As Christmas approaches faster than ever there is probably a chance that, because you are visiting my site or reading this, you have an interest in anything to do with the beautiful blue abyss that covers over 71% of our planet.
Christmas presents are sometimes difficult to choose but become a little easier to think of once you home in on the individuals interests or passion. Whether you are buying for a scuba diver, a lover of marine life or simply in awe of the amazingly intricate ecosystems that survive out of most of our view, there are plenty of unique marine themed gifts available that will impress your loved ones this Christmas.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good cup of tea? This little contraption is bound to bring a smile to any one’s face, especially the avid tea drinking scuba diver!
Made from food-safe, BPA-free silicone and packaged in a nice little gift box it is a great way to reduce your tea bag footprint. Although tea varieties offer the drinker a whole range of health benefits including weight loss, better digestion and improved sleep, most tea bags are unfortunately not environmentally friendly and do have negative effects to the environment once disposed of. Tons of teabags are added to landfills around the globe, and only 70 – 80% of the teabag itself will biodegrade and become part of the soil, whereas the remaining material is made up of plastic which will remain on our planet for hundreds of years into the future. One teabag may not seem like a big issue, but when millions of teabags are used worldwide every day, it now becomes a big issue.
Simply pick up Fred the Deep Tea Diver and choose your favourite loose tea, fill the diver and place in your tea letting the little “air tank” counterweight the infuser, and you’ll be drinking an environmentally friendly, perfectly brewed cup of tea in no time.
Scuba Strapp is a UK company that designs, develops and manufactures diving products in the forms of lanyards and straps which eventually become a reliable tool when added to your scuba equipment set up. The lanyards can be used for securing all sorts of small pieces of equipment to your kit including torches, cameras, diving knifes, consoles and reels. The longer, heavier duty lanyards are excellent for holding equipment together and transporting equipment such as your BCD and regulators.
The quality they are built to is impressive and I always make sure I have at least one of the lanyards attached to my BCD, just in case I need to deal with an unforeseen event that may had otherwise ended my dive early. They can be configured in many ways – just like their quality, their versatility and simple designs are impressive. I find that they are great for attaching my dive planning, teaching slates or data collection slates to when out on dives.
These are not only the perfect Christmas gift for professionals but also recreational divers. There are so many ways in which they can be used that I am certain I have not yet thought of them all!
I don’t know about you, but I love looking at maps. And the thought of looking at a map with hundreds of dive sites gets me worryingly excited. The “Dive Bucket List” from Watersports Warehouse is an attractive illustrated map of the world with over 500 of the best dive sites and diving destinations around the world. It’s an inspiring item to own, and not only shows the location of the dive sites, but also information about the type of dive site and what you can expect to see there. It measures approximately 1 metre by half a metre so would get a lot of attention on a bedroom or office wall. This is the perfect option for those that are looking to create their dive site bucket list and need an inspiring aid to begin with.
I absolutely love the Ocean Positive range by Fourth Element. The range is inspired by using a mix of recycled ghost nets and discarded rubbish which is turned into material called ECONYL. By creating this range of swimwear and rashguards, they are encouraging divers and snorkellers to begin to think about what they do in their every day lives, such as how their waste could actually be used as well as the environmental impact of everything the world manufactures. The range is made from 78% recycled materials and arrives packaged in non-plastic bags made with cassava starch.
The close fitting Hydroskin rashguards come in both male and female fitting and sizing. They feature attractive contrasting side panels and are perfectly designed to be worn underneath a wetsuit or semi dry and used as a UV shield when doing any other watersport activities.
Ghost nets are referred to as the “silent killers”. They are nets that have been lost or discarded at sea and are responsible for the death of millions of marine animals each year. The nets can float with oceanic currents and travel huge distances, trapping sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins, whales, fish and even birds, causing them to die in a slow and painful death. In fact, they can destroy whole ecosystems, smothering live corals, killing both soft and hard species and introducing alien species into the environment. It is great to see a company making efforts to not only recycle these deadly nets into comfortable swimwear but raise awareness as well.
