Wednesday, 14 July 2021

PADI Womens Dive Day, Curacao: time to get wet, ladies!

PADI WOMENS DIVE DAY 2021: 



Celebrating 
The Dive Bus Women of Conservation and our amazing women divers
 (Because if you think scuba diving is a “guys-only" thing? 
This may change your mind.) 

Since you’re reading this, chances are that:

1. You’re already a scuba diver. 

2. You already know that diving is an amazing, fun way to meet new people, in wonderful places, and share extraordinary experiences. Experiences that most people only get to see on a screen. 

But did you also know that, once a year, on PADI Women's Dive Day, PADI dive centers around the world focus exclusively on female divers, for a day of fun, discovery, adventure and camaraderie?

PADI Women's Dive Day is a perfect opportunity to connect with other women who share your love of the ocean and passion for diving. And what better way to do that than to join forces with other like-minded ladies on a Clean Up dive, and making a positive impact on our underwater world?

And if you're lucky enough to be in sunny Curacao for this year’s PADI Women’s Dive Day, here’s why The Dive Bus is a GREAT place to do just that.

(And if you're not anywhere NEAR Curacao, click here to find an event near you
, and hope to see you here, soon.)

If you're familiar with The Dive Bus, you'll already know that ocean conservation has been at the heart of The Dive Bus business model since the very beginning: cleaning dive sites as we discovered them, becoming CuraΓ§ao’s first 100% AWARE and PADI Green Star Dive Center, the first to action the Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site initiative, and the first to implement onsite recycling facilities. 

You'll also already know how excited we were when PADI “officially” recognized our contributions to ocean protection by appointing Mark as a PADI Ambassadiver, while Project AWARE recognized The Dive Bus Women of Ocean Conservation.

And so, to celebrate this year's Womens Day:

Meet The Dive Bus Women of Ocean Conservation

Suzy Pinnell: joint founder / owner of The Dive Bus + PADI MSDT: 

“Keeping Curacao's reefs trash free and healthy has been a priority since we started up The Dive Bus back in 2005. The same goes for. With the biggest opportunities to influence our divers’ behaviour and mindsets, it’s important that our PADI Pro Crew believe in and support incorporating reef protection and conservation into every dive they make - and above water too. 

Working together with Project AWARE (now PADI AWARE) and PADI, we’ve implemented fun, simple and easy ways to influence, educate and encourage our divers to do the right thing too. Besides making dive weights from fishing line lead collected on our monthly PADI AWARE Adopt a Dive Site Clean Up dives, Eco-Friendly Packing Pointers are emailed to divers before leaving home, to help reduce their impact on the island.

Our all-female(-except-for-Mark) PADI dive pro team  do a great job of encouraging divers to take care of our reefs, by leading by example. And it’s awesome to see divers emptying underwater trash from their BCD pockets into our ‘ocean trash’ bin after their dives. 

Divers regularly tell us that our ocean protection activities were a major factor in choosing to dive with The Dive Bus on their Curacao vacation. And that's awesome!"

Zoe Osborn: The Dive Bus Dive Shop Manager + PADI Instructor:

 

"Part of my role is setting up and promoting our monthly Dive Against Debris events. It's brilliant how many of our local divers and vacation divers appreciate what we’re doing, and are super-excited to join in and make a difference themselves.

 

Love it!” 

Kelly Dananay, PADI Dive Instructor

One of the original three Dive Bus Project AWARE's Women of Conservation, Kelly was a Dive Bus PADI Instructor for 2 years - and particularly passionate about ocean protection:

“I was really happy to work at a dive shop that takes steps to do something for ocean protection, instead of just talking about it.

I loved having the opportunity to share our enthusiasm along with our divers - and seeing them become enthusiastic about making a difference, too. We used simple but smart ways to minimize our impact in the first place, and our monthly dive site clean ups helped fix what had already impacted, as well as prevent more harm. 

These are good things that I was incredibly proud to be a part of. The ocean gives so much to us, it's great to give something back to protect it, respect it and keep it a little more healthy."


