When the winter holidays come around, my mind is often stuck in the sand from my last dive trip. I can’t help myself, it comes with the ocean-loving territory. Thanks to my two wonderful parents, I’ve grown up on advent calendars. Every morning leading up until Christmas my sister and I would creep down the stairs and see what was in store for us that day. It was and still remains one of my favorite ways to get deep into the holiday groove.
In the spirit of the yuletide season, we’ve searched our brains and put together our very own scuba diver advent activity calendar. The calendar was created to KELP oceanic souls get ready for December 25th. Tune in every day on the Dive Buddies 4 Life Instagram and Facebook stories and count down the days until Santa’s arrival with us!
When the seasons start to change and the weather becomes a little colder, I love to snuggle up by a warm crackling fire with some of my favorite novels. From the famous Harry Potter series to more discrete autobiographies, I enjoy a wide variety of books, my preference being mystery and thriller genres. I also love a good novel that dabbles in scuba diving. Need a good scuba read to add to your Christmas book list? One of my most recent reads includes The Secret of Rosalita Flats and Blacktip Island by Tim W. Jackson.
Don a white beard and red hat and redefine the meaning of Santa Claus coming to town. Dress up as St Nicholas himself and hit the water for a festive dive that won’t soon be forgotten. If you’re not up to playing dress-up, join a local shop or club to enjoy the holiday spirit as a community, some even offer Christmas themed dives.
With the current global health concerns putting a damper on travels abroad many are turning to local diving as a means to continue to pursue their scuba diving passion. Take some time and research a few intriguing local diving opportunities (no matter how far away it may be). Speak to groups and shops in the vicinity and attempt to plan this year’s upcoming dive trip trying to stay close to home.
Dive into Canada’s Cold Water World: From the fishing villages of Newfoundland to the depths of Ontario’s Great Lakes, there is something truly magical about seeing our country from underwater. Check out Canadian Splash our local scuba diving initiative.
If you’re like Joey and me, we are always waiting until the ninth hour to get our equipment serviced. And when we do it’s under a time crunch and always a mad scramble to get it in and done before our next dive adventure. Don’t be us. In that small lull before the holidays, see if you can get your tanks inspected and regulators in for their yearly servicing.
Get your arts and crafts on this year, as you put together some seasonally appropriate cards.
Some great ideas include Tis’ the Season, Merry Fishmas or Merry Sharkmas. Check out the Dive Buddies 4 Life Pinterest board for artistic inspiration. Once you’ve fabricated your Christmas cards, mail them off to friends and family so that they arrive on time for the holidays.
Nothing spells Christmas time more than baked goods. Get a jump start on your Christmas baking this year and start your cookie making early. But rather than stick with the Christmas goodie status quo, why not kick your baking up a notch and add some ocean-themed fun to your routine.
Try our Sand Dollar Shortbread Cookies: When you can’t be frolicking at the beach, why not bring the beach home to you by adding a sprinkle of underwater magic to the “most wonderful time of the year”. These ocean-loving sand dollar cookies, will have you longing for the sun and leave you craving a little sand between your toes.
Furthering your scuba diving knowledge is always a great pastime either now or in the new year. Take a look online or speak to someone at your local dive shop and find out what kind of courses are being offered. Signing up for a dive course can be as simple as a one-day fish identification class or a weekend ice diver course.
Scuba Educators is a great agency that offers Open Water, Specialty, and Leadership courses to further your knowledge in the scuba diving industry.
Scrub-a-dub-dub get that dive gear in the tub.
Take advantage of today and do a full-fledged dive gear clean. Soak, deodorize and rid your equipment of that extra grime layer that doesn’t seem to come off after a mere post-dive rinse. Wetsuits as well as drysuits have special products that clean and deodorize material without the harsh chemicals found in most cleaning products, chemicals that could compromise functionality. A good end of season gear clean helps maintain proper functioning equipment and increases its lifespan.
GEAR AID Revivex wetsuit/drysuit shampoo, cleaner and conditioner: Cleans expensive wetsuits, drysuits and other neoprene gear; removes algae, bacteria, chlorine and salt. Extends suit life keeping neoprene supple and fresh while keeping colors bright.
