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The Old Days

The early days of diving in Western Australia were truly wild times. Miles of untamed and unexplored coastline produced countless amazing stories.



This page is dedicated to the memory of these escapades and the divers who created them.


Barry Paxman with a Big Blue with his father Frank with a Bronze Whaler

From Left: Boyd Bellion, Kevin McLennan, Tony Gablich & Frank Paxman.


Frank and Jackie Paxman find a torpedo


Jackie Paxman speared by a Stingray

From left: Jackie Paxman, Al Bacon, Barry Paxman, Ray Pillage & Frank Paxman

with some large Blues and "Jewies" from Wedge island


Discoveries were common in the old days.

Like the ultimate in secret cray holes, far south east coast

Inside the above secret spot

No digital cameras in those days.

Measure the light, set the focal distance, set the shutter speed, find where the subject has swum off to...

And take the picture, easy!


Dave Hopkins, Peter Herman and Barry Paxman did a lot of exploring in the 70's

Read about Hamelin Bay, Leeman Coast


L-R: Frank Paxman, Jim Sewell, Boyd Bellion, Ray Pillage

Peter Yewers and Ray Pillage

Jackie Paxman with a Cod and Lunar Trout

Dave Hopkins with Mackerel and John Pentland with Tuna:

Proof that you don't need a carbon fibre lazer railgun to capture bluewater species

Early days at Wedge Island

John Porter, Norm Wall, John Morfitt and Barry Paxman

Whale Shark Riding, once popular, now banned by the DEC

Geoff Kimpton from the WA Maritime Museum

Norm Wall with some great "Jewies"                                                         Barry Paxman and Glynn Dromey:

                                                                                                                          Pioneer bluewater species hunters in WA


      Glynn Dromey loved to push the boundaries in the early days of WA diving                         John Pentland with a large Queenie


  Peter Thayne: the man of a 1000 stories, showing some great fish in the early 80's           Dave Hopkins with the WA record Groper

Dennis Thompson looks on as Barry Paxman displays a 60 pound Spanish Mackerel

Bob Muir: Legend of WA and Australian diving circles, still holds many state and national records,

including the coverted West Australian Dhufish record

Peter Herman and Greg Pickering

BFWA divers Greg Pickering and Ian Fearnley where amongst the first divers to capture Dogtooth in "WA waters"