One of the major goals of the Kenn Reefs expedition was to find Hope, the small cutter built from material salvaged from Bona Vista, and later lost during the rescue of the brig’s crew. According to historical accounts, two boats were sent from the rescuing vessel (the ship Asia) to Observatory Cay, where they recovered most of Bona Vista’s crew, the brig’s allocation of specie (gold and silver coin brought aboard Bona Vista for trading purposes), and brought them aboard Asia. A skeleton crew of thirteen and the personal belongings of all of the brig’s officers and men remained aboard Hope, as did unspecified salvaged goods valued at £1,000. However, as Asia got underway and took Hope under tow, tragedy struck:
New South Wales hosts a wide variety of historic shipwreck sites. These range from large, fully exposed and intact hulls to smaller, largely disarticulated, dispersed, and buried structural components and artefacts. The environments in which these sites exist also differ significantly in terms of seabed composition, water depth and water clarity.
Three days ago, we lost one of the most highly regarded marine conservationists this country as ever produced – shark expert and underwater filmmaker Ron Taylor. Since the 1960s, Ron and his wife Valerie pioneered underwater photography and rigorously campaigned for marine conservation. Continue reading
Ron and Valerie Taylor are pioneers of Australian marine conservation but began their underwater careers as competitive spearfishers in the 1950s and 1960s. Since 1969 they have devoted themselves to full-time shark research and underwater filming and photography. Recently they kindly donated much of their underwater equipment and memorabilia to the museum and some of it has just gone on display in our New Acquisitions Case, located on the ramp outside The Theatre.
Their spectacular footage has been used in such movies as Blue Water White Death (1970), Jaws (1974), The Blue Lagoon (1979) and The Island of Dr Moreau (1995) among many others. Their landmark 39-episode TV series Barrier Reef was followed by Taylor’s Inner Space, featuring the marine life of eastern Australia and the Pacific. The Taylors’ research into shark behaviour led to the development of stainless steel chain mail diving suits and electronic shark deterrent equipment and they were the first to film the Great Whites without a cage. The Taylors have been recognised worldwide for their passionate and vocal defence of the marine environment.
This small display will remain up until June 2012.
Lindsey Shaw, senior curator