Whitney Jones, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Whitney replaced Kelly when she returned home to sunny Colorado. Rather than stress about the challenging task of following in Kelly’s footsteps, Whitney’s sunny nature, confidence, experience, skills and passion for ocean protection helped her fit right in and make a difference, immediately. 

“I’m loving being part of The Dive Bus instructor crew. Part of the reason for choosing to work at The Dive Bus was their personal commitment to ocean protection: the easy, fun ways that we educate our divers about its importance – and the fact we and our divers actually do those things, instead of just talking about them.” 


Head on over to The Dive Bus facebook page ... 

And wherever YOU'RE joining in the fun this PADI Women’s Dive Day (and EVERY day that you dive!) make a difference: choose a dive center with ocean protection at its heart, too. 

Enjoy! 


#womensdiveday #divecuracao #thedivebus #adoptadivesite #PADI #projectaware #PADI AWARE #curacao


Sunday, 31 January 2021

A Month in Curacao: Your Great Escape

Picture this: you make your morning coffee while staring out the window at blue sky and palm trees.  During the day you take full advantage of the aircon, whilst trying your best to remain focused on work.  You have that big project you promised would get done if your boss let you work from Curacao.  

On your lunch break, you go for a dip in the swimming pool.  Maybe bring your laptop out to the poolside – where the Wi-Fi still works great – to answer your afternoon emails.  At the end of the day, you take a 10 minute walk to popular Mambo Beach for an outdoor dinner with the perfect sunset-over-the-beach view.  

Finally it's the weekend!  With keys to a rental car in hand, you pick up dive gear and tanks for a full day of diving and relaxing at Cas Abou.  You arrive early enough to claim a couple beach chairs under a palapa, and you get yourself set up for the day. 

Descending on your first dive after a short surface swim, you start out exploring the reef wall.  You find some garden eels on the sandy bottom, an elusive frog fish hiding in the soft coral, and immerse yourself in the marine life of Curacao.  After your dive(s), head over to the beach bar for a couple cold beers to toast a great day.  

Photo Credit: Turtle & Ray Productions

But one day just wasn’t enough, so you do the same thing the very next day, visiting Piskado and everyone’s favorite sea turtles!  

Living and working in a tropical paradise is clearly a life The Dive Bus crew chose.  Currently, the whole team is from colder much less tropical areas of the world (the UK and Washington state).  Each of us also lived in many other paradises before choosing Curacao.  Here are just some of the reasons the crew call Curacao home: 

  • Beautiful reefs, easily accessed from shore all around the island
  • Picture perfect beaches – totally Instagrammable (check our feed)
  • Delicious restaurants, with cuisine from around the world 
  • Other activities like kite surfing, SUP, wakeboarding, hiking, rock climbing to name a few – just in case we want a break from diving (a rare case)
  • Did we mention the diving is insanely good?  It’s important to us

Direct flights from many airport hubs also make getting to and from Curacao simple (you know, unless there’s a global pandemic hindering travel).  Direct flights operate from Miami, Newark, JFK and Charlotte in the US, also from Toronto, Canada, and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.  Various central and south American countries also offer direct service into Hato International Airport (CUR).  These, of course, are subject to change.  Search for flights from your home on Google Flights or your favorite search engine!  

If presented with the opportunity, the crew here assume most people would also choose to live in paradise.  If you disagree, this post might not be for you.  Maybe try this one about planning a Curacao dive vacation.

For those of you who would LOVE to live here, we know what your next thoughts are: 

  • I have to work
  • I can’t move, my [kids, family, friends] are here 
  • Is it really that great?  (Yes.  Yes it is.)
  • Maybe when I retire or when the kids graduate…

Or the most common response when we ask people why they don’t live here – 

I WISH.

It’s seems idyllic.  But stick with us here…because we also know a lot of you are working from home.  

Maybe you have a laptop on your kitchen counter, maybe you’ve remodeled your home office, or maybe you work from your smart phone in bed (no judgement).  Whatever your WFH situation is, we’re willing to bet the scenery is starting to get old.  

