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

Friday, 17 April 2020

Keep calm and carry on diving!

Greetings from sunny Curacao!

We sincerely hope all you're well, healthy and happy - and not going too #coronacrazy just yet?
 
Don't worry, we've got you.

But first, we wanted to say a huge, special thanks to all of you who’ve been in touch to check in on how we’re all doing. It means a lot to us, thank you, and we sincerely hope you're all doing ok, too!

And secondly, apologies for the lack of blog post and other updates from us for a while. Things have been wonderfully busy here.

Busy with high season bringing us tons of fun divers and heaps of PADI dive course graduates..

Busy with our 2nd appearance at the inconveniently-scheduled-but-absolutely-awesome Toronto Adventure Show and plenty more. (Just as well that March's Beneath the Sea show was rescheduled, otherwise Mark and Suzy might still be in tropical New Jersey.)

And we were lovin' it.

And then COVID-19 showed up in Curacao and things got a bit weird and a lot quiet. Easter is always one of our busiest times of the year - we didn't even it realise it was Easter. How's that for weird?

It turned out, that although we think that diving is an essential part of daily life, the Curacao Government does not. Consequently, The Dive Bus was one of thousands of “non-essential” Curacao businesses ordered to close their doors and gates, last month.

So we did.

So although the dive center building is closed,
The Dive Bus itself is not closed. Far from it!

After wintering all the Dive Bus rental equipment, vehicles, shop contents and cats (they're totally fine, and loving having the place to the themselves), we got to thinking and planning.

And, then we got busy, working on a bunch of fun ways to keep you diving and having fun, until long after COVID-19 is a really bad memory.

So if you’ve been itching to dive? Keep watching this space and facebook for a bunch of fun ways to carry on diving, get a regular fix of #seriouslyfundiving and help you avoid going #coronacrazy, coming soon.

In the meantime, as a starter for 10:

➧ head over to The Dive Bus facebook and tell us how you’re avoiding going #coronacrazy

➧ stay tuned to The Dive Bus on Instagram for regular doses of #seriouslyfundiving photos to keep you smiling

And if you’re not already following us on social media? Now’s a GREAT time to fix that, so you don’t miss out on any of the fun stuff we've got going on for you already and coming up.

And if you have a second (literally), liking and sharing our social media posts really helps expand their reach. With a click or 2 to like and/or share our posts, a LOT more fun folks like you will get to see them, too. Then we'll have even more #seriouslyfun diver in the wonderfully-ridiculous Dive Bus audience, which would be awesome 😊πŸ₯³


Speaking of #seriouslyfundiving: we thought you might enjoy a quick fix of Curacao diving by now. So sit back, relax and enjoy the brand new, super-fun 'Dive Bus Best Bits' video, courtesy of the talented Thais, one of our buddies at Turtle and Ray Productions.




https://www.facebook.com/pg/thedivebus    https://www.instagram.com/dive_bus_curacao/


So KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON DIVING.
And if all else fails:

#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

Thursday, 13 February 2020

The Dive Bus and the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show, Canada

As a crowd of #seriouslyfun Canadian Dive Bus divers can attest to, just about a year ago, The Dive Bus ‘did’ Canada.

In spite of it being colder than the Dive Bus Beer Fridge ice department, it was awesome.

So awesome, that we’re doing it all over again...

HIGHLY thoughtful and HIGHLY used gifts!
Last year, a last minute opportunity to exhibit at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show landed in our laps, when The Dive Bus was invited to be a Squba Holidays dive resort partner on their show pavilion.

With just a few weeks to prepare, Suzy got planning while Mark hit social media to warn Canadians of our imminent arrival.

In response, kindly Canadian divers gifted tuques, long johns, a bobble hat and a furry, camo hunters hat - complete with fluffy ear flaps - that Mark all but slept in for the duration of the trip.

Suzy’s ski jacket was released from its 15 year confinement under the bed. Along with the few warm clothes that the pair possessed, they were thrown into almost-empty suitcases, and off they set on their adventures.