Round is a shape that for me, goes hand in hand with the holiday season. I am notorious for snacking and eating a lot of good food during Christmas time. I’m also notorious for being lazy. This ultimately means that come January, my drysuit fits a little more snuggly and I get pretty winded from simply gearing up and walking down to the water.
Instead of plumping up this Christmas, try to stay moderately active over the holidays. Go for a run, hike, ski, or if the opportunity presents even a swim to keep your body in diving shape.
Let’s be honest, we know those dive photos and videos have been piling up since well… forever. Dust off those hard drives and go through some of your old dive footage. Retouch or put together a mini video montage or slide show of your dive memories. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can even print, frame or share this dive media with other scuba enthusiasts.
Christmas time is a time for family, celebrations and a time where some consume an above-average amount of drinks. So whether it’s eggnog on the rocks, virgin strawberry daiquiris or this utterly delicious and incredibly realistic looking jellyfish shot, take a day to enjoy an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage or two.
Shark Wine Glass: If you thought drinking wine couldn’t get any better – allow us to introduce you to the shark wine glass. This elegant 22-ounce custom-crafted wine glass has a swimming glass shark figurine anchored in the center. It’s the perfect gift for wine and shark lovers everywhere.
Fish are fascinating creatures to watch swimming through the water. The way they wiggle and undulate through the water is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Take some time today to appreciate the watery wonders. Visit an aquarium (virtual visitations count) or go to the fish/aquarium section of your local pet store.
Did you know that you can scuba dive in some aquariums? Check out our Canadian Splash diving adventure where we went scuba diving into Ripley’s Dangerous Lagoon experiencing up-close animal encounters like never before.
Give back to your community over the holidays with a random act of kindness. Do a small beach, river, seaside cleanup to keep the waterways around your home spic and span.
North Bay Marina Cleanup: The scuba club in my hometown of North Bay is always looking for ways to make this city a better place. Take a look at their annual marina cleanup and the insane amount of junk found at the bottom of the lake.
Sometimes all you need is a dash of colour and a splash of water. Grab yourself a copy of our incredible ocean themed colouring book – Sharks, Turtles & Underwater Things. This colouring book was designed to educate and inspire the young and young at heart to love the underwater worlds and all the critters found within it.
Educational Colouring Book: Sharks, Turtles & Underwater Things has been created from underwater photographs taken on our scuba diving adventures all over the world, broken down into simple patterns, allowing a child’s imagination to run wild. Each page features the name and sketch of a salt or freshwater animal, their real-life image, and a fun educational fact. Get yours on our website, Amazon.ca or Amazon.com.
There are so many Christmas movies out there, so you should be able to find one that will suit your preferences. Go to a store and rent a movie or do it online. And if you can’t find anything to watch there is always a scuba diver’s fav – Finding Nemo. Just remember to put your phones down and actually watch the movie.
Take some time to deal with the small and seemingly insignificant DIY dive gear repairs. You know, the ones that you have been putting off for over a year. Patch up minor drysuit leaks, cover-up and glue any wetsuit holes, check and replace the o-rings on your tanks, clean that sticky BCD button. There are always small tweaks that can be made to our own dive equipment to make it better.
I always seem to fall behind on my dive log. Carve out a few hours today, turn on the lights and sit in the shade of your Christmas tree while catching up on your logbook.
Soak up some bubbles and pamper yourself in a deliciously scented bubble bath. Relax, unwind and let the holiday hustle and bustle melt away in the warm waters.
No matter how hard I try or how organized I am, I can never seem to escape the last minute Christmas shopping. It’s not that I love the crowds or the long queues of people, it’s just that I always have a few straggling things that I seem to have forgotten I need.
20 Scuba Diving Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas: Need some inspiration on what kind of stocking stuffers to get that scuba loving pal? Scuba divers are always tricky people to shop for and with the holidays just around the corner here is a 20-item list of nifty yet affordable stocking stuffers.
