Tuesday, 1 August 2017


New edit of Ron Taylor's classic 'first film in color' featuring his girlfriend Valerie Heighes soon to be Mrs Valerie Taylor.

No diving reef rules existed in 1963 - consequently Val often touched the coral.

Wally Gibbins rides a turtle 'into the distance' at the end.

Filmed during the annual November "Skindiving Convention" held at Heron Island, Queensland.  A time for spear fishermen and shell collectors to holiday together and exchange information.

Underwater photography with medium format Rolleiflex camera with diver Alan Power photographing Valerie with painted crayfish (later called a lobster).

Original footage is on Kodachrome II 16mm stock.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

TRAILER: Blue Water, White Death (1971)

A remarkable journey featuring Ron and Valerie Taylor of Australia working with American film makers in search of a giant shark to film.

Initially the team focused on South Africa and the whaling fleet where it was believed a 40 foot shark (the extinct megalodon) had been appearing for years, feeding upon the giant harpooned whales.

Stunning footage was obtained of oceanic bull sharks yet no giant Great white 'megalodon' appeared.

Ron Taylor suggested the team try South Australia where he had been successul filming the first underwater footage of a White pointer shark  in 1966 - along with Henri Bource who was underwater in a shark cage and further from the snapping shark that was dramatically  close to Ron's camera on the surface.

Still frames from Ron's 16mm footage were world media attention-grabbing, published everywhere and later becoming a poster for Blue Water White Death and even as promotional material for JAWS the movie.  No better images existed at the time and remained that way for years.

MORE INFO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalodon

Friday, 12 May 2017


The first Great white to be saved by Australian divers - at a time when the species was poorly understood and years before JAWS was written and the movie made.  Ron Taylor took a very calculated risk - saving a shark that may have been one of the two (or more) which could have yet did not attack him when he fell into the sea the previous night.  An act of kindness being repaid.

This footage was re-discovered in 2017 and music added for this memorial to both Ron and the shark he spared.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

THE CORAL SEA in 1964 "Slaughter at Saumarez"

Filmed by Ron Taylor.  No room aboard for a girl so Valerie remained in Yeppoon QLD. This was during early October 1964.  Film was released in theatres one year later as part of a three film programme titled "Ron Taylor's Shark Fighters".

Lower panel is a still pictures (only) version from the same trip incorporating part of the film soundtrack.  Some pictures do not quite match the commentary - intentional for light humor.



"Skindiving Paradise" Ron and Val Taylor at Heron Island QLD in the early 1960s.

Five Movietone titles filmed by Ron Taylor pre 1965

Thursday, 22 December 2016

USFA - Vic Ley boat in 1963

Winter morning in Sydney.  1963 and a group of four White Water Wanderers travel from Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour up the coast toward Newport Reef  - in search of clear water.  45hp outboard was considered large at the time.  Biggest available was 75 horsepower.  A couple of years later this changed with Mercury's 100 HP monster.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sunday, 11 December 2016

GREY NURSE SHARKS - Ben Cropp video

Grey Nurse sharks follow their live food supply - then 'vanish' to unknown destinations of their choice.  This is often mistaken as their population declining.

The Vanishing Grey Nurse Shark - How Ben Cropp saw the subject in (circa) 2007.

Ben Cropp  AM reports on the situation in (circa) 2007 when it was believed the population was in peril.  Dive sites visited and known for GNS are Wolf Rock, Flat Rock, Big Seal Rock and 'Magic Point'. The since outdated tagging system of drilling holes through both dorsal fins to attach  plastic  livestock-style ear tags  is shown. The best material is the final ten minutes. There is an interview with a former professional fisherman (Bernie) at Seal Rocks beach who explains how 300 divers in any one day of a weekend had to have been spooking sharks during the late 1980s.  In retrospect (2016) it's no wonder the Grey Nurse were vanishing - they were going elsewhere to avoid scuba divers.  Plus the set lines catching them, also at Seal Rocks by another pro fisherman.

USFA of NSW presents: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 1965 and 1967

Stills from the Cuba film
Tahiti video 1965

Cuba video 1967 (has abrupt ending)
(Top -  "Snowie" Ron and 'Blackie" Team to Cuba 1967)
(Above -  Peter, Ron and "Gibbo" Team to Tahiti - 1965)

Tuesday, 6 December 2016


Locals having a boat ride in our Zodiac.

Local canoes are now a rarity.

First view from seaplane.

Thin spear, surgical rubbers, home made trigger.

Toilet - tides take stuff away.

Bottom shelves away on a 45 degree angle.

Local carving.

HU-16 Albatross seaplane

Pilot, crew, our team of four, journalist at far right.

Self (red shirt) BR Wilson (in shorts).

Monday, 23 May 2016


Valerie at Seal Rocks, New South Wales
Val speaks about her recent experiences with sharks.
Great scenes of White Pointer sharks film by husband Ron.

Valerie - when she was known as Valerie Heighes (called Valerie Hughes in error by the narrator).  An early newsreel photographed by her future husband.  This was about 1961.

"SAVAGE SHADOWS' Part 1 Henri Bource documentary 1960s

Point Lookout location 1966