Trio dives into new adventure at Rainbow's Wolf Rock
DESPITE more than a decade's diving experience all over the world, Fiona Butler said Wolf Rock was a mystery when they first saw it for sale online.
"It's not a very well-known dive site along the coast,” she said.
"We didn't know about it when we found it for sale.”
Now, as manager of Wolf Rock Dive, the site has become the professional home for Miss Butler, partner James Nelson and friend Alex Heathcote.
Originally from Shropshire in Britain, Miss Butler said diving was not what she imagined her career would be.
Catching the bug in Africa, it has taken her on the most amazing journeys of her life.
That it could become a job was a bonus.
"It's the ideal thing to find a job that you can do to stay travelling a little bit longer,” she said.
She met London-born James in Western Australia and together with Mr Heathcote, a Tasmanian, embarked on a life that has lead them to a business partnership in Rainbow Beach - a place none of them had been before.
"James saw it advertised as a dive shop for sale, which we were looking for an opportunity to get involved with,” Miss Butler said.
She said it was a decision driven by the possibility of making a living while having fun.
"We realised that after working for a long time in third world countries as diving instructors, when you came to Australia you could actually earn a liveable wage,” she said.
"That basically enticed us to stay.”
Living near the ocean her whole life, Miss Butler said the business gave them a wonderful chance to open the underwater world up to other people.
"It's a nice experience to be able to share with people,” she said.
While the trio have not bought the business yet and are working under a lease contract, she said if everything went well they hoped to be the official owners in no more than a year's time.
Having moved from their work on Herron Island to take over the business, Miss Butler said she was eager to become part of the Rainbow Beach community.
"We're keen to get involved in the community and meet people and try and get the locals diving as well, not just the tourists,” she said.
Being thrust into the business at the start of summer meant having to wait before they could explore their new home.
"We've got a lot of things we still want to do,” she said.