Thursday, 9 August 2012


Sawtell N.S.W.
The once very rare Gloria maris - found at night on black sand near river mouths frequented by crocodiles and sharks.
Wally Gibbins had a skin diving career that spanned the Pacific Ocean.  He salvaged non ferrous metals from Japanese war ships in deep water, often using high explosives contained within the ships the blow them open.  Today some tourist dive companies regard his outstanding career as vandalism, failing to recognise the pioneering aspects of diving.
Spear fishing was a hobby in which he excelled at a time when few others were anywhere near matching his skills or exploits.

Also a keen shell collector his knowledge was admired by academics of this field, especially when he found numerous Gloria maris, the rarest sea shell in our part of the world and released by mail his 'price list' based on lengths of each specimen.  Experts were dumbfounded at the time.

The large 'shoulder gun' was useful, Wal explained his tequnique. 'tuck the butt under your arm thus allowing a particularly fast horizontal swing to be made underwater - i.e. when aiming at fast swimming large fish'.  Many friends were unable to load one of Wal's large guns.

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