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My Life at Buddies

My first time visiting Buddies Dive Cove was when I was 16, in my penultimate year of School.  We had just finished exams and for the last week of the school year we had a few options of different activities that we could partake in – one of which was a week-long trip to Malta to learn how to Scuba Dive… for me, it was a no brainer that that’s what I wanted to do! I have always been obsessed with the sea but never had a chance to discover the wonders below.

I remember being on the plane asking my teacher where Malta actually was and as soon as we arrived I fell in love with the place and even more so when I hit the Mediterranean. We started with the PADI Open Water Course, a few videos, then went straight to the pool to start the training. 4 days later there were 12 new Open Water Divers around! After the course, we took a trip to Gozo and also a boat day to the Comino Caves. Every time I went on any sort of activities trip my grandad would always ask me ‘what do you want to be when your are older I would always answer with wanting to be an instructor in whatever sport it was and this time it was ‘diving instructor’

The next year as soon as the opportunity arose for the next trip to Malta I was one of the first to sign up – this time was to complete my advanced!

It felt like coming home the second I arrived and the staff at buddies helped make us feel welcome. By the end of this trip, I really didn’t want to leave and I had Martin suggesting to me that when I finished school I could come out and do a divemaster internship….. he didn’t have to ask me again!

Next year this was it – a one-way ticket to Malta with some dodgy second-hand equipment I bought off eBay and loads of PADI manuals! I quickly replaced the equipment and got straight into the Rescue course with the other DMT (divemaster in training) Ryan and Aku. then shortly after that, the Divemaster course commenced. Over the period of 3 months, we were trained in everything we had to know to be responsible for people underwater while assisting in tonnes of courses and heaps of dives – it was honestly one of the best summers ever!

After the divemaster, I naturally signed up for the IDC (Instructor Development course) Martin has proved to me by now that he was an EXCELLENT mentor and instructor.

The IDC was tough but so so so rewarding. I will never forget that handshake you get from the instructor examiner at the end of the exams telling you, you are now a PADI Instructor. I was over the moon!

After the IDC I knew I was going to be working as an instructor so I also did the MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) prep course.

Year 4 came along and of course, I went back to my new home and this time I was wearing one of the infamous yellow buddies T-shirts! I started out with a bit of team teaching (teaching but under the guidance of another instructor) and it didn’t take long until I was out there on my own!

Through all of my training the previous year I was so ready for this career, I had either been taught or witnessed how to handle problems and the best way to handle students so by the time I was out on my own I was feeling pretty great!

I stayed in Malta for a further 4 years diving, teaching, mentoring and learning. I had also become a staff instructor in this time and was very close to becoming a master instructor.

I gained the trust of Martin to be helping with managing the shop in my final years. When the decision to leave came around – it was a kick in the stomach sort of feeling – I was leaving behind my new family.

I moved to Asia (Bali specifically) and as soon as I started working for other companies, I realised how lucky I had it at Buddies! Other training agencies and shops are not so generous with their training.

After a few years of working in an area called Amed, I decided it was time to start my own adventure. My husband and I (who I met in Bali) decided to set up our own dive Center and what name could be better than Bali Dive Cove! We are now on our second year of business and have a great team working for us and are currently training some new excellent divemasters!

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