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Don Silcock

Member Since 08 Mar 2003
Offline Last Active Dec 08 2018 03:55 PM

#400406 The Sharks of the Protea Banks

Posted by Don Silcock on 29 October 2018 - 09:30 AM

South Africa has been on my personal wish list for quite some time and in the last year or so I have made three trips there - two to experience the sharks of the Protea Banks and the third for the incredible Sardine Run.


The Protea Banks are located about 8kms offshore from the town of Margate in KwaZulu Natal province on the east coast of South Africa and the diving there is not for the feint hearted.... It's deep and the currents are strong, plus the next stop is Antarctica if you get separated! But it is a biodiversity hot-spot and there are up to seven varieties of sharks to be seen there - depending on the time of the year. Some in absolutely amazing quantities!


I documented the whole experience in an extensive eight-page article that has just been published in the global dive magazine X-Ray who did a really nice job of laying it all out.


If you are interested in learning more about this special location and the sharks to be seen there you can read more and download the article on this link to the Sharks of Protea Banks article.


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#399755 Chinchorro Crocodiles

Posted by Don Silcock on 30 September 2018 - 07:18 AM

Last year I made the marathon journey from Sydney to south-east Mexico, near the border with Belize, to photograph the American Crocodiles of Banco Chinchorro. It was what you might call an intense experience, but one that I really enjoyed!


I documented the whole thing in an extensive six-page article that has just been published in the global dive magazine X-Ray who did a nice job of laying it all out.


If you are interested in learning more about these interesting creatures and what it's like being in the water with them you can read more and download the article on this link to the American Crocodiles of Banco Chinchorro




#390696 Australian Giant Cuttlefish Article and Front Cover

Posted by Don Silcock on 31 December 2017 - 10:14 PM

The current issue of X-Ray dive magazine features a comprehensive article of mine on the annual Australian Giant Cuttlefish aggregation at Whyalla in South Australia - plus I got front cover, if that is the right terminology for a PDF format downloadable mag.... 


The annual aggregation is an amazing spectacle to behold and incredibly happens just off the beach to the north of Whyalla at the top of the Spencer Gulf. It starts around the middle of May as the temperature starts to drop as the Australian winter approaches and there are literally thousands of these photogenic creatures gathered there, all intent on one thing - sex and the reproductive cycle.


So focused are they on the task at hand that they virtually ignore you and you can get really close and capture some tremendous images.


If you are interested in reading more about these creatures you can use this link to download the Amazing Australian Giant Cuttlefish article.




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#373311 The Humpback Whales of Tonga

Posted by Don Silcock on 05 May 2016 - 12:06 AM

Last year, after a couple of failed attempts to get there, I spent three weeks in Tonga to swim with and photograph the humpback whales that migrate there every winter from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic. To say it was a seminal experience would be an understatement...


I have been fortunate to dive in many parts of the world, but this was my first experience with such large creatures. Tonga is not the easiest place to get to, particularly if you are traveling from the Europe or North America as you have to go through either Sydney or Auckland to get to the capital Nukuʻalofa which is the only international gateway. Then you have to get up to the north of the archipelago to Neiafu in the Vava'u group of islands which is where most of the whale watching is based because of the sheltered bays in that area.


But it's worth the journey because the whales are there, their numbers are slowly but steadily increasing and the encounters you can have are simply fantastic as Tonga is one of the few places in the world where a limited number of operators are licensed to take people in the water with the whales.


As I normally do on my big trips I have documented my experiences and images on my site - no financial angle here.... I paid for my trips myself and there is no advertising on my site. I just like to write about my experiences, simple as that.


There are numerous pages on the humpback whales of Tonga, covering everything from their annual migration to the different types of encounters you can have together with the logistics involved. You can access all that through this link to my site and PM me if you would like any advice based on my personal experience.



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