Warm yourself from the inside out by curling up with a warm beverage. Tea, coffee, apple cider, hot chocolate, there are many Christmasy drinks to choose from. You can make your hot drink from scratch or buy a premade bottle and heat it up.
Scuba Diver Tea Infuser: Do you like loose leaf tea? If you are a tea enthusiast and love to make your drink from loose leaves take a look at this eco-friendly scuba diver tea infuser. This diver is ready to make the plunge into your mug.
Gingerbread cookies are a staple Christmas baking tradition. But instead of putting together a full-fledged candy-coated house complete with gumdrop gables and frosted windows, opt for a gingerbread man – or rather a gingerbread scuba diver complete with dive tank and regulator.
Do you love Christmas stories? As kids, Christmas was always symbiotic with reading classic holiday-themed picture books; like The Night before Christmas or The Polar Express. And as the years move forward, authors are coming up with more SEAsonally appropriate books to choose from these days. With the variety out there find yourself a watery kids Christmas book to read.
The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish: Will Mr. Fish find perfect gifts for everyone on his list? Will he finish his shopping in time? Swim along with The Pout-Pout Fish on his holiday shopping quest. He might just discover that the best gifts of all come straight from the heart.
Find and put together a puzzle is a tradition for many families over the holiday season. It doesn’t have to be Christmas themed but as a diver, you get extra brownie points if it’s ocean-themed!
Family game nights are the best kind of nights. Find and play a board game of choice with your family. Depending on the age of the people involved there’s a ton of board games to choose from – and you probably have at least one in your cupboard somewhere.
Some of our recommended board games are: You’ve got crabs – this is an absolutely EPIC game that will have you busy for the entire evening. It involves matching cards and making secret gestures. It also has a Crabs expansion pack. What The Fish, better known as WTF – drop fish cards and try and kill off other player’s fish to become the ultimate champion.
You’ve Got Crabs: You’ve Got Crabs is a family-friendly board game filled with crustaceans and secrets. The game is for adults, teens and kids (ages 7+). It includes 78 cards, instructions, a foam turn indicator, 28 crab points, and a box with 3 drawer compartments.
If the weather permits, head outside with your family and sculpt something out of snow (or sand if you are located close to the equator). Snowmen are a thing of the past so instead, build a snow shark with razor-sharp teeth and its signature dorsal fin.
North Bay’s Whale of a Tale: Read more on how a couple of scuba divers from Dive Buddies 4 Life made a gigantic whale snow sculpture to try and turn the tides on plastic use in the city of North Bay, Ontario.
What kind of advent activities do you do in preparation for the holidays? What kind of activities do you think are coming up in our calendar? Let us know in the comments below.
Reviewing the Secret of Rosalita Flats by author Tim W. Jackson who integrates scuba diving into the narrative of his most recent Caribbean mystery novel.
Help fight single-use plastics and their effects on our planet with this Canadian made eco-friendly glass straw.
Sometimes all you need is a dash of colour and a splash of water! Spark your child’s creative spirit as they colour their way through the underwater world with the first official Dive Buddies 4 Life colouring book.
With COVID grounding travel and keeping people stuck at home, some are tapping into their artsy rock painting side.
Awesome Maps creates illustrated maps inspiring travel and wanderlust. Their world dive map is a comprehensive art piece showcasing over 500 different dive spots with snippets of information about the type of dive and underwater attributes.
Dive equipment may be expensive, but new divers will find, there are many advantages to having your own set of scuba gear.
If you thought drinking wine couldn’t get any better - allow us to introduce you to the shark wine glass.
Green initiatives are important and in Zihuatanejo, we had the opportunity to join forces with Zihro Plastic and Dive Zihuatanejo to lending a helping fin.
If marine animals could talk here's what they would say to scuba divers this Valentine’s Day.
When you can’t be frolicking at the beach, why not bring the beach home to you with these festive sand dollar shortbread cookies.
While most people were at home celebrating Mother’s Day, the North Bay Scuba Club donned dive gear and took to the water to clean up the local marina.
Find out how a couple of scuba divers made a gigantic snow sculpture to try and turn the tides on plastic use in the city of North Bay.