SS Ayrfield Mariner’s Cove Homebush Bay
Bill and I on a spur of the moment decided to test out my new DVF-9 filter. It’s my first shoot using one of these and I was very impressed with the remarkable results that I managed to achieve with little effort.
I’m looking forward to shooting a few more images and a few seascape over the next few weeks down Adelaide.
Nikon Pro Lens 24-70 F2.8
Exposure Manually Calculated
Exposure 120 seconds
Filter DVF-9 Stop Filter
Shot at Midday
Shipwrecks by the Bay
Approval to use portions of Homebush Bay as a ship-breaking yard was granted by the
Maritime Services Board in 1966. A monthly rental was charged to private firms to moor
vessels in the bay for breaking up ashore via a ramp constructed for the purpose in 1970.
Vessels known to have been broken up from 1970 include the Kookaburra, Branxton and
Samson by Goldfield Metal Traders, two barges by Nicholson Bros. Harbour Transport Pty Ltd.,
and Kara Kara by Marrickville Metals. The steamer Meggol was recovered and scuttled off
Long Reef as part of the shipwreck reef formed from 1976 as were other Sydney hulks.
Ayrfield – a steel single screw steam collier, 1140 tons. 70.10m in length, built at Grangemouth
by the Grangemouth Dockyard Company, United Kingdom in 1911. Registered at Sydney, folio
6 of 1945 – formerly folio 1 of 1912, Official No. 131496. Powered by a vertical direct acting
triple expansion engine, the vessel was launched as ss Corrimal. One time purchased by the
Commonwealth Government and used to transport supplies to American troops in the Pacific, it
was sold again to Bitumen and Oil Refineries Australia Ltd in 1950. Soon after in 1951 the
vessel was purchased by the Miller Steamship Company Ltd. who renamed it Ayrfield. From this
time it operated as a collier on the sixty-miler run between Newcastle and Sydney. The vessel’s
registry was cancelled on 6 October 1972 and the hull said to be broken up. One of the
Homebush hulks is thought to represent the remains of this vessel.
Crane Barge – Located in the immediate vicinity of Heroic and Karangi, this unidentified
wooden vessel may have served as a crane barge or crane lighter. Ownership has not been
ascertained. It is similar to the ex-Maritime Services Board barge MSB 16 still located alongside
the ship-breaking ramp.
Heroic – a steel tugboat, built at South Shields, United Kingdom in 1909 by J.P. Rennoldson &
Sons, 268 tons and 38.10m in length. Registered in Sydney as folio 25 of 1909, Official Number
125198. . Built for Thomas Fenwick of Sydney, the famous Sydney tug towed an ex-French
three-masted warship Eure to Sydney from Numea for breaking-up in 1911. Commandeered by
the British Admiralty during World War One and renamed Epic, it was engaged in rescue work
off the Scilly Isles. Back home in 1919, the Heroic rescued the freighter Allara when torpedoed
off Sydney during World War Two. It is unclear when Heroic was hulked at Homebush Bay
although c.1973 it was sold to J.B. Mullins who intended to rename the vessel Bustler II.
HMAS Karangi – a steel boom defence vessel of 971 tons, 54.25m, built at Cockatoo Docks &
Engineering Company Ltd, NSW in 1941 (Penant P.282). Modelled on the British “Bar Class” of
boom defence vessels, the Karangi and sister ships Kangaroo and Koala. Karangi assisted in
laying the defences of Darwin and was involved in the Japanese attack there in 1942. It was
also present in the Monte Bello Islands during British Atomic tests in 1952. Removed from Navy
lists and partially scrapped in 1965-6, the vessel was abandoned in Homebush Bay at an
Mortlake Bank – a steel single screw steam collier, 1371 tons gross and 71.65 in length, built at
Walsend-on-Tyne, UK, 1924. The vessel was powered by a triple expansion direct acting
engine. Registered at Sydney, folio 12 of 1937, Official No. 147708. The vessel was bought by
McIllwraith McEacharn Ltd. of Melbourne in 1934 and operated on the famous sixty-miler route
between Hexham and Mortlake for the Australian Gas Light Company. The vessel’s registry
was closed on 4 October 1972 and the hull said to have been broken up. This appears to have
been incomplete and one of the hulks is thought to represent the vessel.
Barges – Several barges, dredges and lighters are visible in Homebush Bay but their
identification and history is incomplete. Records from the ex-Maritime Services Board suggest
that the following barges were at one time moored in the bay, although it is not known whether
some were scrapped, removed or left there: L 989; L 498; No.7 crane; FP 1569; L 409; L 906;
No.2 Punt and 1630 Crane.