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Walt Deas - Diver, Photographer & Videographer

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(l to r) Bill Hall, Alec Black with a rebreather, Walt Deas & David Dye, at Ardmair Bay, near Ullapool on the west coast of Scotland, 1955.

Video Shoot
Walt and Betacam unit about to film at Heron Island from a helicopter.

Divers
ionel Aitken & Walt Deas with Arri underwater camera at Wistari Reef. Filming for Swedish company.

Early days of SCUBA Diving
We were a very keen group interested in the underwater and because of shortage of equipment and money made a great deal of our early equipment.

One would lie on a sheet of plywood, have one's body marked out, cut the ply fit long john underwear. Coat it with latex, Once cured fit cuff and neck seals from various sizes of inner tubes.

We tried pumping air down to various types of old gas masks, some built regulators from Calor Gas Valves, then eventually dry suits and Aqualungs came on the market. We were there!

Move to Australia and Heron Island
In the winter of 1956 I purchased the book "The Coast Of Coral" by Arthur C. Clarke (today a famous science fiction & interplannetary exploration author). It described the adventures of Arthur and Mike Wilson as they traveled from Sydney, Australia up the east coast to Thursday Island. They stopped off at a small coral island called Heron Island. Six chapters were devoted to this tiny spit of coral sand, trees and birds. Fed up with a freezing climate plus continual unemployment I said to my wife, Jean "Let's emigrate."

Months later after arriving in Queensland we made our first visit to the island and loved it. From then on, at least once or twice a year we returned to "our home from home". However in later years saw me there four or five times a year on filming assignments. In 1969 we worked there for a few months, Jean as the Resort's hostess and I as dive master.

Then in 1975 we were asked if we were interested in coming back and setting up professional scuba diving facilities. We said yes, and intended staying for one year and ended up being there for five. The attractions were the Reef and its marine life the birds and nesting turtle, the type of work, although hard was interesting and the friends we made who were staff or visitors are still great friends.

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