Cindy Ross was an unlikely person to found a scuba-diving school. Told by a commercial diving instructor at 19 that she was too small to scuba, Ross didn’t begin to explore the sport until she was in her 30s. Earning certification was a trial, and she spent her first four dives lugging 80-pound gear in the snow up and down a massive hill—and, adding insult to injury, the men’s equipment didn’t even fit properly. But the fifth dive changed everything. Held in Puget Sound, Ross felt a calling to the location's green waters and white anemones, and since then, the aquanaut has frolicked with such neighbors as a 1,200-pound sea lion, hundreds of Canadian seals, and a giant Pacific octopus.
At Scuba Shoppe, Ross and her team of instructors immerse guests of all ages in the sport of scuba. Try Scuba classes held in the center's 84-degree pool familiarize students with their equipment before they plunge into the water to practice. Alternatively, an open-water certification program from Scuba Schools International expounds on these pool sessions with shore dives in the rolling waters of Puget Sound, which let students hone their skills in a more realistic environment or find a dolphin pod to adopt them. As part of this training, they also have the chance to explore the briny depths aboard underwater scooters. For the more advanced,, Scuba Shoppe provides training for specialty certifications, including rescue diving, night diving, and underwater digital photography. An onsite dive shop outfits customers with all the necessary dive gear and accessories.
If you’ve never stood on top of water, or if you’ve stood on it and want to further defy the laws of viscosity and velocity, then strap in to Northwest Riders’ line of Slingshot Sports boards and bindings, designed to give you a blend of comfort and performance that most only experience during sleeping-bag races. As you’re towed along by a 21-foot Malibu vRide boat, the experienced nautical navigators on board will tame the wake to fit your desired degree of difficulty.
Before diving into the school's practice pool, divers learn the basics of breathing through a regulator, clearing water from a mask, and adjusting the pressure buildup during descents. After that, swimmers will become underwater explorers. Learn to dive under the watchful supervision of an experienced, PADI-certified instructor. Craig Gillespie is a pro diver with webbed feet for toes and gills for eyes. He has logged more than 30 years of dives, during which time tens of thousands of would-be flounders were taught the ways of scuba diving.
In 1920, a few intrepid explorers transformed the unpopulated shoreline of Vashon Island into an outdoor classroom, where they invited kids to come stay, play, and learn valuable skills. In the nearly 100 years since its founding, Camp Sealth's facilities have evolved, but its mission and activities have remained much the same. Camp organizers still helm resident camps for kids ages 6 to17, bunking them together in cabins by night and offering exploration of the 400 acres of forest and shoreline by day. Staffers lead horseback trail rides, teach survival skills such as archery and fire-starting.
They also provide more focused full-day retreats for students that teach leadership skills to teens. And to back all their camps and activities, the camp boasts an excellent safety record and a ban on frozen underwear pranks, as well as accreditation from the American Camp Association.
Highline Athletic Club offers more than 50 group classes every week in a safe, clean, and cobra-free gym environment, and Groupon customers will get to take any 10 of the club’s hour-long classes on its Group-X aerobics schedule. During Group Ride, cyclists mount stationary bikes in the cycling studio and burn their calories to ashes while pretending to climb impossible inclines and treat Lance to a mouthful of their back wheel's gravel in the Tour de France. Group Centergy combines yoga, Pilates, and uplifting music to help participants reduce stress and organize their bodies’ unalphabetized energy, whereas Group Power uses simple yet challenging squats, lunges, presses, curls, and triple back flips for a complete workout that addresses all the major muscle groups. Finally, let your sweaty hair down with a dance-happy hour of shaking, shimmying, popping, locking, and Charlestoning in Group Groove.