So...did you ever consider asking your manager if “working from home” meant you must stay in your own home?  If you haven’t, we encourage you to check.  You’re working remotely already – what’s the harm in making it slightly more remote?  

Somewhere like…Curacao!  

You had to see that coming πŸ˜‰

Making this a reality is where we come in.  Working with some friends and partners we’ve made over the last 16 years, we created some new packages we call Your Great Escape.  Live and work in paradise for a month – or more!  There are several package options, but in general they include a month fully furnished accommodation, scuba diving, and options for car rental.  We started with the basics and can fully customize a package to fit your needs and group!  

New to diving?  That’s one customization we’re well prepared for.  At The Dive Bus we teach the full range of PADI dive courses, all in warm Caribbean waters.  You simply can’t beat learning to dive in calm, clear seas.  

Imagine taking your first breaths underwater and seeing a cute little butterfly fish swim by, or exploring the reef up close instead of snorkeling at the surface.  You’ll learn scuba dive theory, in-water skills to keep yourself and your buddy safe and comfortable, and with the Open Water course you make 4 full dives at our beautiful house reef.  

Once you’ve completed your first course, carry on with additional dive courses, or join us for Dive Bus trips to see some of the best of the rest of our shore diving sites.  Remember that dive experience at Cas Abou mentioned earlier?  With your new certification under your belt, that day is within your reach.  You, too, will become obsessed with finding a seahorse or frog fish on every dive.  They’re great at camouflage, but we’ll do our best to help you find one!  

Before the pandemic, we never dreamed of people relocating to the island for a month or two while continuing to work their normal jobs.  Over the last year, we’ve seen it happen several times!  Whether people came down with the intention to stay for a month, or they got here and didn’t want to leave, travelers have consistently been enjoying life in Curacao.  

If you asked us to describe the perfect couple or group of friends to take advantage of Your Great Escape, we’d say: 

  • You have flexible working or school arrangements – you can work or learn from anywhere that has an internet connection.  
  • You love diving, or you want to learn from one of our awesome PADI instructors
  • International travel is a possibility for you.  
    • At the time we write this, Curacao is open to any visitor with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure.  We also have testing facilities on island if you need a negative test to get home.  Find the latest details on The Dive Bus COVID info page.  
  • You’re keen to experience life on a tropical island for a month (or more) 

You might be wondering what life is like here at the moment, considering there’s still a pandemic happening.  We have restrictions, of course, but you get the feeling that we’re in our own bubble, almost a whole world away.  Businesses require masks be worn indoors, there’s an island-wide curfew of 11pm, and social distancing is practiced everywhere.  You’ll also pass by hand sanitizer on practically every corner.  

On the other [sanitized] hand, with so many outdoor spaces and the warm weather to match it, people are socializing, friends are laughing together – the vibe is happy.  Grocery stores are also well stocked, and restaurants are safely welcoming visitors.  

The Dive Bus crew love our life on sunny Curacao.  We actively choose this every day, and we work hard to keep it.  With these packages, we hope to share a taste of island life with you.  Just be prepared to use a couple vacation days while you’re here, because once you start diving we guarantee you won’t want to limit it to your weekends!  

So if you'd like to live in Curacao for a month (or two!) while working your normal job “from home,” escape a cold winter, dive on your weekends, and relax into island life...  

Check out all the details here to kickstart your dream.  What could be better?  

Friday, 2 October 2020

Last opportunity to support YOUR favourite dive centers and destinations, in this year's DIVE Magazine Travel Awards πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™



DIVE magazine is the World's leading scuba magazine - and their annual Travel Awards are one of the World's largest online scuba travel polls.

Voting for your favourite dive destinations and dive centers in this year's Travel Awards is a great, fun way to support them
 during these peculiar COVID-19 times.

The annual DIVE Magazine Travel Awards give divers - that would be you - the opportunity to nominate and vote for their favorite scuba diving destinations, dive centers /resorts and liveaboards, in the World

So if you haven't already, you might want to check out the nominations for even more ideas for your next dive vacation (after your next Dive Bus Curacao one, obviously πŸ˜‰) - and vote for your favorites while you're at it.

