About the couple
Bride: Pamela Goats
Groom: Ken Bayntun
How they met: “I had just moved into my first apartment, fresh out of university and starting on my career in a new town,” explains Pamela. “I had booked myself a vacation to Belize in the winter of 2004, so I decided that I should learn to scuba dive so I could do it while on my trip. I also thought it would be a great way to meet some new people. Long story short, I learned to dive, loved it, became obsessed with it, and started taking lots of courses and going on trips. Ken was the manager of the dive shop at the time, and he taught a few of the courses I took. We became quick friends, and when his marriage ended the following year, we realized how much we had in common. Scuba diving has always been a favourite activity, and it has since taken us all over the world together!”
Engagement story: “In 2008, we set out on a seven month trip backpacking around the world. We were ready to get married and decided that we would keep our eyes open for a unique and special ring that we might encounter on our journey. Sure enough, one day we were driving across Tanzania when we passed a small mine that we learned is the only mine in the world that produces the stone Tanzanite. Later that day, we were in a store that had a small selection of the stones as well as some rings that featured the beautiful blue mineral. They were spectacular, and we knew right away that we would be buying my engagement ring right then and there. I tried on one with an oval shaped stone flanked by four small diamonds, and it was perfect! The store was too primitive to process a credit card though, so we had to hire a taxi to take us to town to literally withdraw handfuls of money from the bank machine. It made for quite the adventure, as there were lots of locals milling around the machine, and we were clearly tourists who were loading up with cash since we had to make seven withdrawls from the machine! The Tanzanian shilling is so devalued as a currency that the machine can only give you a small amount per transaction. Somehow we made it back to the store without being hijacked and the ring was ours. Ken carried it in a small red pouch next to his passport as we traveled across Africa, all through Southeast Asia, and across Indonesia. Finally, just a few days after our four-year anniversary, he proposed to me on a beach on the island of Lombok after a day of exploring the island by motorbike. We flew to Australia the next day and celebrated our first few days as a newly-engaged couple on a five-day scuba diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef,” says Pamela.