We went 250 miles offshore in this tiny fishing boat. A great adventure with a pioneer of The Great Barrier Reef, Captain Wally Muller- later of Coralita charter boat notoriety. Coralita was Australia’s first scuba dive boat on the GBR, launched in 1969.
Wally Muller built Coralita which was launched in 1969. Originally it was intended as a cruise boat working the islands and reefs offshore on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel, while being an excellent open sea craft was prone to ‘rocking wildly’ at anchor. Tourists were often seasick. Wally Muller then turned to fishing and diving charters. Through his friendship with Ron Taylor and John Harding (then the founding editor of FATHOM) he was able to attract local and overseas scuba divers, especially from USA. Hollywood producers seeking shark scenes obtained these in The Coral Sea. Wally returned to Saumarez Reef several times and found a magnificent bommie in 100 feet of water that rose to 30 feet under the surface. Modestly named “Wal’s Bommie” it was for a short time one of the best scuba dive locations known. Today the location would be ‘lost’. Although Wally Muller chartered and named many reefs in The Swain Reefs, only one retains one of his original names “Riversong Cay”.