The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.
Disguised in wetsuits, flippers, and diving masks, humans almost seem indistinguishable from the scores of aquatic life that thrive among the San Diego coastline. In the water, curious sea lions tug playfully at divers' fins, and thick stalks of kelp wave like Queen Elizabeth telling the gathered crowd to go home already. With access to five separate sites in which to see such wonders, the guides at San Diego Excellent Adventures tailor their adventures?whether snorkeling, diving, or paddling?around the experience level of each tour group, ensuring an easy assimilation to undersea life.
During guided dives along La Jolla Shores, swimmers peer in on frolicking creatures such as lobsters, octopuses, and leopard sharks, and standup paddleboards grant access to Mission Bay's shoreline views previously seen only by terribly lost Venetian gondoliers. Currently the largest manmade bay in the country, Mission is known for its calm waters suited to beginners just learning to explore the ocean.
A colony of seals suns itself on the rock ledges of La Jolla Cove while seabirds preen themselves a few feet above. Below, bright-orange garibaldi fish and california spiny lobsters scuttle about the cove’s reefs and kelp beds. This biologically rich landscape sets the stage for La Jolla Dive & Snorkel’s scuba-diving lessons, which range from beginner discovery classes to dive-master-certification courses that adhere to the training standards of the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI). They also lead four shore dives to various sites, such as one located near The Marine Room restaurant, where the shallow reefs and smell of lobster bisque attract gentle leopard sharks in the early summer. Along with scuba diving, instructors also teach students how to strut in fashionable snorkeling gear and how to stoically gaze into the horizon during standup-paddleboarding tours.
PB Sports’s facilities extend beyond the walls of its pastel-yellow shop and into the glistening waves of the nearby Pacific Ocean. The full-service store’s seasoned crew outfits aquatic adventurers with the equipment and skills necessary to conquer the picturesque waterscapes, renting out diving gear, paddleboards, and boogie boards that allow riders to glide along the shores as swiftly as a jet-powered starfish. They also harness their in-depth knowledge of the area to pilot guided snorkel tours and shore dives through naturally beautiful locales such as La Jolla Cove, where seals, fish, and other wildlife frolic past swimmers. Back inside the shop, staffers line shelves with new and refurbished surfboards, and they train nascent underwater explorers how to feed peanut butter to jellyfish during scuba-certification courses.
At La Jolla Water Sports, guides undergo extensive training before captaining snorkeling excursions into the calm, crystalline waters of the Pacific. The experts escort 6 to 12 patrons at a time on shark tours) of the shallow, sandy flats where small-mouthed leopard sharks up to 5 feet long lounge on their easy chairs of sand. Snorkeling tours of the La Jolla cove grant participants, including beginners and kids, a siren's-eye view of rock formations, underwater flora, and marina critters including garibaldi fish, sea cucumbers, anemones, and starfish. The most action-packed of La Jolla Water Sports's offerings are the spearfishing tours in which leaders expound on the importance of safety and proper form as customers skewer fish before schlepping them home for dinner or as treats for pet grizzly bears.
Paddle Dive San Diego takes paddleboarding beyond just the board and paddle. It uses the simplicity of these two items and creates a wealth of different aquatic activities. The outfit's special boards allow paddlers to haul along their snorkel or scuba equipment as they skim out to a favorite dive spot, where they can explore the undersea sights or check in with their extended mermaid family. Those who choose remain atop their board can enroll in entry-level and advanced classes or take a tour of the surrounding waterways, including Mission Bay, Oceanside Harbor, and La Jolla. A full body workout, paddleboarding has become a mainstay for avid exercisers, who build muscles paddling and even perform yoga exercises while on their board.