Guides & Staff
Nic Slocum PhD, FRGS is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic has maintained a lifelong passion for the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on RTE, Channel 4 and ITV. A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in both regional and national newspapers and he is the managing director of Whale Watch West Cork which runs tours to watch and study whales and dolphins off the coast of southwest Ireland. Nic has been watching whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) from boats for over 25 years in places as far apart as New England, Argentina, Mexico and New Zealand and is an established authority on the regional threats currently faced by this unique group of marine mammals. Nic is no stranger to adventure and leading groups to remote places on earth; in 1976 he led a expedition across the Sahara Desert to Central Africa via the Tanezrouft Reg. This double desert crossing earned him Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Chris O’Dell BSC is a photographer and cinematographer and a graduate of the London International Film School. Initially trained as a stills photographer, he travelled widely in the 70s and 80s filming documentaries of every kind, including the world famous “Cosmos” with Carl Sagan, and “The Heart of the Dragon”, the story of China, for Channel 4. Chris was cameraman on two major wildlife series for Channel 4 with naturalists Gerald and Lee Durrell, “Ourselves and other Animals” and “The Amateur Naturalist”.
As a qualified diver, Chris spent a lot of time filming underwater for the BBC and other clients. He ran a successful production company making arts and music programmes for the BBC. Since 1990 Chris has been the director of photography on many very successful TV drama series including Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Sharpe, Hornblower, Inspector Morse, the Morse sequel Lewis, and many single dramas. Chris lives and works in West Cork and photographs the wonderful changing light on the landscape of West Cork for which he employs Nikon, Apple, Photoshop and Epson equipment. You can view some of Chris O’Dell’s photographs on his website: www.photoimagesireland.com
Sheena Jolley is one of Ireland’s celebrated wildlife photographers, Sheena was born in Wicklow, Ireland. Between 1999-2001 she studied Photography full time at North Oxfordshire College of Art thus combining her creative talents with her knowledge and love of nature. Sheena is dedicated to capturing award winning images of the indigenous wildlife of Ireland. Her work specialises in tight close-ups as well as a studies of animals in their environment. Purchased by collectors in both Europe andAmerica her work has featured many times in a number of national publications such as The Irish Wildlife Trust magazine, broadsheets such as the Irish Examiner and the Irish Times and on regional TV. Recently one of her photographs, a stunning image of a Rock Pipit feeding on sand flies along the tide line of Inishmore, reached the finals of the prestigious Veolia Environment Wildlife photographer of the year Competition
Anne Gordon de Barrigón grew up boating in the San Juan Islands in the Pacific NW of the USA and remembers seeing Orca whales passing by as she did her homework on the beach near her childhood home in Olympia, Washington. Anne is a Biology major with a minor in Animal Behaviour and trained wild animals to present in school assemblies teaching wildlife appreciation and respect. She also trained animals, both wild & domestic for the TV & film industry for over 20 years. Anne has been watching and studying the humpbacks whales of Panama for over five years and is a leading authority on the sustainable interaction between humpback whales and boat based whale watchers.
Captain Gene Flipse – Over the years, Capt. Flipse’s work has found him supporting researchers, explorers, film makers, photographers, and conservation organizations. In addition to his time on the Silver Bank Gene works seasonally as part of a large team of top marine mammal scientists, researchers and veterinarians representing the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute; conducting a multi-year Level A Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) of bottlenose dolphins in the waters of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, and Charleston, South Carolina. He has participated in nine field operations to date.
Gene has 80 weeks of direct experience with the humpback whales of the Silver Bank, gained over the course of ten seasons. He also has over a decade of experience guiding guests to in-water encounters with wild Atlantic spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins in the Bahamas. Gene has also worked and played with pacific spinner dolphins; pan-tropical spotted dolphins; sperm whales, minke whales; pilot whales; sea turtles; whale sharks; manta rays; and a wide variety of sharks.
Gene has an undying enthusiasm for the daily adventure of being on and in the water that, when combined with his hard work ethic, ensures that guests have the most rewarding experience possible. He is intelligent, organized and thoughtful. Combined, these traits have earned Capt. Flipse the respect of not only his guests aboard, but also the respect of professionals in all sectors of the diving and marine industries.
Captain Jim Borrowman’s love of the ocean started at the age of two when he went fishing off Victoria with his father. His first encounter with killer whales was at age 11 in his 4 metre boat. He is a licensed captain and has been scuba diving for over 35 years. Jim’s love of killer whales started in 1977 and has carried on to today. He has been involved with many committees that are committed to saving the environment and killer whale habitat. His cooperation with researchers and scientists worldwide on acoustic recordings and photo identification is ongoing in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Jim has been recognized with many awards, the latest being Conservation Champion of British Columbia for 2008.