This was a very popular annual event , largely organised by Max Hetherington from the Wellington Underwater Club. The 1971 gathering will unfortunately be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The boat in the left of the picture above (the Nancibel) hit a rock and sunk in Sou East Bay. All divers were safely rescued by other boats in the area. The picture below was taken just before it sunk.
Three Scuba divers later got the bends. Henry Liaison did not recover, Ulf Chrisianson did but was for many years confined to a wheelchair and John Mazengarb had a "wildcat bend" and fully recovered. All were transported to the Devonport Naval Base recompression chamber.
On a lighter note - John Anderson of the South Auckland Club won the heaviest Kingfish Trophy (73lbs.) (DM)
Above: The Nancibel sitting on the bottom.
Left : Max Hetherington with the Nancibel's lifebuoy.
1974 Team Results
1. Mary Mead Bluefins
2. Gaylene Cherrington Port Valley.
1. 1. R George, T Bodger Bluefins
2. D Moran, D Shields Reefcombers
3. D Mundell, R Eaves Bluefins
1. D Sampson, D Trials Hauraki
2. N Leith, M Ramsay Neptunes
C Garvie, M Brighouse Auckland
Fin Swim - Willie Bullock
largest Kingfish - Stan Mangin, Wairarapa. 53lbs.
Most meritorious fish -
Willie Bullock - Picot
National Spearfishing Champs. Bay of Islands 1976
1976 Champs results continued
Australian team :1979.
Paul Riordan, Ray Johnston, Ralph Whalley.
with Jacques Berthomier( back to camera)
Steve Crabtree, Dave Mundell, Graham Byers
Shoal Bay, Port Stevens, NSW. April, 1979.
Day 2 Boondelbah Island
Port Stevens 1979
Dave Mundell, Steve Crabtree
Big hair, interesting hats. Wooden guns. Pranger spearheads. 3/4 in rubbers, 5mm sprung steel shafts.
Explanation: for those who were yet to be born!
At the time we had "carless days" so that you could only drive or get petrol on designated days of the week.This was due to petrol shortages caused by huge world-wide increases in the price of oil.
This naturally affected travel and obtaining boat petrol.
Having seen many photos of divers over the years proudly holding large crays for all to admire I thought this one from the early 1970's was worth a look.
Wellington south coast near Red Rocks -early 1970's. The tank is a standard alloy 80cu. DM.
Photo: K Butler.