As the plane slowly descended on its approach to the airpot, the entire ground below was white. It was incredibly beautiful.

Until we landed.

There was snow everywhere, thanks to the bitterly cold wind. In the 30 seconds it took to walk (outside) from the Airport Arrivals Lounge to the National Car Rental desk, the pair was officially the coldest they’d been in 15 years:



The next morning, in preparation for exiting the lovely warm hotel into the frozen tundra of the parking lot, Mark and Suzy donned every gifted clothing item, after lengthy, steaming-hot showers and gallons of coffee. It was still shockingly cold.

Not very happy.
A quick initiation at Timmy's for more coffee (and ‘bits’) helped warm the spirits a little, but their next stop really did the trick. Two hour laters, the pair left MEC - a truly wondrous store - significantly more suitably prepared and able to deal with the incredible cold. 
The Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show began the following day.

Exactly the kind of show that Suzy loved to visit back in the UK, it was filled with amazing adventures and activities, destinations, equipment, cool accessories, noise, buzz and just plain fun. And filled with exactly the kind of people we love diving at The Dive Bus: fun, easy going, adventurous, enthusiastic. Super enthusiastic. No one seemed to notice, mind or care that it was snowing like heck outside.

Crowds of Dive Bus divers formed a large and wonderful part of ‘exactly the kind of people’, coming by to say ‘Hi’, catch up, swop fun dive stories, laugh at Mark and Suzy wearing ‘real clothes’ and plan their next Curacao dive vacation.


A LOT more happy.
Tons of potential Dive Bus divers and Curacao vacationers came by to see what all the merriment was about. They left with fun Curacao fold-away sunglasses courtesy of the Curacao Tourist Board (they also work as snow-glasses) and having learned at least 6 new things:
  1. It's where that “blue liqueur / cocktail- stuff” comes from

  2. It's also an island in the Caribbean

  3. It's pronounced "Kur-a-sow"

  4. It's one of the Top 10 best year-round scuba diving destinations in the world, and should definitely be on their 'awesome dive travel destination' wish list. (At the top.)

  5. There are direct flights from Toronto to Curacao (and back)

  6. You don’t have be slightly bonkers to dive with The Dive Bus (one of the Top 25 dive centers in the world); it's merely coincidence that a large percentage of our divers just happen to be

    Members of
    The Dive Bus Distribution Team
    An elite squad of Dive Bus Returners (see 6. above) formed a large and very special group of ‘exactly the kind of people’. They excitedly and enthusiastically distributed boxes and boxes of The Dive Bus DRIVE + DIVE Show Specials to show goers and exhibitors, encouraging them to swing by the stand and see for themselves. (And they certainly did.)

    The flyers ran out shortly after the show opened on Day 2. An emergency reprint was called for. Then another. After the third reprint, came the news:
    “That’s your lot, folks - the printer’s closed til Monday so make ‘em last, eh!”
     
    Meanwhile, on the Underwater Stage just across from The Dive Bus stand, Bryan delivered amazing Curacao presentations, introducing show visitors to their next dive vacation destination and inviting them to “Feel it for yourself”:

    If any attendees - or exhibitors - managed to leave the show without knowing about either Curacao or The Dive Bus? We'd be amazed:




    But it wasn't all "work". Outside of the show, they squeezed in a bunch of other cool things, like:
    • Heckling from the viewing room, during Bryan's great radio interview with Toronto Caribbean Network, all about how great Curacao is (in a locked, soundproof studio, luckily for all concerned)

    • Lunch at a very cool 1950s-style diner in Bryan’s home town, and a beautiful drive through miles and miles of vineyards (who knew?) and tons of other cool places

    • Several incredible, superb food experiences in and around Toronto, including lunch at Emmas, by the shore of the frozen Lake Ontario

    • Visiting Mark’s favourite store, Best Buy (three times), picking up, among many other things, a bunch of tablets in the ongoing Dive Bus quest for sustainable practices.

      (Notably, this was the first and last time on the entire trip that Suzy was “too hot”.)

