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Scuba diving couple bring aquatic life to the surface

Alisha and Joey Postma are living their best life. The wife and husband have been scuba diving around Canada since May, documenting the underwater world for their new online project – Canadian Splash.   

In this image: Joey and Ali Posta pose after a dive.
Joey and Ali Postma have been scuba diving around Canada since May. This photo was taken before a dive in North Bay, Ontario. Photo by Bonny Perron

The goal of the 13-part project, which the couple launched on July 1, is to explore and photograph the waters of all provinces and territories in Canada. So far, they’ve dived in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia as well as Newfoundland and Labrador. 

There’s not very much resources out there about scuba diving opportunities in Canada,” says Alisha (AKA Ali). “I mean sure you have the Great Lakes in Ontario … but you know what? There’s actually really cool places in every single province and territory. We just need to find them.” 

Education and inspiration 

Canadian Splash is just the latest of a few projects on the couple’s website, Dive Buddies 4 Life, which they started two years ago. 

“It’s basically an education platform,” Ali says of Dive Buddies. Among many things, the website includes resources for scuba divers, scientific profiles on aquatic animals and original underwater photography and videos from the couple’s dives around the world. 

In this image: Joey Postma diving near the bow of a sunken ship.
Joey at the bow of a Bell Island shipwreck. Photo by Ali Postma

“We’re kind of bringing a lot of different things together in the hopes that we can reach a big audience,” says Ali. By teaching people about the world’s lakes, rivers and oceans, Ali says she hopes people will be “inspired” to protect the water and its wildlife.  

A large part of Ali’s desire to protect the water comes from her time spent at Dalhousie University. She has a bachelor’s degree from Dal in marine biology and sustainability. It was also at Dal that Ali and Joey met each other through the Dal water polo team. 

“Joey actually never did any scuba diving before we met,” says Ali. The first summer they were together, while Ali went back home to Ontario to work, Joey got his Open Water Diver certification, a basic certification that allows one to drive recreationally. 

“He knew it was so important to me and that I loved it so much,” says Ali. 

“When she came back [to Halifax], we spent a lot of weekends diving,” says Joey. “Weekends turned into evenings after work. From there it just kind of grew, and now I feel like 50 per cent of our free time we spend underwater.” 

Travel and adventure 

The couple now spends their time moving to different provinces from month to month and exploring various bodies of water as they go. But, travelling around the country and scuba diving isn’t cheap. The Postmas both work full-time hours to support their lifestyle.  

“We’re lucky that we can work remote,” Joey says. He works as a computer programmer for a web design and development company in Halifax. Ali works as a project manager for the same company, as well as writing copy and doing underwater photography part-time. 

Joey says their lifestyle is not like a “luxurious vacation that people normally take.” They keep their Airbnbs within a budget and cook most of their food at home to save money. 

Regardless of the relative modesty of their way of life, the Postmas both say they would recommend this travelling lifestyle to anyone who has the means to do it. 

In this image: Joey an a Red Male Lumpfish.
Joey looking at a Red Male Lumpfish while scuba diving in Newfoundland. Photo by Ali Postma

“We’re both relatively young, and we run into so many people who are either close to retirement or have retired and they’re so proud of us for doing this now,” says Joey. “They tell us, ‘don’t stop. Don’t wait for retirement to start travelling.’ If you have the opportunity, do it while you’re young, while your body still allows you to do everything you want it to do.” 

For students, it would likely impossible to juggle this nomadic lifestyle with school. But Ali says for any students who have their Open Water Diver certification, there are great diving sites right outside of Halifax. There is even an unofficial Dal SCUBA society for anyone with an interest in scuba diving. 

Sharing the experience 

Ali acknowledges that for some people, however, the ability to scuba dive is “not really a question.” But encouraging people to scuba dive isn’t the main goal of her and her husband’s website and projects. The couple’s mission ranges from teaching people how to scuba dive to encouraging people to “look a little bit deeper into the tide pool,” as Ali says. 

“We have quite a few people that reach out to us that aren’t necessarily swimmers or scuba divers, but they just love seeing what’s under [the water],” says Ali. “They love the fact that [even though] they can’t be there, we’re bringing this information and bringing animals to them.” 

In any way possible, Ali says her and her husband want people “to explore and experience the underwater world,” because, as she puts simply, “it’s a pretty cool place.” 

Photos by Ali Postma


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