Last year, both Curacao and The Dive Bus finished 15th (ish) out of gazillions (ish) of destinations and dive centers around the World, thanks to you, our awesome divers.

For this year's Awards, 111 destinations, 328 liveaboards and almost 1,100 dive centers / resorts were nominated  And, for the 3rd year in a row:

Curacao as a dive destination and 
The Dive Bus as a dive center /resort 
are through to the final 25.

And we're as happy as Homer! 


The final stage of the Award nominations is now open: the stage where YOU get to decide the Top 10 dive centers and dive destinations in the World. 

Casting your votes takes a matter of minutes and puts you in the running to win a free subscription to the digital issue of DIVE Magazine

Casting YOUR vote for your favourite dive centers and dive destinations also makes a bigger difference than ever to your favourite dive centers and destinations. During these strange times, they'll appreciate your vote more than ever. 

And, new for this year's Awards, is the "Comments" option, giving you the opportunity to share what you love about your favourite dive centers and destinations - and potential fame and glory for you, on the new DIVE Awards Best Comments page.

And if your favourite 3 Dive centers and Dive Destinations happen to include The Dive Bus and / or Curacao? You know that we'll hugely appreciate it. 

Voting closes at midnight (GMT), 31 October 2020. 

So if / when you have a spare 5 minutes?
and show your favourite dive destinations and dive centers some love

(And if The Dive Bus and Curacao reach the Top 10?  There'll be lashings of cold beers - and plenty of Homer-ing going on on our social media - and you're invited 😊)


#divecuracao #thedivebus #curacao #divemagazine #best-dive-centres-in-the-world #seriouslyfundiving  #divetravelawards  #curacaodiving #letsmake2020greatagain



Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Announcing the first The Dive Bus INTERNATIONAL Clean Up event...


... and you're invited!
 
Greetings from sunny Curacao. We hope you're doing well and haven't gone too #coronacrazy yet...
 
Apologies for the lack of Blog posts for some time. We’ve been lucky enough to be keeping fairly busy with building and implementing COVID-19 considerationsshore diving adventures and fun PADI dive courses and heaps of #seriouslyfun stuff on social media
 
We've also been working on some fun ways to keep you diving - even if you can’t get wet - coming up soon, so watch this space.
 
And, of course, there was the recent, fun and awesome Dive Bus Special Summer Community Clean Up.  Here's how that went:
 
 
If you don't see a video above please click here πŸ˜Š

We were blown away by how many Dive Bus divers got in touch wishing us good luck for the Special Summer Clean Up - and wishing they were able to be here and join in. We really appreciated your support and messages, it meant a lot to all of us, thank you
 
And you got us thinking about if or how we could enable Dive Bus divers everywhere to be able to join our next one, as it coincides with this year's World Clean Up Day and AWARE Week.
  
So please consider yourself officially invited to join in and be a part of:
 
The first ever Dive Bus INTERNATIONAL Clean Up!
 

Starting on World Clean Up Day and running until the last day of AWARE Week, the first ever Dive Bus International Clean Up is a fun way for you Dive Bus divers (and your non-diving buddies, family and / or work colleagues) to join in, make a difference and become a Torch Bearer for our oceans
 
Wherever you live.
 
World Oceans Day is specifically focused on achieving the United Nations SDG Goal 14 -  one that's close to our hearts and yours, that so many of you have helped achieve on, what became our monthly Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site clean ups for 15 years (can you believe it?!). 
 
By joining in the first Dive Bus International Clean Up Event, you’ll be supporting both of these important organizations in reaching their goals.

Without even getting wet (unless you choose to).

And you get to choose what, where, when and with who, you want to do it.

Because you, your family, friends, neighbors, pets, colleagues and maybe even random strangers, are hereby officially invited to be part of the first EVER Dive Bus International Clean Up Event. 
 
