Thursday, 19 July 2012


Wally's cousin was a keen swimmer, Miss Avril Hay in 1958
Queensland Groper at Heron Island, November divers convention 1963
Collecting shark eggs at Coffs Harbour, NSW
'Jewies' Coffs Harbour
Decompressing, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Port Jackson shark eggs

The 11foot 1 inch Tiger shark killed with a (larger than usual) 10 gauge shotgun powerhead in 1963. Photographed at Heron Island but caught at nearby Sykes Reef.  For many years it was and maybe still is the largest shark taken by a freediver in Australia - however shark hunting has since fallen out of vogue.  Powerheads need to be licensed and can no longer be fired from spearguns.  In this case Wal used a handspear.  Most powerheads took smaller 12 gauge cartridges.

(above)  Fathom magazine, 480 pages in total.   FATHOM MAGAZINE

Wal's boat at Heron Island. Unable to have it towed to the island he followed the passenger boat's wake. 
Wally Gibbins' great grandmother  (was Australian aboriginal from the Darling River region of Walgett, New South Wales.  Wally was therefore regarded by authorities as 1/8th aboriginal,  this information was learned by relatives in 2012.
 .At Coffs Harbour, "Bali-Hai" before being renamed "Mr Wally" - intended to be a Solomon Islands-based salvage vessel operated in partnership with long term diving friend, John Sumner. Wal believed there was a Spanish shipwreck south of Guadalcanal island that may yield treasure. Nearby island-people pre WW2 had European facial features indicating shipwreck survivors may have spent time living there.  Another plan was to salvage live post WW2 dumped ammunition from deep water using a mechanical grab guided by a video camera.



bould for making lead bullets (slugs)

serving spoon

gold sovereigns

 silver coins some probably worn by crew

diamond ring, ruby ring, ring for wax seal impressions

Various locations featured here. West Irian, Lord Howe Island (giant black cod), Heron Island (brown spotted cod) and a lot of NSW lobsters somewhere.

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