Vic Ley was filmed by me spearing this Black Cod in 1969 at Fish Rock, South West Rocks – now a sanctuary. The sequence appeared in my first film Aquarius – People and Wildlife of the Sea but was dropped from later editions. Today it should be of interest to environmentalists. Vic Ley remembers how prolific marine life use to be at this now famous scuba location. New South Wales mid north coast.
Brian Davies was a professional fisherman, surfer and free diver who lived is a cabin at Seal Rocks, New South Wales. His father was a local pioneer professional fisherman – a true man of the sea as was Brian. Brian took a job in Japan which involved working with toxic chemicals. A few years later, back in Australia his liver packed up and Brian passed away – just a short time after his father.
The young fellow takes a Rock Blackfish ashore for his father, Geoff ‘Boots’ Towner, our long term friend.
Conditions for ‘rock hopping’ are not ideal, as the picture illustrates. A strong NE sea breeze has made the water choppy.
Early morning’s are a better bet for calm conditions although during bthe summer, the NE breeze starts early too.
Grey nurse sharks were protected especially to give tourist divers something worthwhile to look at, and to shut-up a handful of environmentalists with underwater camera’s who were conning the media into thinking only 500 sharks existed.
How anyone could possibly count all the sharks at every reef on the east coast never occurred to the media, they just ran with the fairy story while the Fisheries responded with a protective ban.
The bottom line is, it was probably a good thing to have the species protected.
Suggestion for an aspiring PhD student: Investigate the link between past onshore droughts and ‘vanishing sharks’ to determine if there is a connection why this species was scarce in the years before 1986. Include power head spears in the equation, plus professional fishing catches processed through markets.
Christine Danaher approaches a small grey nurse shark resting under a reef ledge. Located north of Forster, New South Wales, the area has been called Taurus Reef by local dive charter boats. When the flash went off the shark bolted.
Diving legends, Valerie and Ron Taylor, part-time residents of Seal Rocks
Ron has used the same boat for 38 years – proof of the durability of aluminium/aluminum, also a sign that a five-meter craft is sufficient for coastal diving needs in New South Wales. Anything smaller than 14 foot can be dangerous in bad weather.
For decades just fisherman’s huts and empty weekend shacks were located on the beach on the road to the lighthouse at Sugarloaf Point.
Following the passing of Mrs Seal Rocks (the guardian against development) the millionaires have moved in.
Two views of the beach are shown in larger form here as a record of how Seal Rocks looked recently, expect some changes to the value of real estate. A $1m. price tag on any block of land these days.
‘Native title’ owns land at the top of the sand hills with best views.
Australian fur seals also called seals and sea lions lived on the bigger of two offshore island-rocks until about 15 years ago. They may return.
It was a dusty rough track into **Seal Rocks** NSW when this shot was taken. The open back window of the panel van would have guaranteed a ‘suede’ coating of dust on the malibu’s.
No surf, but these guys from Newcastle have spotted something. A whale or dolphin?
This picture is published for the first time today, almost forty years later. Who were these guys and what surfing adventures have they had since? What interesting stories might be told? Maybe a surfing magazine will pick up on this ‘spark of an idea’?
No roof rack for the boards. No seat belts either in those days. Everyone piled into the back and four jammed in on the front seat.