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:


    #OAS #divebus #torontooutdooradventure #divecuracao #curacaodivevacation