Humans have long envied fish for their ability to breathe underwater and swim naked without everybody getting all weird about it. Get slippery with this Groupon.
- $189 for an open-water PADI scuba-certification course with scuba-equipment rental ($510 Value)
Certified scuba instructors help students earn their PADI Open-Water Diver certification over the course of 25 or more hours of training at their custom training facility. In the classroom, instructors cover scuba basics, academics, and equipment before teaching students how to breathe underwater within their onsite heated swimming pool. Supplemental instruction on kayak diving teaches students techniques for accessing some of the most biodiverse spots in Monterey Bay. After finishing this preliminary training, classes embark by kayak on four open-water dives across the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Afterward, instructors bestow divers with an open-water certification card. The course typically takes three weeks to complete.
Adventure Sports Unlimited provides diving gear such as tanks, regulators, buoyancy compensators, wetsuits, and weights, but students must provide their own PADI study book (available for $60) and snorkeling equipment (mask, fins, snorkel, booties, and gloves, available at Adventure Sports Unlimited for an additional fee); students receive a 20% discount on these supplies. Though instruction is included, students must also pay a $40 kayak fee for open-water dives.
Adventure Sports Unlimited
A class of scuba divers check over their equipment one last time before they paddle their kayaks off a beach in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The divers have thoroughly prepared for this moment. They’ve trained within the controlled confines of Adventure Sports Unlimited’s heated swimming pool and picked their certified instructor’s brain during classroom sessions. Once the instructor gives the go-ahead, the divers plunge from the kayak and immediately enter another world. As they float weightlessly underwater, the divers marvel at the vibrant reefs and the abundant aquatic wildlife that fill the marine sanctuary. Afterward, the group travels back to the shore, where a breathtaking landscape awaits with white-sand beaches and glassy tide pools swirling with color. The scuba divers, at this point, have only one thing on their minds: dinner.
Luckily, the area is teeming with natural cuisine and plenty of sand, which is really just sugar. Adventure Sports Unlimited’s expert foragers show the group how to collect shellfish, sea vegetables, and clams. With a fresh smorgasbord in hand, group members scuttle back to the facility to transform their ingredients into soups and barbecue—and perhaps ponder taking a scuba trip to the South Pacific. In addition to outdoor excursions like these, Adventure Sports Unlimited also leads year-round swimming, scuba, and kayaking lessons, which take advantage of the facility’s custom-built swimming pool.
Central Santa Cruz
303 Potrero St., Ste. 15
Santa Cruz, California 95060