Let me tell you where it all began. In 2012 I had created a cycle business, selected the London-based store location, and was set to open in May 2013. However, following 17 years in the Royal Air Force I decided that I deserved a well-earned vacation before opening the doors to ‘Muddy Wheels.’ So, with no real agenda (other than diving) and no real travel plans I booked a return ticket and set off for South-East Asia. First stop, Bangkok.
Fast forward six months and I’m in love with a little slice of paradise in the Gulf of Thailand, warm weather, beaches, and diving. Board shorts, t-shirts and no shoes are the new uniform and I’m hosting a constant air of positivity “Living the dream.”
I nipped back to the UK to move my storage into dad’s loft and garage, sold my cars and motorbikes and close the doors on Muddy Wheelz before they’d even opened. Ten days later and I’m back on a flight to Thailand armed with island essentials, Monster Munch, Marmite and Snickers bars ready for the next chapter of my life.
Since then I have taught almost every recreational course possible through SSI & PADI, certified countless divers, led thousands of dives, created my expeditionary travel agency Nomadic Scuba, moved to Sydney and also created this fabulous podcast.
My transition from hobbyist to dive professional has afforded me some of the best experiences in my life to date, non-more so than the people I have had the pleasure of meeting. The adventures shared, fears overcome and the ever-lasting memories and friendships that evolve from a mutual love of diving.
Through Scuba GOAT and my ever-expanding network of dive buddies hope to stoke the diving dreams of listeners, spread the word of majestic global dive locations, the operators that provide the foundations and service that we require to submerge and explore and those who strive to protect our blue world. Ultimately triggering those life-changing moments that close the cycle shop doors only to open a watery world of adventures and realised dreams. Happy days.
Don Silcock started diving way back in 1978 with a one-day resort course in Malta, followed by several deep dives around the island that made him realise that he needed to get properly trained… He signed up with BSAC in the UK and continued his training while living in Bahrain, eventually becoming the local branch’s Diving Officer and an Advanced Instructor as well as a PADI Divemaster.
He bought his first underwater camera in 1983 while living in Bahrain – a Nikonos III with a Sekonic light meter and began a life-long infatuation (obsession) with underwater photography.
Don migrated to Australia with his young family in 1991 and for the first 5 years or so dived as many places on the Great Barrier Reef as he could. Then in 1998 he made his first trip to Papua New Guinea and the following year to Komodo in Indonesia – two countries he has focused on ever since.
In 2012 Don and his wife Liz downsized in Sydney and built a house in Bali so it was easier to dive the numerous locations across the archipelago. But he also kept returning to PNG and in 2020 made his 20th trip there.
In 2014 Don made his first “big animal” trip to photograph the Florida Manatees of the Crystal River and got hooked on these encounters. Trips to Tonga, the Azores, Japan and Baja tp photograph whales followed along with the several trips to the Bahamas for the tigers, great hammerheads and oceanic whitetips followed!
Don spent the pandemic in Sydney trying to rediscover Australian diving and taking two GUE courses to test his diving competence, but is now back in Bali.
Don writes regularly for Scuba Diver, Wetpixel, DivePhotoGuide, X-Ray and Divelog and his website Indo Pacific Images has extensive location guides, articles and images on some of the best diving locations in the Indo-Pacific region and “big animal” experiences globally.
Lissa has an absolute passion for conservation and protection of our natural world. She has been a massive advocate of Sea Shepherd for many a year and can regularly be found at the Sea Shepherd stall in various markets during her spare time. Equally passionate as a diver, Matt and Lissa were first introduced by a mutual friend and within minutes of arriving at their first dive destination she’d already sold Matt a 5 XL hoody and even a baby-grow! It’s fair to say she has a talent for sales. Lissa has dived in many locations around the world and regularly plans trips along the Australian coastline to top up her addiction to the sport. Earlier this year she flew across to the Galapagos only weeks after venturing down south to experience the Rodney Fox live-aboard in South Australia.
To top it all off our Lissa has a very addictive personality, can tell a really bad joke, badly and approaches everything in life with a huge smile and a raucous laugh to equal her personality. Glass half full, all of the time!