 "What, when and where the heck is The Dive Bus INTERNATIONAL Clean Up Event?"

You get to decide.

Pick an area nearby that you're familiar, with that needs your help to clean it up. Somewhere you can easily follow social distancing and other COVID-19 safety precautions, relating to social distancing, hygiene and handling trash. 

Like the ocean or other body of water that’s safe to dive. 

Or a dry / land clean up, somewhere near to a body of water - a beach, river, lake or canal bank - where trash can easily end up. 

Or if you don't live near a body of water, then woodlands, fields and / or other areas of natural beauty would work just fine. Or your own street or local grocery store parking lot.

This short, sweet Project AWARE Journey of Trash video may help you choose your ideal clean up location, explaining how and why every piece of trash that you remove and dispose of properly, is a piece of trash you won't meet on your next ocean dive adventures:

 

Once you've decided on a location, arrange your own Clean Up event and become one of the teams of Dive Bussers cleaning up around the World on the same weekend. Remote but connected. Working together - apart. 

"How do I arrange a Clean Up event??"

Wherever you choose to clean up, the main consideration is ensuring that you and your buddies stay safe and follow local COVID-19 advisories while cleaning up. It’s easy to get engrossed in clearing away the trash and lose focus on important safety measures. Like wearing gloves, as trash can be sharp - and sometimes, yucky.

It's easy to set up your own a Clean Up event. The challenge comes in planning it, doing it and measuring your success. Safely - and without doing more harm than good. Smart planning and prep is the difference between your event being a huge success and a whole bunch of fun - or not. 

And that's what makes planning part of the fun! 

So if you're interested in planning, finding out about and / or taking part in a Dive Bus International Clean Up event that another Dive Busser is arranging near you, we've set up a special facebook group for like-minded* divers who care about our oceans and our reefs, too.

(* slightly bonkers / #seriouslyfun)

Within the facebook group, we'll be posting tips and info on how to set up, run and report on your Clean Up success, and sharing tools you'll need for sorting, measuring and reporting the trash you remove on the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris database. 

And you can meet and message us and the other folks taking part - potential new, like-minded dive buddies for to meet on your next Dive Bus Curacao vacation 😎. 

Sound like fun? See you in the special facebook group!


Join in the first Digital World Clean Up Day, too

If The Dive Bus International Clean Up doesn’t sound like your kind of thing? Or 'Heck yeah it 's my thing!' and you need something else to do in front of the tv, in your favourite chair, check out and take part in the Digital World Clean Up Day too.

Most of us are guilty of having a bunch of trash stored on our smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and even servers, taking up storage space. 

The carbon footprint of the internet and the systems supporting it, account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions. That's similar to the amount produced globally by the airline industry. Studies estimate that in a decade, the internet network will produce 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. 

Spending an evening with a glass or wine or a beer in front of the tv, deleting old or unused files, apps, photos and videos, can extend the life of your devices and save a huge amount of CO2 emissions.

Suzy started this a few weeks ago while researching this Blog post - and has deleted gazillions of ancient files from her phone and laptop. Many of which she didn't even know were there. Having now, single-handedly significantly reduced the world's impact on carbon emissions, she'll be doing digital clean ups a lot more frequently from now on. 

Try it, it's hugely rewarding!

Looking forward to seeing you in the facebook group and getting the first ever Dive Bus INTERNATIONAL Clean Event goin' ON!

 

 
 
 
 

Thursday, 14 May 2020

25% DISCOUNT on PADI dive courses ends 31 May 2020: dive therapy for your soul, brain and/or sanity...

Photo credit

*** 25% DISCOUNT OFFER ENDS 31 MAY 2020! ***

How to avoid going #coronacrazy?


Start your next dive adventures right now
with this unprecedented, limited time PADI special offer! 

While COVID-19 has you stuck at home with plenty of spare time on your hands, you'll have discovered quite some time ago that there are only so many times that you can:

  1. Binge-watch The Ranch, Breaking Bad, Ozark and Black Mirror on Netflix (all highly recommended, if you didn’t already).