    • Visiting Once Upon a Child: a brilliantly simple and wonderful concept, that every parent (and child!), everywhere, would surely benefit from

    • Being blown away by the magnificence of the (frozen) Niagara Falls - a childhood dream come true for Suzy.

    • "Researching" Canadian beers ...

       


    In spite of the shocking cold, it was an awesome experience all round.

    That's why we’re heading back for the
    2020 Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show,
    on the Dive Curacao Pavillion.


    See you there - or see you here!

    Check out Dive Bus social media channels for tons of fun photos and
    the 2020 Toronto Outdoor Show Dive Bus Specials coming SOON:
     
    https://www.instagram.com/dive_bus_curacao/
    https://twitter.com/thedivebus
    https://www.facebook.com/thedivebus

      
    http://www.thedivebus.com


    #OAS #divebus #torontooutdooradventure #divecuracao #curacaodivevacation

    Monday, 6 January 2020

    Dive into Curacao Carnival - for a vacation you'll never forget!


    Curacao Carnival is one of the largest and longest Carnival spectacles in the Caribbean
    and one of the best times to visit this amazing island.

    So if you’re looking for a unique, incredible and highly memorable Curacao dive vacation experience?

     

    Check this one out.

    Originally a Catholic rite to represent the Christian practice of “Carne Levale,” or giving up meat for Lent, Curacao continues the tradition now known as Carnival, with incredible masquerade parties and and huge, colourful, gigantic Parades ("marches").

    Curacao Carnival is the Curacao's biggest party of the year and amazing to experience - and join in.

    With fantastic parades, floats, costumes and characters, including Carnival "Royalty" elected during full-scale, island-wide beauty contests, impromptu street parties, dancin' and even more music than usual, it's a wonderful, incredible and unique opportunity to experience the passion of the islanders.

    It’s HUGE.

    It’s AMAZING.

    And you're welcome.
    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&biw=1408&bih=711&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNTC2FYK5bq0BUu3ylFPV0J-K56lhA%3A1578158008198&sa=1&ei=uMcQXvnmC-HL5gLM7L_oAQ&q=curacao+carnival&oq=curacao+carnival&gs_l=img.3..0l6j0i8i30j0i24l3.30203.31808..33585...0.0..0.248.1267.0j9j1......0....1..gws-wiz-img.......35i39j0i30.udmWmMb9LFg&ved=0ahUKEwj5ounbuOrmAhXhpVkKHUz2Dx0Q4dUDCAY&uact=5


    You're welcome to join the tens of thousands of road-side spectators and be amazed by the impressive, energetic and amazing array of multi-colored floats and the lavish, intricate, hand-made costumes.

    You're welcome to enjoy the music that plays such a huge part in daily Curacao life: "Tumba", which is, effectively, the “soundtrack” for Curacao Carnival.

    And you're welcome to dance your flip-flops off to the complex rhythms of the live Tumba bands - or just watch, absorb and enjoy the whole massive, lavish and incredible Curacao Carnival experience.


    Whether you're spectating or participating, it's just about impossible to prevent your feet from moving to the complex rhythms of the Carnival music. Originating in Africa and named after a 17th century Spanish dance, Tumba has evolved through influences including jazz, merengue and other Afro-Caribbean beats, to become Curacao's most popular dance and music style:




    But participating in Curacao Carnival Parades doesn't come cheap.

    Once Curacao Carnival season is officially "opened", islanders set about raising the necessary funds for their favourite Tumba bands to participate in the Grand Parade - by arranging parties!

    While their favourite band plays at these "Jump Ups” (parties held outside, in, on and through the streets in mini-Parades of their own) and "Jump Ins" (parties held inside), friends, family and fans sell the band’s official t-shirts to the dancing crowds, to raise the funds.

