Flash back to 2007, Ben, a young fresh (but also very sun burnt) faced scuba instructor working in Paphos, Cyprus. He was tidying up after a good day of diving when a new member of staff walked in and introduced himself. Shannon was his name. Ben and Shannon became friends, they worked hard together and the played hard together but like all good things, it came to an end. Shannon moved back to Australia and Ben stayed in Cyprus. Little did they know, this was not the end!
Fast forward to the beginning of 2020. Ben, after about 6 months, has finally convinced Shannon and his Wife, Krystal, to move back to Cyprus and start a Dive Centre together. Ben had found the perfect place to set up in Protaras. An old restaurant that had been abandoned about 9 years before. It was a bit of a mess
There were tables and chairs in the dining room with plates and knives and forks still in place. The kitchen still had dirty dishes waiting to be washed.
Disintegrated plastic bags and dead bugs all over the floor, and all the toilets had dried out a while ago so the sewers were all open and it had a distinctive smell.
So, Shannon and Krystal started organising the move back to Cyprus and Ben started moving all the stuff out of the shop and trying to get it tidy. Things were going well and then….EVERYTHING ground to a halt. Yes, this was march 2020, the month the whole world shutdown. Shannon and Krystal get trapped in Australia and Ben gets trapped in his apartment in Larnaca, 40 minutes away from the shop and unable to go outside his post code. Their hopes for being ready for the 2020 season were shattered!
Things started slowly rolling again around August when they applied to the Cyprus Business Registrar. Success! In October they obtained a business licence for their company – Get Wet Divers Ltd. Ben immediately went out and applied for a bank account so they could start renovating the shop. It took 7 weeks! 7 weeks to get a bank account! While that was processing Ben, Shannon and Krystal came up with the branding for the centre. They noticed most dive centres here have a blue colour scheme. They decided they wanted to be different so went with yellow, bright yellow, eye catching yellow.
Once the bank account opened and funds cleared they made a to-do board to keep track of what’s happening and so Ben could show Shannon and Krystal where he’s up to. Yes, that’s a lot of jobs.
Ben decided to start with the job that would have the biggest impact and give him a moral boost. He decided to start painting. The current colour scheme was a dark brown-ish red for the pillars and a very pale yellow/off white that looked like it might actually be about three decades worth of cigarette smoke stains. So Ben started with his nice white walls with a Get Wet yellow accent wall.
Behind the reception area got the same treatment. After a bit of self debate, Ben decided to take the shelves and cupboards down before painting. His plan was to put them back up but they were all rotten, swollen and covered in black mould so they ended up in the skip.
Painting done for now, it was time for one of the harder jobs: Installing the showers. They decided that the range hood from the old kitchen stove was a perfect shower head cover. So that’s where they put the showers. The drainage was the hardest part because there were none, so a shower tray was put in first.
Showers all plumbed in and almost complete, he just needed to put the dividers in and that’s when the second lockdown happened. Ben ran out of things to do since there was no more running to the DIY shop, everything ground to a halt, again.
Luckily this lockdown wasn’t as long and the restrictions were slightly relaxed after 6 weeks, this meant all the DIY shops were now open. So Ben ventured out, hoping he could still remember how to speak to people, to get some lights.
The current lights look like something out of The Pirates of the Caribbean. After hearing several suggestions, like paint each one a different colour, we decided that Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t what we are going for so we got something a bit more modern. (obviously, it wont be hanging like that, we still needed to drill a hole)
After a day of drilling and wiring up lights, then trying to figure out why half of them didn’t work, we had new lights, which seemed to make the place look much bigger, and it was quite big before.
And for those of you that weren’t aware (including Ben), saw dust triggers hay fever. Even the make-shift t-shirt mask wasn’t enough
We decided that the black mildew on the pavement outside the shop didn’t need to be there, so we introduced it to our new friend, the Powerwasher. It’s not there anymore.
Then it was time to go shopping. We got a few pieces of wood.
They were cut into smaller pieces.
and put together to make a mask display
And a few shelves for the merchandise
and a shelf for diver equipment