  2. Clear out your - or someone else’s - garage / sock drawer / wardrobe / photos / whatever's.

  3. Start giving serious consideration to those chores that didn’t even make it to your ‘to do’ list

  4. Make and post an awesome video of your best dance / song routine and / or the hilarious prank you pulled on your roomie, family, partner (possibly now ex-) or unsuspecting passing stranger.

  5. Make and post a cool movie about your own, your pet’s or your partner’s previously undiscovered talents.
    Please tag @thedivebus if you DID 4. or 5. above!


So if you’ve been daydreaming about your next dive vacation? 

And absolutely want and need it to be your best one ever?

And have some great buddies to join you - if only they had got around to becoming certified divers before lockdown? 

Here's some GREAT news: 

PADI is offering a whopping, unprecedented
 25% off ALL PADI eLearning online courses
 with The Dive Bus Curacao.

Making this the perfect time for you to prepare for your best dive vacation ever, by learning a bunch of new skills and fun things to do underwater - and turning your favourite non-diving folks into your new dive buddies.

Without breaking social distancing rules or leaving your bathtub, couch, backyard or your other favourite spaces.


So: if you, your dive buddies, friends and / or family would love to save a ton of $ on learning fun tips, tricks and skills to:
    • learn to dive
    • dive better
    • dive more confidently
    • dive for longer
    • love every dive you make
    • get a head start on your next dive adventures 
    • turn the kids into something useful πŸ˜‰
    • take the same course at the same time as your favourite dive buddies - including the kids - for a fun way to share your learning experiences - no matter how far apart you are..?
Now is absolutely the time to make that happen
with 25% off
these PADI eLearning (online) courses:
 


Once your eLearning's done and quarantine's lifted, you're all set to dive right into your training dives in the beautiful Caribbean ocean, with us in sunny Curacao... or wherever in the world your post-COVID-19 dive adventures take you.

With all this spare time on our hands, now's a perfect time and an unprecedented offer to get more out of every post-COIVD-19 dive you make - for EVER.

So take advantage: get going on as many PADI dive courses as you can handle!

Share this Blog post with your friends, family, colleagues and anyone else you know. And if any of them aren't divers yet? Now's the time to fix that and gain a bunch more dive buddies and fun dive skills, to make your much-needed post-COVID-19 dive adventures your best ones EVER.



This unprecedented PADI offer is:

  • only valid through through 11:59 pm EST, 31st May 2020
  • automatically applied at checkout through this 25% off link.

    Remember to specify The Dive Bus Curacao (20854) as your PADI dive center when you sign up for your eLearning course!
Not sure when or where your next dive vacation will be? No worries. Sign up for your eLearning courses with us at The Dive Bus. And once you're done, you can make your training dives with any PADI approved dive center, anywhere in the world.

Gift a PADI eLearning course to your favourite dive buddy or your favourite non-diver. Because there's no such thing as 'too many' favourite dive buddies and this is a great opportunity to build a few πŸ˜‰

 Take the same PADI eLearning course at the same time as your dive buddies, for a fun, safe way to share your (socially distant) learning experiences.

 Not sure which PADI course to take next? Ask us - we're here to help!

Specify The Dive Bus Curacao (#20854) as your dive center when you sign up for your eLearning course, so we can be right there with you when or if you need us.

To get going on dive therapy for your soul and 

http://www.thedivebus.com/learn/padi-elearning-program/

Enjoy your dive therapy and look forward to getting even more from your next dive vacation!

#Coronavirus #COVID-19 #Coronavirus #StayHomeStaySafe #StayHome #QuarantineandChill #FlattenTheCurve #SocialDistancing #TogetherAtHome #Covidiots #coronacrazy #divecuracao #thedivebus #seriouslyfundiving #learntodive #PADI #divecourses #diving #scuba #padi #curacao #caribbean #thedivebus #travel #diveshop #underwater #ocean #feelitforyourself #shorediving 

Sunday, 26 April 2020

UPDATED - The Dive Bus and COVID-19: The story so far AND what's coming up ...


