UNUSUAL CORAL SHAPES

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Wally Muller (pictured on the surface) was a former pro fishermen who took-up diving. Very unusual. Most fishermen were too scared of sharks to enter the water – not Wally.

During the Belgian Expedition I clicked this shot. No details of where it was, most probably in The Swains Reefs. Wally was a master navigator of this region in the era before reliable charts were available.

On 2nd thoughts I now wonder if those unusual mounds of coral were part of an old shipwreck since covered with live coral?

Further north at Yonge Reef, near Lizard Island, I photographed French author Bernard Gorsky using his Hassleblad and underwater case – the first Hassleblad housing seen in Australia.  It was 1967.

This picture became a cover for the original Australian SKINDIVERS Magazine.

De Moor de Better – ships’ slogan

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Pictured in the Ward Room (officers bar) aboard De Moor is Corinne, girlfriend of the expedition’s leader Pierre Dubuisson of Universite de Liege, Belgium.

German beer (Becks) was a favorite, duty free too. 27 000 bottles were brought from Belgium, another 35 000 were collected at Brisbane. Somewhere at various locations on the GBR are piles of bottles (aka green coral) left in deep water by the crew.

120 sailors aboard and a pretty girl.

Corinne spent much of her time aboard Wally Muller’s charter boat Careelah with Valerie and Ron Taylor and guest Kay Overell.   I was a deckhand for Wally.  What a fabulous experience and opportunity for us.

Wally assisted the Belgian Expedition in many ways, especially by leading them to unique study locations such as Gannet Cay in The Swain Reefs.

(A location not then featured on marine charts and presenting very hazardous navigation problems for a large vessel).

Number two in command was The Silver Fox (Jules) – showing his ceremonial sword on the Belgian National Day.

This was the first and probably still is the largest marine expedition to the Great Barrier Reef, yet it remains largely unreported today.