the boat for the ride home.
Diving the Valiant
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