A Festive Sea-lebration
Around this time of the year, we’ll start thinking about what to do for the long holidays, how to celebrate Christmas and which leng zai or leng lui you’re getting lucky with the New Year’s kiss. The older I get, I find myself craving a different type of festive celebration, leaning towards a “chill with a thrill” (I’m totally coining this phrase) mode of celebration.
Now, what does “chill with a thrill” mean? Personally, it’s the kind of fuss-free celebration where you’re feeling at peace with yourself yet with added excitement or adrenaline rush all packaged in one. This is the feeling I only get through diving – the tranquility of hearing your own breathing and the crackle of the corals alongside the Oohs” and “Aahs” every time I see a new creature or explore an unfamiliar landscape underwater.
So, this year, if you’d like a change of pace for your year-end festivities, why not consider a festive sea-lebration! Here are some “chill with a thrill” diving options to consider for Christmas or New Year’s:
1.Tubbataha Reef in The Philippines for Added FireworksRather than fleeting moments of sparkles in the air, feast your eyes on underwater fireworks made of colourful gorgonian sea fans and vivid soft corals with vibrant marine life. The Tubbataha Reef is where it’s at. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tubbataha has one of the highest marine biodiversity and pristine reef ecosystems in the world. Apart from spectacular coral reefs, you also get to see schooling fish and big pelagics like whale sharks and mantas, which basically light up fireworks in your eyes.
If you enjoy the thrill of staring at the sand or in between the nooks and crannies of rocks and corals hoping for a surprise to pop out, consider kickstarting the New Year in Anilao doing some macro diving. You’d be surprised how weirdly wonderful and freakishly colourful these tiny creatures that live under the rocks and sand can be. As my fellow dive buddy Roy says, “There is no reason for something this small to be this cute.” and once you get seduced by the macro world, you’ll know what he means.
3.Komodo in Indonesia for Added AdrenalineDiscover the fantastical world of dragons and a pump of adrenaline from all the drift diving in Komodo. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Komodo offers a very unique and diverse diving experience ranging from shallow coral gardens, pinnacle to wall dives with so many things to see! Apart from Komodo dragons and big schooling fish, there are manta cleaning stations too. I would have to caution that Komodo is definitely not for a beginner diver or for the faint-hearted due to its very challenging dive conditions.
4.Cenotes in Tulum, Mexico for Added MysteryThis is a must at least once in your lifetime. Cenotes are natural pits or sinkholes caused by the collapse of limestones. One of my most memorable Christmas was doing cenote dives as it was absolute magical mystery tour. I’d liken this experience to exploring Santa Claus’ home in the North Pole. Each cenote offered surprises in the form different cave structures and natural occurrences like a thick hydrogen sulphide layer (seen in the pic above). One of them even had a resident 6 ft long alligator!
If you’re one who loves a little mystery and adventure, definitely check this out. FYI as a recreational diver, you’ll do guided cavern dives and not penetrate into any deep caves.Don’t worry if you’re not able to make any festive Sea-lebration trips this December. Plan ahead for your 2023 dive trips with Flow! For macro lovers, check out the Anilao trip happening in May and for those whose wish list includes swimming with sharks and mantas, the South Maldives trip is one not to miss. We will also be organizing a trip to Komodo too! Be sure to check it out!
To find out more on Flow’s 2023 trips, click here or speak to us personally!