‘Scuba Santa’ joins a Yellowknife underwater Christmas party

“I just got posted to Yellowknife in August. I never thought it would lead to me dressing up as Santa and planning underwater gift-giving, but here we are.”

Many communities need someone to dress up as Santa come the holiday season, since the big man himself is in such demand. When Melissa Desjardins’ turn came, it involved being submerged.

Desjardins was a feature attraction at the first fully underwater Christmas party held by Joint Task Force North’s scuba club, which took place inside Yellowknife’s Ruth Inch Memorial Pool on Wednesday.


Ten people played hockey on the pool floor, unwrapped Christmas gifts underwater, and jammed to underwater festive tunes.

Divers in Yellowknife’s pool. Megan Miskiman/Cabin Radio
Underwater hockey at the Team North Scuba Christmas party. Megan Miskiman/Cabin Radio

Club leader Jeremy MacDonald – known in the city for his diving exploits and the Facebook page Shit I Found Diving in YK – said the idea took off (or, perhaps, sank) when someone dreamed up the concept of having Santa deliver presents on the pool floor.

“We had presents trying to go up to the surface as we unwrapped them. It was so funny to watch people try it,” MacDonald said.

“Playing hockey in the pool was also a lot of fun. Underwater hockey is a good, fun sport. It was just a great way to come do things we all enjoy and get into the holiday spirit.”

A diver with a gift underwater. Megan Miskiman/Cabin Radio
Gifts bob beneath the surface of the water. Megan Miskiman/Cabin Radio

Club diver Collin Stockwell said the event marked a turnaround in the group’s fortunes.


“During Covid, our club really dwindled down,” Stockwell told Cabin Radio.

“This year, a few of us have gotten really passionate about it and brought it from three members to now 50 members total. Having 10 people here tonight was just so great, and really got me in the mood for the holidays.

“My favourite part was the music. We had an underwater speaker playing Christmas music and it wasn’t super loud, but it was there, and we’ve never really tried that before.

“It was cool to go about diving while Jingle Bells played in the background.”