FRENCH military general Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying that, “A good sketch is better than a long speech.” Then there is the expression, ”A picture is worth a thousand words.”
So, why have I spent so much of the last two decades writing, rather than sketching or painting or better still making movies — given my often overwhelming desire to communicate something.
I have sometimes placed ‘illustrations’ with my words, most usually time series charts that describe relationships by way of the number plane. I intend to keep doing this, and I am still working closely with Jaco Vlok on an historical temperature reconstruction for Australia that will include so many ‘sketches’ as time series charts of monthly temperate data.
But over the next couple of years I also want to support Peter Ridd as he battles James Cook University through the courts, and more generally communicate the beauty and resilience of the main point of contention: the Great Barrier Reef.
The best medium for doing this is surely underwater cinematography?
Back in April, I showed you some of my underwater snap shots from duck-diving off Bowen.
In that blog post I also wrote:
“Someone needs to go down with a good camera and a tank of oxygen and get extensive footage that shows the great diversity, and all the fish – there might even be a crocodile hiding somewhere.”
By August I had found that someone, Clint Hempsall. He has spent a lifetime capturing the beauty, the sometimes raw horror, and the resilience of life beneath the waves.
We loaded his camera gear into my land cruiser at Noosa and drove the 1,000 kilometres to Bowen. Clint filmed non-stop, and we now have so much footage of so many inshore reefs, including the reef with the crocodile.
This adventure would not have been possible without Rob McCulloch. Between so many overseas trips where he skippered important people on three-storey boats, Rob found time to discussed logistics for Bowen with me, and told me he would be there and with a boat from the very beginning. He is the perfect Skipper, and a great friend.
I am planning to make a lot more short documentaries — not just of these inshore reefs for which we already have footage including interviews with Peter Ridd at Bramston Reef — but also of more colourful corals in clearer waters at the outer ribbon reefs and from coral cays.
I have just confirmed a next adventure for January 2020. That diving and filming will be from a bigger boat and I will have a compressed air tank on my back.
This blog post, however, is about my very first film, it is about Beige Reef.
I still remember so vividly the dappled light and the rocking of the tide as I floated over the corals at this inshore reef in the north facing bay of Stone Island.
After snorkelling with Walter Starck, I launched my drone and some of that footage features in Beige Reef.
This was only the second time I had flown a drone from a boat, and conditions were thankfully calmer than the day before when there was quite a swell but I still managed to launch and catch. Rob filmed my very first launch, and he will be showing this to his Facebook friends in the next week or so.
Beige reef is a fringing coral reef of approximately 25 hectares in warm and shallow waters at the entrance to Bowen Harbour. It is an inshore reef that according to the scientific literature should not exist, as I explain in Beige Reef.
I am also grateful to the B. Macfie Family Foundation for their continuing financial support, and also to the Institute of Public Affairs especially John Roskam and Scott Hargreaves.
The film was shown just yesterday to some IPA members in Brisbane, and the first launch of Beige Reef was to a small group in the IPA board room in Collins Street in Melbourne.
Consider joining the IPA at https://ipa.org.au/join, so that you know about my next short documentary, and have the opportunity to join-in at future events.
Anne Carter says
A magnificent documentary and testimony of our thriving inshore northern queensland reefs. Congratulations Jennifer
Steve Turner says
Thank you , a positive view on the reef is most welcome. Perhaps the evidence of your footage will help to counteract the misleading press releases portraying the reef as in peril. Best wishes
ed smith says
Thank you once again Jennifer. Beautiful article and Beige Reef video.
Cant wait to see that film and any short docos’ along the way as well.
Always enjoy your articles and well researched and documented studies and reports.
All the best to you, Peter and Clint, hope it all goes well.
I didn’t realise you could join the IPA. I am going to do that. tx
Alan Tomlin says
Great effort Jennifer……keep up the good work. It somewhat parallels KensKingdom recent and ongoing work on compliance levels of Australian temperature stations. Document, document, document so we can compare the pronunciations of climate alarmists with reality, and their practiced level of qa/qc……..cheers and best wishes…….Alan Tomlin (BA, MSc, PhD, soil ecology, retired…..Ontario, Canada)
Thank you for posting this data, Jennifer. It’s now firmly in the public domain and I’m sure that will continue.
Going up on my Facebook page tonight.
Thank you for all your work and dedication.
Bob Tisdale says
Thank you, Jennifer. The video was fantastic…beautiful and educational. The underwater video and photos were spectacular.
The title of the post suggests there will be more. Please produce them.
Thank you again.
spangled drongo says
Thanks Jen. Congratulations!
We need more facts like this.
I’ll pass this around.
David Craze says
What a fantastic revelation… I hope it will get the widespread distribution that it deserves.
As an aside watching your video Jennifer made me think of a relaxation tape, so beautiful with the background music… would be great in a “sensurround” theater.
Byron Murgatroyd says
Great video, would love to see you and others document more situations. Maybe get a full 30-60 minutes of this and other reefs and air it on a nature channel. Thanks! ps – thought it curious not to see fish swimming around; in my experience they’re quite common.
Brian Bellia says
Thank you for the wonderful work you do, Dr Marohasy.
I hope you realise how much it’s appreciated.
Bill in Oz says
Thanks Dr Marohassy for this film and making al the effort that was needed to make it.
Unfortunately it will not change the minds of the alarmist idiots. They are blinded by their ideology. Yesterday when I sent a link to an acquaintance he sent back this reply :
” The Institute of Public Affairs is right-wing political group who have a political agenda Bill. Why are you listening to these guys and not scientists?? 🤔🤔🤔
If these guys were genuine and thought that claims of coral bleaching is a left wing conspiracy, then why not fund the research and have the findings published for consideration by other scientists (peer review). But, no, they prefer to make a propaganda video so they can reach the public directly, to influence public opinion. These guys are dishonest Bill. ”
And the man who made this comment is a ‘science’ teacher at Adelaide High School !
Such is the idiocy that underlies this scary nonsense !
michael may says
Great video and well done. Glad to hear that the reef is doing so well. Glad to hear some balanced expert opinion. Hopefully, the tide is turning on