At Pisces School of Dive, most learning takes place outside the classroom. Sure, students learn rules and safety tips inside the PADI-rated five-star training facility, but they get to test their skills in the center’s pool and in Canandaigua Lake, where a 28-foot Harris boat shuttles them to dive sites far from shore. Over more than 35 years in business, the school’s staff has developed classes that train both aspiring divers and those who want to test the waters before fully committing to a certification course. They also offer an online PADI-certification course, though participants will have to perform the open-water dives in person or send their avatar to a virtual ocean before gaining full accreditation.
At Aqua SubScuba Diving Centre, students train with the very same PADI-certified professionals who introduced Survivorman's Les Stroud to diving. When the team isn't spotting the famed survivalist during television shoots, they guide students to diving mastery at their own five-star development centre and local dive sites. Their introductory lessons begin with orientation sessions to ensure that students understand underwater safety guidelines, hand mations, and dolphin turn signals. They also lead pupils toward PADI certification with open-water dives and preparatory electronic courses. The staff can also offer referrals for open-water dives at optimal sites such as local spots or the underwater coffee shop used in the movie Finding Nemo.
The Lackawanna headquarters of Phoenix Scuba and Water Sports is situated so that it attracts both Canadian diving enthusiasts who drop in from the Niagara Peninsula as well as divers from throughout western New York State. Recreational-minded beginners hop into an indoor pool to build skills and underwater experience before venturing out to the open water on one of the company's scuba charters. Meanwhile, Phoenix's veteran instructors work with professional divers-in-training who are trying to become certified. Instructional programs are also offered in adaptive diving, which trains those with physical disabilities to safely enjoy the joys of scuba. Through the years, the resident community of adaptive divers has made trips to exotic locales such as the Cayman Islands, where divers explore the ocean's depths and play Battleship underwater.
Dan's Dive Shop, a venerable PADI five-star diving facility, can equip would-be aquatic adventurers with all the gear and training they need to explore the watery depths. In Dan's 90-minute Discover Scuba Diving class, expert instructors acquaint up to 10 curious underwater novices with basic scuba-diving equipment, provided on-site and prepped beforehand by the shop's knowledgeable staff. After getting a feel for the gear, students can take their first underwater puffs, experiencing firsthand a thrill usually reserved for sturgeon and superpowered aquamen. Though this course doesn't qualify toward scuba certification, the basic skills and safety rules students pick up here can serve them well should they decide to pursue further instruction. Those who have completed the Discover Scuba Diving class receive a rebate off tuition fees for Dan's Dive Shop's full-certification courses and are automatically qualified to practice nautical law.
At My Dive Center, divers can don fins, tanks, and suits and embark on a scuba diving trip—or acquire the skills to do so. The equipment and instructional center’s PADI classes range from the beginner-focused open-water certification course to sessions on more specialized arts, such as learning to take great underwater digital photos of a manatee’s good side.