Prepare to be awed by photos of some of the worlds most impressive dive sites and their inhabitants, be they sea creatures or historic wrecks. This coffee table book lists the top 50 destinations for diving across the globe.
Chris Santella interviewed a range of people who are involved in the scuba diving world such as filmmakers, photographers, equipment makers and adventurers, and asked them to share some of their favourite locations. From Grand Bahama to Belize, Cuba to Antarctica, Fiji to Grenada, this book takes readers on a multi stop tour across the world from the comfort of their living room.
These sites boast some of the most biodiverse and healthy reefs with uniquely stunning and charismatic species. They aren’t ranked, just listed as 50 of the best to visit before you die. Whatever the reason for your appreciation of diving, there will be something to satisfy your dive needs within this book. There is also a handy section that provides you with further information about planning a trip if you do choose to make a holiday around one of the sites listed within this publication.
Shark Guardian are a UK Registered charity that hold a place close to my heart. I was lucky enough to work alongside them on a few projects that they have developed in Thailand. Directed by Brendon Ford Sing and Elizabeth Ward-Sing, a couple that have dedicated their lives to marine conservation and education projects across South East Asia, Shark Guardian is a charity whose Mission Statement aims to improve shark and marine conservation worldwide through education programs, research projects and exciting diving expeditions.
They have some awesome jewellery available in their online shop including a beautiful Hammerhead Shark Ring, a Whale Shark Sterling Silver Ring and a Hammerhead Shark Bracelet as well as other stunning pieces that are certainly worth a browse. Anything from this whole range is a perfect gift for female scuba divers that have fallen in love with the majestic sharks of the ocean.
They also have a great range of gifts for children including babygrows, t-shirts, bibs and a short educational story book featuring Jed the Hammerhead shark – a great introduction to the fascinating life and diversity of sharks. Shark Guardian even have a second publication that has just hit the shelves which continues to follow Jed on his underwater journey and the threats and problems that face sharks and the oceans!
I can personally vouch for this high-quality dive centre. Having done both my PADI Open Water Diver course, PADI Divemaster and now my PADI Instructor Development Course with Master Divers and cannot say enough about their passion, standards, environmental attitude and training.
Located on Koh Tao, a small island off the West coast of Thailand, they are surrounded by beautiful dive sites within a short boat drive from the front of the centre. Here they run regular Project AWARE Dive Against Debris as well as their own eco focused projects including eco-presentation evenings with tasty vegetarian meals, weekly beach cleans, community engagement projects and are even important partners in a citizen science research project that assesses the health of the waters surrounding the island.
If you are planning a trip to Thailand with your friends or family, booking your PADI Open Water Diver course with Master Divers may just be the best decision you ever have made. Not only do they offer one of the best entry level courses on the island, they have an array of continued education courses for those that already hold their certification. It is an experience that you will never forget and one which will probably change your life. It did for me.
These bracelets have become quite popular with ocean lovers across the world over the past year or two. The bracelet is made from recycled materials and each bracelet purchased will remove one pound of litter from the ocean and coastline. A nice little indicator to that shows others you are aware and actively helping create a cleaner ocean for the future.
4ocean was an idea coined by two guys who, whilst visiting Bali, were shocked to see the amount of plastic washing up along the beautiful coastlines and even more shocked to see nothing being done about it. They began to think of something that could be created to fund the clean up efforts that should be being done, and there came around the recycled bracelet. In just two years, they have managed to remove 2,347, 823 pounds of trash from the ocean and employs over 150 people across several countries worldwide.
The bracelets come in several different colours each representing a different ocean creature so if your loved one or friend are obsessed with manatees, treat them to the 4ocean Limited Edition Manatee bracelet that helps not only remove rubbish from the sea but helps sponsor research, raise public awareness and advocate protection methods, a beautifully crafted bracelet in partnership with Save the Manatee.
I got bought this book by my brother for Christmas last year and I had read it pretty much by the New Year. It is a great little book that feels almost like you have your own personal instructor, a person with knowledge and experience on your book shelf. Scuba Confidential is perfect for referencing and dipping into whenever you have a question or need a little further information regarding many scuba topics. It is full of tips and hints on how to master skills and techniques that help you become a more confident and safer diver.