Craig Willemsen wears a lot of hats at Silent World Diving Systems. The instructor certifier, tech instructor, and store owner has spent the last 40 years swimming with schools of fish all over the world. After his first trip in 1972, Craig developed a passion for diving, exploring international waters and teaching others advanced techniques that they use to follow in his flippersteps. With more than 6,000 dives under his belt, his dedication to diving and education has earned him one of the highest SSI instructor ratings and the SSI Platinum Pro 5,000 Diver and Instructor Award.
Craig leads Silent World's team of certified instructors who strive to teach students the art of underwater exploration and also broaden their knowledge on a variety of related subjects. At any given moment, they may be leading students in open-water dives, pointing out local diving sites that match their skill levels, or matching newcomers with the right gear and Zodiac-themed wetsuits.
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.
To learn about the wildlife of Puget Sound, you could go to your local library or pour through pictures online. Or you could see it up close during a trip with Exotic Aquatics Scuba and Kayaking. True to their company's name, the staff immerses adventurers in the scenic locale through SCUBA dives and kayak tours. While divers submerge themselves in dreamlike sites to look for octopi and rock fish, kayakers paddle across Eagle Harbor in search of otters and seabirds.
Designed for ages 12 and up, the intro to scuba class swims students through the basics of scuba diving during an hour of classroom time, then plunges fins first into the pool for two hours of guided practice. The center's certified trainers, who are collectively responsible for A-2-Z's dive center's five-star rating from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, watch over all submerged lessons in breathing, swimming, and mastering the art of buoyancy. Classes are kept to a max of 4–6 students, granting all learners the mask-to-mask time needed to develop their underwater confidence and to neatly avoid accidental mergers into the human hive mind.
Contact Ogden Point Dive Centre and Cafe for specific class dates and times; groups of two or more can be typically be accommodated outside regular class hours with reservation. Open-water dives take place several times per month.
It's hard for Andrew and Christine Edwards to remember a life without scuba diving. From an early age, they both would plunge into the depths of Vancouver's waters, gazing across underwater landscapes where wolf eels swam and octopi stretched their sneaker-covered tentacles across a carpet of strawberry anemones. These experiences stuck with them, and in 2007, the couple opened Ocean Planet Adventures to share their life's passion with others.
From Discovery Scuba classes to advanced PADI certifications, Ocean Planet Adventures' instructors guide their students at dive sites peppered across Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound, a UNESCO biosphere. During these expeditions, instructors and groups feast their eyes on jungles of aquatic plants and animals, including whales. Aside from open-water diving, the staff teaches specialty courses such as wreck diving, which lets divers explore shipwrecks or polish the hoods of sunken automobiles.