Andrea Drentsios is one of the most spirited yet easygoing women you’re likely to meet. It seems appropriate that she works at Happy Fish Divers, as that’s precisely what she is – a happy fish.
Despite growing up in a city where the nearest body of water hardly encouraged swimming, she nevertheless pursued her dream of Scuba diving and now here she is in the Cayman Islands living it every day.
Andrea was born in Toronto, Ontario to Greek parents and just like the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, she had to attend Greek School. Although it wouldn’t have been her first choice as a child, like many of us who only appreciate certain things when we get older, she’s glad now that her parents pushed her to go as she can read, write and speak the language fluently.
She wasn’t a huge fan of school in general, and so perhaps just to speed up the process, she managed to graduate a year early. She went on to college to study spa management for two years, and it wasn’t long before she was opening day spas for others.
She realised she wouldn’t really be happy until she opened her own place, which she did, at the age of 20. For ten years she owned and operated Escape Spa in Etobicoke, but in the meantime she began a new hobby that would ultimately lead to a new life.
At the age of 23 she was working all the time, and was therefore unable to participate in team sports, yet she longed to be active somehow. She had always loved the water, and so decided to sign up for a Scuba course. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the balmy waters of Lake Ontario, but they ain’t so balmy. Georgia Bay, quarries…
Andrea dived them all and made her way up through the certifications until she attained the rank of Divemaster. Of course by this time she had managed to dive in more exotic locales like Belize, where visibility went beyond the tip of your nose.
She decided that if she was going to follow her dream, she would have to bite the bullet and jump in with both feet. She sold her spa and looked into somewhere to book her Dive Instructor course.
Some of the guys at the shop in Toronto had lived in the Cayman Islands, so Andrea made some enquiries and booked her course with Ash in December 2009. She flew down, took the classes, and at the same time met a lot of interesting people including John Gage of Happy Fish Divers. To make a long story short, she was back working for Happy Fish in January 2010.
She has no regrets about her decision to leave the city to live and work in the Caribbean. For starters, the water is much warmer and the visibility is incredible. She loves showing apprehensive first-timers the marine world, and watching their expressions turn from cautious to awestruck. She never tires of the experience.