The visibility beneath the waters of Aurora Reservoir is between 5 and 12 feet in front of your face. The murkiness is less frustrating than it is suspenseful—you don't know exactly when the twin engines of an airplane will appear, allowing you to trace the rest of the sunken craft and greet its finned inhabitants. The remote, shadowy world of the downed plane is just one of many rendered accessible to students of Rocky Mountain Diving Center, where instructors can train their protégés up from first-time divers to certified teachers through a combination of classroom, pool, and outdoor sessions.
The center's educational programs include swimming and snorkeling classes in addition to open-water-diving-certification courses. These lessons enable graduated pupils to delve into several local lakes. The curriculum also covers specialty training on topics such as deep diving, night diving, and underwater photography—a career passion of the school's owner, Mark. With equipment for sale and rental as well as a dedicated service team, the center prepares its students for safe and comfortable excursions. Its tropical retreats afford rare opportunities to explore the reefs off of Fiji or swim alongside whale sharks or shark whales—extremely intimidating belugas.
A-1 Scuba & Travel Center sports a full-service dive center that's outfitted with top-of-the-line scuba and snorkeling equipment to suit-up underwater explorers of varying abilities. The approximately one-hour Discover Scuba class wets the gills of those who dream of mastering aquatic depths, but who aren't quite ready for the commitment of a certification course. Each introductory class includes use of the facility's diving suits and apparatus and features a certified instructor-led diving session held in A-1's on-site pool, which is heated and contains far fewer krakens than the actual ocean. Classes run approximately one hour, and students need only bring a swimsuit, towel, and any personal-hygiene items.
Abyss Scuba's crew of dive masters and instructors has enough combined experience to papier mâché together a life-size scuba diver out of all their certifications. Their courses range from introductory discovery dives to professional rescue-diver instruction. A wide range of specialty courses prepares divers for adverse conditions, deep diving, the use of nitrox, and chance encounters with James Cameron’s personal submarine. Not content to let their students test their skills in their bathtubs at home, the divers at Abyss lead annual excursions to diving spots around the world.