Mark Abbott's journey from Padi to SSI

My journey to bespoke diving adventures.

I had been diving for a couple of years and did many many PADI courses to broaden my knowledge of diving. So I decided to take the next step and become a professional.

I became a PADI divemaster , helping my local dive centre most days if I could , I wanted to please and I think I did , even took the gas blender course so I was a worthwhile asset to any centre.

From then gaining experience all the time I stepped up the ladder and became a PADI assistant Instructor , this gave me more duties I could do and I relished every moment being able to help new divers or the kids / seals at pool sessions.

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I would often go to open water with the centre and work hard helping out. As time went on I was beginning to think advantage was being taken which I didn't like, so I started doing less and let someone else do the work, there were lots of "dive professionals " that seemed to get out of the hard work ! Finally I decided to quit the centre and give diving a break , but one person I'd met while he was doing his divemaster was Mark Duncombe, he could see I was getting fed up and we helped each other out in many ways.

I was fed up of people talking behind my back saying I was all burnt out of diving , but the truth of the matter was I was burnt out of being took advantage of ! My passion for diving was dwindling because the fun had gone out of it. Mark Duncombe became a good friend and slowly got me to realise that there was still fun to be had diving and even teaching it ,but it may mean I chose a different path , that's where SSI came in. Mark was in the process of doing his Instructor and was keen I joined him on several trips to deep blue in Fuerteventura to see that diving was still fun!

After much debate and great diving I decided he was right, and set the ball in motion to get back into diving and teaching.

As marks passion got bigger so did my idea of becoming a professional again. Mark finally passed his Instructor and didn't take him long to set up the centre he has now bespoke diving adventures.

While things were being sorted for me to crossover to SSI I helped Mark set up his centre in any way I could, with much appreciation from him and his wife Charlotte. I'm a big believer in showing people appreciation no matter how big or small there help, it will always let people know they are worthy.

So finally I went to deep blue last month after revising revising and more revising! I was anxious about the crossover , but my Instructor Henrik put me at ease straight away. He knows so much about diving I'm amazed at his knowledge. So after two days in class and some underwater skills , exams etc I finally made the crossover to SSI.


I would like to thank Mark and Charlotte for all there positivity, and for helping find my "mojo" for diving again, also to all those at deep blue and Henrik for his time and patience. And of course my wife Sharon for always believing in my dreams and helping me achieve them xx

I now look forward to the future helping Mark and bespoke diving adventures become a worthwhile centre to join and have fun diving with.