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Pekka Hartikainen

Pekka mixing gas at Song HongPekka mixing gas at Song Hong

Pekka was born and raised in Finland where, as a child he watched many Jacques Cousteau movies and dreamed of being able to explore the underwater world himself. After spending 20 years as a carpenter he decided it was time to follow his childhood dream and became a certified recreational diver in 2000 and made the move to technical diving in 2008.

Since then Pekka has completed over 3000 dives in many countries including Finland, Sweden, Norway, Indonesia, USA, Philippines, Russia and Thailand. His favourite type of diving is anything that involves deep caves, preferably +100m and unexplored, as he says it's a great way for him to measure his skills.

Pekka first came to Thailand in 2005 almost accidentally to complete a PADI Instructor internship and has been here ever since, only returning to Finland for the summer months. He has been a TDI instructor since 2010 and now spends most of his time conducting technical courses.

 

 

                                                      Tiina Hartikainen

Tiina, always smilingTiina, always smiling

Tiina was born in Finland where she married Pekka almost 30 years ago; they have two adult sons still living in Finland.  She has worked in various roles as a nurse; she enjoys this job and continues in this field during the summer months spent in Finland.

At the First Buddy office in Phuket Tiina is the ‘everything’ person; she manages all bookings for diving in addition to accommodation, fishing, snorkelling and sight-seeing tours. Tiina makes sure everything is looked after so her instructors are free to do what they love, diving, and she makes sure every customer feels welcome. Tiina is also a qualified Zumba instructor, running several classes a week and whenever she is not behind the computer you will find her listening to music and practicing dance moves.

 Tiina began diving in 2008 and loves to fun dive. She doesn’t get out in the water as often as she would like but loves to escape to the silence of the underwater world whenever she can. Tiina’s last course was the TDI Sidemount course and she loves it so much                                                                               that she hasn’t dived anything else since.

 

Chloe Wessling

Chloe testing out her cave MegChloe testing out her cave Meg

Chloe was born on the coast in sunny Queensland, Australia and has since spent many years in both Darwin and Hobart. Chloe served in the Australian Army for four years before moving to the mining industry where, in both cases, she was working in logistics.

After moving to the Whitsundays on the Great Barrier Reef in 2012 she decided it was the perfect place to learn how to dive. Since then she has dived in many countries including Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Philippines.

She decided to take a gap year at the end of 2014 to travel around South East Asia where her first stop was Phuket. This also turned out to be the final stop as she was introduced to and immediately fell in love with technical diving; she says she is so passionate about tech diving as it is a constant learning experience and she loves nothing better than a good challenge.

After completing open circuit courses up to Advanced Trimix and Full Cave under Pekka’s instruction she completed her PADI Instructor course with the aim of teaching technical diving in the
future.

Chloe’s newest challenge is opening and managing the second First
Buddy dive centre, based on Tablas Island, Philippines.
You can follow her blog here.