    If you happen upon any of these parties, you don’t need to ask: you are welcome. Make sure to buy a t-shirt or 3 now you know the cool reason behind them - and they make awesome souvenirs to illustrate your cool story of how and why you got them…

    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&biw=1408&bih=711&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNTC2FYK5bq0BUu3ylFPV0J-K56lhA%3A1578158008198&sa=1&ei=uMcQXvnmC-HL5gLM7L_oAQ&q=curacao+carnival&oq=curacao+carnival&gs_l=img.3..0l6j0i8i30j0i24l3.30203.31808..33585...0.0..0.248.1267.0j9j1......0....1..gws-wiz-img.......35i39j0i30.udmWmMb9LFg&ved=0ahUKEwj5ounbuOrmAhXhpVkKHUz2Dx0Q4dUDCAY&uact=5
     




    The Grand Parade (“Gran Marcha”) is the first of the two main Carnival Parades, on Sunday during the day.
     
    The second is the Farewell March (“Marcha di Despedida"), the following Tuesday evening, with the floats adorned with sparkling lights.

    The dramatic Carnival finale takes place at midnight when King Momo and all that he symbolizes is banished...

    (Until Carnival 2020, that is.)


    Both the 2 main Parades - and the various others in between, including the hugely popular Kids Parade - are the product of months of incredible amounts of work and preparation, featuring fantastical floats, lavish costumes and head-dresses, as well as traditional Carnival “characters”. 

    The Carnival Queen is the most important Carnival character. Representing Mother Earth, she’s a symbol of fertility and peace, elected through a series of full-scale, island-wide beauty contests. 

    The Carnival King (Momo) is a symbol of the exact opposite: infertility, sins and bad luck. Momo is a straw–filled dummy - which is fortunate, given that he’s center-stage at the dramatic and spectacular ritual that marks the official close of Carnival at the Farewell March…

    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&biw=1408&bih=711&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNTC2FYK5bq0BUu3ylFPV0J-K56lhA%3A1578158008198&sa=1&ei=uMcQXvnmC-HL5gLM7L_oAQ&q=curacao+carnival&oq=curacao+carnival&gs_l=img.3..0l6j0i8i30j0i24l3.30203.31808..33585...0.0..0.248.1267.0j9j1......0....1..gws-wiz-img.......35i39j0i30.udmWmMb9LFg&ved=0ahUKEwj5ounbuOrmAhXhpVkKHUz2Dx0Q4dUDCAY&uact=5

    The trick to getting a great viewing spot along the Carnival route for the Grand Parade is to get there early. Islanders set up their prime, road-side seating days, weeks and sometimes months in advance, to reserve their favourite spots.

    But the best way to experience Curacao Carnival isn’t to sit and watch it pass by.

    The best way to experience Curacao Carnival is to hang out in and on the streets, mingling and dancing with and like the locals (who forgot to reserve their favourite spots in time).

    And if you are invited to join the Parade? Do it. It’s fun, safe, friendly – and the experience of a lifetime.


    The Curacao Carnival route effectively splits the island in two. And with thousands of spectators as well as the floats and participants, it can be pretty tricky crossing the route to head West or East, as you can maybe imagine.

    So if you're planning on diving Curacao during Carnival, you may want to prepare for random “delays” or “alternative routes” - and keep a cooler of cold beer and your phone handy.


    And if you're diving with us at The Dive Bus, we plan our dive schedule around the Parade routes / days ... and carry cold beer just in case the plan doesn't quite go according to, erm, plan.

    (If you’re going to be be here on a Dive Bus DIVE + DRIVE Package, ask to rent one of our coolers...πŸΊπŸΊπŸ˜‰.)


    With all of the above, plus the Curacao kids and teens Carnival festivities running alongside, the Tumba Festival and awesome diving,
    you may need another vacation to recover from your Curacao Carnival Dive experience.

    Or an additional week. (Don't say we didn't warn you!)

    ENJOY!
     
    http://www.thedivebus.com





    #feelit #experiencecuracao #discovercuracao #curacaocarnival #divecuracao #scuba #tauchen  #curacaovacation  #dutchcaribbean #rightnowincuracao #followme #travel #wanderlust #carnival #party #thedivebus #divecuraca