Greetings from sunny Curacao!

This is all of us checking in again, with a big, fat, cheery Bon dia! and our very best wishes that you’re all doing well – and still haven't gone entirely #coronacrazy just yet.

Things have been busy and changing quickly here in Curacao and at The Dive Bus, so apologies for this post taking a little longer to go live than we'd planned. Without further ado, here's the story of The Dive Bus Curacao and COVID-19 so far and what's coming up - enjoy and thanks for reading πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

 

Life at The Dive Bus before COVID-19

If you read our last Blog post, you'll already know that life had been good and busy at The Dive Bus, with lots of fun, happy divers, great diving conditions for plenty of #seriouslyfundiving.

We'd had a great time at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show (where it didn’t snow once!!!) and were supposed to be heading back to the Beneath The Sea show in New Jersey - scheduled for right around the time that the first COVID-19 landed here in Curacao. We’re extremely grateful that the show organizers rescheduled the show long before then, otherwise right now, Mark and Suzy could still be in New Jersey, in desperate need of clean clothes, a lot of beer and some warm weather.

Instead, they’re happy to be here in sunny Curacao, even though - just like yours - life is a little different these days. (And yup, we know exactly how lucky we are to be "stuck here" surrounded by palm trees, the ocean, beaches and warmth. Although it will be less fun when / if the beer runs out.)

In the meantime, for the hundreds of folks who've been asking (thank you! πŸ’™), we’re still here, still up, running and doing fine - just a little differently to regular SOP. All that's missing is you - but we're working on that, so keep watching this space.

For now though, here's the story of The Dive Bus since COVID-19 arrived in Curacao.

And - more importantly - how we've got your backs to keep you diving, busy and entertained during these strange times.

Starting with this awesome Dive Bus "best bits"  video - courtesy of our buddy Thais at Turtle and Ray Productions - to put in your 'happy place'

(yup, this is the one that should have been on the last Blog post - doh!)

Enjoy!



 
Curacao’s Prime Minister, Eugene Rhuggenaath
COVID-19 arrives in Curacao

Curacao’s first positive COVID-19 case was identified and isolated in the ICU on 13 March 2020.

Things moved quickly and frequently from that point on, and The Dive Bus Crew weren’t the only ones glued to local news websites.The Curacao Government, led by Prime Minister, Eugene Rhuggenaath did an excellent, timely job in terms of crisis management and public information, issuing frequent, regular updates.

Dr Izzy
Virtually overnight, Curacao had a new hero: one Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth, Curacao’s Epidemiologist, who looks like he’s hardly slept since the virus landed – and the poor man probably hasn't.

He and his incredible ICU team are testing and taking care of all current and possible cases. Dr Izzy stands (2 meters away) from Mr Rhuggenaath in their public updates, urging the people of Curacao to be safe and careful - and the precautions to take to do so.


Lockdown in Paradise

10 points if you can (correctly) name this stunning Curacao beach and dive site...

Heaps of divers had already been in touch us to #postponedontccancel (massive thanks if you were one of them) - and we had just enough time to take care of our remaining divers’ vacations. We really appreciated them choosing to stay and dive their booties off, instead of flying home as soon as they could.

Their timing was perfect because just after the divers had left for home, the Government issued a mandated lock-down of bars, restaurants, beaches and any other shared / social places. This was soon extended to other non-critical businesses, effectively leaving only gas stations and grocery stores open.

So, on 25 March, just 3 months after celebrating another fun, busy Christmas, we closed and locked The Dive Bus dive center gates for the last time in a while.

Shortly afterwards, when the final date for non-residents to leave the island was announced, Collin and Whitney decided to head back home until it was all over. But not before a fun evening of plenty of food, drinks, laughs, "see you soon’"s and socially-distant hugs.

