Thanksgiving Traditions ~ Turkey and Scuba Diving?

In September 2010, I wrote a blog called, Tradition . I began the post,

“There’s something about tradition….something comforting, something satisfying.  It’s a feel good moment that you’ve carried on something important into the future.  It’s a way of belonging.”


Kind of like Halloween and pumpkins, or like Christmas and Carrols, some things are simply tradition. Just like Thanksgiving and Scuba Diving? Absolutely! For the past twelve years, we’ve lead a scuba diving trip somewhere in the Caribbean during the week of the American Thanksgiving holiday. Why?  Here are the top reasons:


Well, if you look outside my door in Montana at the moment, it’s 15 degrees with about six inches of snow on the ground. THAT’S a good reason. It’s nice to have a good blast of warm water and warm sunshine, before plunging headlong into winter. It helps get you through those cold nights until the end of the holidays when you’re ready to head south again for another syringe full of sand in your toes.

Time to get out for a dive trip!










It’s a short week of work. So in order to take in a full week of bask on the beach Caribbean Heaven, you really only need to take three days off. But if you are thinking, OMG, the last thing I want to do is fly on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, listen up. Here is where we have become tricky with our Thanksgiving Dive trip. We run it Saturday to Saturday so you are home in the comfort of your PJs on Sunday morning while the rest of humanity is fighting TSA in some hub airport after just flighting it the other way on Wednesday night. Now THAT is a tradition I can miss!


Some people don’t want the whole “family” thing at Thanksgiving. They’d rather not cook, not deal with the in-laws and don’t give a lick about the football games. It’s another holiday to spend in the kitchen cooking for people who probably don’t appreciate it and end up depressed by the 5lb you gained eating all that butter! And then….here it comes.. BLACK Friday. Wow, give me a lobotomy rather than shop on the day after Thanksgiving! I prefer to Christmas shop online from the comfort of my couch in front of the fire instead of having to put chains on my truck to get down my driveway and then fight the hoards in the mall. It seriously looks like opening day of hunting season here in the west!


So for all these reasons and probably more, back in 1999, we began what we call, Turkey Day in the Tropics, a new Thanksgiving Tradition. It wasn’t a tradition to begin with, that defies the definition. But what we found was that year after year, the same people kept showing up for “Turkey Day in the Tropics”. It’s always a quick and easy one week getaway to the Caribbean. Mostly, it’s a relaxing week of sharing time with friends and always seems to include someone new to add to our “family”. We dive twice a day from an upscale resort where everyone is pampered to the hilt. The afternoons are spent exploring the island or relaxing in a hammock. The photographers thumb through their images and at happy hour at the bar every evening, I show video of the day’s underwater escapades. One of our diver’s wives who doesn’t dive, uses it as total chill out time. She brings a huge stack of romance novels and sits by the pool with an umbrella drink and lets the stress of her job melt away for seven glorious days! Another of our divers, Liz, buys herself a new dress every year just for the occasion.

Sharing time with great friends and meeting new ones!


Chilling out after the dives










It soon became an anticipated yearly tradition. And I refer back to my opening quote because it HAS become something comforting, something satisfying. It’s a feel good moment that you’ve carried something important into the future. It’s a way of belonging.


It became SUCH a tradition that back in 2009 when Ridlon and I were unable to make the trip, a few of our divers went anyway! They sent pictures with a Turkey Day sign they had made. Wow, it was an honor to know how this now twelve year old tradition can endure even without us!

The tradition continued even without us one year!











So, now, why am I writing this? It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m writing this from Montana??? Never fear, Turkey Day in the Tropics is happening right now on the beautiful island of Curacao! Ridlon is leading the group this year because number of divers didn’t allow for both of us to go. It’s a very sad state of our economy that this year many of our “same time next year divers” were unable to join us. But we will hold fast to our tradition and are confident that next year, those who couldn’t make it in 2011 will join us in 2012. The spirit of the Turkey Day in the Tropics tradition lives on!

Enjoying the Turkey Day Tradition on the dive boat!

Turkey Day Dive Trip 2011!









So thank you to all of you who hold Turkey Day sacred! It’s been a great run for twelve years and we look forward to making lucky number 13 the best one yet!!!!


Where will it be? Ah, that brings me to another tradition. On every trip, we host a slideshow we call Shameless Self Promotion where we unveil upcoming trips. So during this week, the location of Turkey Day in the tropics 2012 will be revealed…. so I can’t divulge it ahead of time or I won’t survive until Christmas…


Stay tuned……


To Your Adventures,



Fun Diving in Curacao

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