Anne and Graham Ferguson from Nohoval have been together on land and at sea for over 10 years. The couple, who married in 2008, are self-confessed ocean addicts, which aptly also is the name of their business, which they started together at the beginning of the recession.
In early 2009, Graham and Anne both lost their jobs within months of each other. The couple literally took the plunge together, sinking their redundancy packages in to Ireland’s first cruise-dive business, Ocean Addicts, which they run out of Kinsale. “We made a business out of our passion and hobby,” explains Anne “we both love diving.”
Graham and Anne first met in a scuba diving club in Cork City; they are both qualified divers and boat handlers. This will be their fourth year in business together and, if anything, Anne says, the fact they are a couple has only helped the company. “We’re a strong, solid couple and this comes across to customers,” she explains.
Operating along the South and West Cork coast, Ocean Addicts offers live-aboard and day boat diving and snorkelling trips. The 24M ex Royal Navy fleet tender has spacious and comfortable accommodation and breakfast and lunch is provided on board by Anne.
It hasn’t been an easy ride the last few years, but Graham says that this year they can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. “We’ve had some tough years but we have a huge amount of repeat custom and business is increasing now at about 25 per cent annually.”
“The hardest thing is drawing a line between business and your personal life,” says Anne laughing.
West Cork has a beautiful coastline and a unique environment for diving. For more information on Ocean Addicts go to www.oceanaddicts.ie.