For more than 10 years the red-suited, white-bearded diver known as Scuba Claus has been visiting the Vancouver Aquarium for the holidays.
I’ve been a big fan of Scuba Claus since the first time I saw him back in 2005, so when I learned I’d have the opportunity to host a one-on-one interview with him, I was over the moon.
For those of you who may not know, Scuba Claus swims through the seven seas on Christmas Eve to check in on all of his marine pals and to wish them a happy holiday. It’s not a job for just any man in a red suit, which is why he feels so passionate about his calling. He knows that only someone with his special talents could make it around the world, underwater, in just one night, and only he knows where to look to find all of the animals in the ocean.
Nicole: “Hello Scuba Claus, thank you for joining me.”
Scuba Claus: “Ho ho ho!”
Nicole: “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Scuba Claus: “Well I first learned to dive at a fairly young age, which a lot of people may not realize. When you live in the Arctic, where there’s no land beneath the ice, it’s important to be prepared. Climates are changing and I didn’t want to end up underwater without knowing how to take care of myself.”
Nicole: “What’s your favourite part about diving?”
Scuba Claus: “I would have to say the weightlessness. It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with some weight issues so it’s nice to just sit back and float!”
Nicole: “What are some of the most incredible things you’ve seen on your travels under water?”
Scuba Claus: “Nurse sharks in Fiji, hippopotamuses in Africa and the kelp forests of British Columbia.”
Nicole: What is it about the Aquarium that makes it the perfect place to practise your dives?
Scuba Claus: “The Aquarium is known for having a focus on the Arctic. It’s the perfect place to visit as I can share my love for the Arctic with visitors young and old. It feels like a home away from home.”
As our interview drew to a close I asked if Scuba Claus if he had anything else he wanted to say to our guests who visit him daily for the 11:30 am dive show in the Strait of Georgia exhibit.
“If you wave at me I promise I’ll wave back!” he exclaimed. Then he grabbed his fins and his mask and prepared to swim out of sight but he turned back and added one last thought, “Do you know any good drycleaners?”
I suppose that suit of his does get pretty salty.
Guests of the Vancouver Aquarium can see Scuba Claus daily until December 24, 2014. Stay in touch by sending Scuba Claus a letter letting him know how you’ll help our oceans and he’ll send you an email back.
Thank you Scuba Claus for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us here at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Blog post submitted by Nicole Cann, manager of Interpretive Delivery.