Mark, Suzy, Zoe and Adam chose to stay in sunny Curacao. And because we could, and because it was exactly what we all needed, we headed out for a rare TDB team dive the day the next day. This was followed, of course - in true Dive Bus tradition - by Beer O’Clock. Even with social distancing rules in play (at the beer table, not underwater) it was fun, relaxing and just what we all needed, even though we missed Collin and Whitney not being there.

It was also very well timed.

Very shortly afterwards, the Curacao Government implemented the inevitable and necessary “shelter in place" lock-down. Under this, we all have two ‘get out of jail free’ days per week for grocery shopping or other critical activities only, while maintaining social distancing rule at all times. (This has caused  many awkward moments in the grocery store aisles.)


Supermarket Sweep, Curacao style



The toilet paper thing

Although everyone was expecting the lockdown, not many folks had had time to prepare for it - including us.

This announcement was therefore - not surprisingly - immediately followed by a massive, island-wide binge-shopping outbreak.

With not much time to prepare, grocery stores from Jan Thiel to Westpunt struggled to replenish their shelves quickly enough to cope with the unanticipated floods of shoppers-on-a-mission. The Curacao version of 'Supermarket Sweep'.

Toilet paper has never been in such high demand as it was that day. Grocery store staff struggled to replenish TP stock faster than shoppers could throw it in their shopping carts. The following day, there were mountains of toilet paper piled anywhere and everywhere. If the lockdown here continues long enough for TP to become trading currency, Mark and Collin will be millionaires.



Simor and Luna - BFFs πŸ’–πŸ’–
Bad news for dogs.
Really bad news for dog owners.

Just like diving, the Curacao Government didn't deem 'walking your dog' to be a critical activity.

We figured that the decision makers were probably not dog-owners.

Because, as a result, already-fed-up dog owners across the island - including Zoe - now had to deal with clearing up pooch-poop on a regular basis (like they didin't already have enough s**t to deal with, arf, arf).

Zoe was convinced this was Luna’s way of punishing her for missing her long, daily walks - and she was probably right.

Owners and dogs alike were therefore thrilled with the very recent announcement that dog walking is permitted again.

So we figure that some of the decision makers are dog-owners - and just as fed with having to, quite literally, deal with the same s**t as Zoe.


How we've been keeping busy and avoiding #coronacrazy



How's that video for a classic!
10 points if you can name the guy on the left...

Even with The Dive Bus gates closed, there's been plenty to keep us busy and avoid going #coronacrazy.

Besides keeping up with and implementing the frequently-changing and new Government COVID-19 safety policies, we deep-cleaned, checked and tidied up all The Dive Bus rental equipment and tanks, cleaned all the dive shop furniture, fixtures, fittings, shop stock -  and a hundred other things.

The Dive Bus rental equipment and shop contents are now totally and utterly 'wintered' and very clean and shiny.

There's also been plenty to do on the administration and customer service side too, including:
And to keep us sane, all of the above are washed down with lashings of beer during the TDB Crew virtual beer o'clocks (!)



Keeping YOU busy and avoiding going #coronacrazy

Since our last Blog post, and in between all of the above, we've been working on a bunch of fun ways to keep YOU from going #coronacrazy.

So if you haven't already, you might want to check out:

fun tales of how The Dive Bus Crew are avoiding going #coronacrazy
➧ The Dive Bus #coronacrazy Challenge...
➧ The Dive Bus on
Instagram for regular doses of #seriouslyfundiving to keep you smiling

THIS space right here, for more distractions and fun ways to keep you from going #coronacrazy and keep on diving, coming soon...

And if you haven't already, take a minute to like and follow us on facebook, Instagram and twitter so you don’t miss any of these - and other - Dive Bus COVID-19 ridiculousness and distractions.

And (if you have any clicks to spare after all of the above) liking and sharing The Dive Bus posts really helps expands their reach, so more fun (bored!) #seriouslyfun folks like you get to see them.

Thanks HEAPS if you're able to help us with that
😊πŸ₯³!




#Covid19 #Covid-19 #Coronavirus #StayHomeStaySafe #StayHome #QuarantineandChill #FlattenTheCurve #SocialDistancing #TogetherAtHome #Covidiots