The Exposed Remains of the Original Port Willunga jetty & the Wreck of the Ida

October 9, 2016 | Posted in: Maritime History

The Star of Greece Café is close to a shipwreck, and it’s not the wreck of the Star of Greece! The wreck of the Ida is down on the beach below the café. The wreck isn’t always visible as she is usually buried in the sand on the beach. She is said to have been “driven ashore about 100 yards south of the jetty”. Not the old jetty mind you. She is located mid-way between the old jetty and the old, old jetty. The old, old jetty is the original jetty built in the mid-1850s. The jetty normally seen at Port Willunga was built in the 1860s.

Recent storms revealed the wreck of the Ida and the old, old jetty at Port Willunga as shown in these photographs: –

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Remains of the original 1850s jetty at Port Willunga

(Taken by Steve Reynolds)

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The wreck of the Ida

(Taken by Steve Reynolds)

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Remains of the 1860s jetty at Port Willunga

(Taken by Steve Reynolds)

Neville Collins states in his book titled “The Jetties of South Australia – Past and Present” that the 1850s jetty was exposed following a storm in 1982. Here is a photo of the exposed jetty this year (taken from the opposite side): –

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Remains of the original 1850s jetty at Port Willunga

(Taken by Steve Reynolds)

According to “Shipwrecks in South Australia (1836-1875)” by Ronald Parsons, the Ida was a 175-ton brig from San Francisco that was wrecked during a storm at Port Willunga on 15th January 1857 (before the second jetty was built). She was driven ashore (“about 100 yards south of the jetty”) in the early hours of 16th January.

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Close-up of the remains of the Ida

(Taken by Steve Reynolds)

 

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society’s extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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