May 20, 2012 Comments Off
October 20, 2009 Comments Off
Something positive came out of what would be commonly considered to be a negative deed today.
In 1963 you were almost handed a medal for dispatching a man eater such as this. (More pictures follow).
Popular opinion is against most forms of killing yet these same folk think nothing of eating meat – which is animal flesh dripping with bloood,(sic) commonly thought of as the juice.
The situation in 1963. A 21-year old kid swimming with a shotgun powerhead sees a shark and thumps it. Simple as that, no great thought involved, just something to instinctively do in that era.
One of the world’s (late) great psychologists was also into scuba. William C Coe was aboard Coralita destination Saumarez Reef on a one-off expedition. He told us how he was a jet fighter pilot during the Korean war.
One day he shot a dog on the ground with the 50 caliber aircraft cannons for no reason except he had the power to do so.
Bill was aged about 21 years.
How did you react to the Russian-built MiG’s used by the enemy?
“When we encountered Russian-built MiG’s we’d high-tail it out of there, fast” said Bill.
“Those aircraft were superior”.
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A WHITE POINTER
My first encounter with a white pointer was a lie as told in 1963.
The shark was discovered in a beach meshing net, still alive, caught by the tail firmly entangled in the net.
My father and I could have cut it free – photographed the events and been the first ‘shark crusaders’ in the world!
(Not much different to saving a psychopath today and allowing him to commit even more heinous crimes).
In 1963 the only good shark was a dead shark.
In November 1963 we were still 28 months from seeing the first underwater pictures of a live white pointer shark snapping in front of the camera. Memorable pictures that would become the movie poster for “Blue Water White Death” in 1971.
This first white pointer of mine was caught in the beach meshing net at Rainbow Bay – just 200 meters north of the border with New South Wales and Queensland one Saturday morning two weeks after my 21st birthday. I was still very much a young kid in that era.
Also seeing the shark, 10 minutes later as we were carefully attaching a rope to it’s tail was surfer Bob Evans who paddled out on his longboard to see the shape below of the now dead shark under our boat.
The shark had been killed with a single shot to it’s head from a newly devised 12 gauge shotgun powerhead attached to a handspear. It was a ‘sitting duck’, as it swayed from side to side in the net, still very much alive and quite recently caught in the net judging by it’s energy.
The lower teeth curving inwards had me thinking this was a Blue Pointer – but the color was not consistent. I’d studied shark shapes in Peter Goadby’s handbook “Sharks and other Predatory fish” and knew the difference between the grey nurse, pointer and whaler sharks by their tail shapes and number or dorsal fins.
When the pictures were processed back in Sydney I invented a story about how this shark seemed to attack me and killed in self defense at a different location further down the coast.
Inventing stories was nothing new in 1963 – every leading free diver was doing it. Including the international experts who wrote about sharks in their popular books.
Later came a questionnaire from an international shark investigation agency. It was almost a case of ‘tick the box’ to describe how the shark ‘attacked’ me.
I don’t have any confidence in the bulk of information gathered this way over fifty or more years in that agency’s files.
Years later I told the true details to close friends and left it at that. Most people had forgotten the original story anyway.
This can be a warning today for others with good intentions not be gullible in believing all facts concerning sharks – especially when conservation news stories of the shark fining industry which relies on the reader having minimal knowledge of professional fishing methods.
The following month in December 1963 came another shark attack in South Australia at Aldinga Reef where a young white pointer of about the same size as mine gently ‘tasted’ the chest and hand of a free diver then let him loose - albeit with serious injuries. We compared the jaws size with those injuries which matched - a shark about 2.6 meters to maybe 3.1 meters in length had bitten him.
© JHH (28 March 2013) to be continued
(Website) OCEAN RAMSAY SWIMS WITH GREAT WHITES
(Blonde swimming with white pointer shark)
December 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
December 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
December 2012 MAKO news pics <CLICK
Photographed at Neptune Islands, South Australia - among the white pointer sharks. Graphic shots.
November 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Private scrapbook 1960s-1970s. These clipping are not the first to be published on this subject in Australia. January 1969. Baby sharks saved and returned to the sea to swim away. At the time, some would have regarded this as an ignorant error. To set the record straight, we did not sit down at a table a decide what was going to be a worthwhile cause. What happened was a combination of things, pictures taken then magazine and newspaper editors coming up with a storyline.
The baby sharks being set free can be attributed to Yvonne Rockman who was standing behind the cameras with her husband, the future Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Irvin Rockman CBE. “Let them go” was Yvonne’s shouted suggestion which was followed. The 16mm camera was rolling and the images were to be first seen in Japan on the national NHK TV station. What the reaction there was, is anyone’s guess.
October 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Click Australian Museum site for species information.
Newspaper in Taiwan, 17 October 2012
July 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
This is the only Green sawfish this writer has ever seen. Cinematographer Gavin McKinney filmed a pair of them. His work is very good (handicapped in this example by a poor script).
Sharks 3D appears to have been recorded on large format film (not video). Here’s the HD version on You Tube, and is well worth a look.
Subjects appearing with approximate starting times:
Sand Tiger (Grey Nurse) 3.00
Pelagic fish school (good) 8.17
Manta Ray (good) 12.24
Sawfish (very rare footage) 16.10
Sea lion (seals) 18.00
Great white (white pointer shark) 20.25
Schooling hammerhead (very good) 24.00
Reef sharks (lots of them) 28.00
Great Hammerhead (looks smaller than the stated eighteen feet). 31.18
Whale shark (includes a short feeding shot) 35.00