Aquatic Adventures of Michigan is the joint venture of independent dive instructors Kim D. Parker and Tom Rhoad, who, after years of working with other dive shops, yearned for a place where they could stretch their fins, teach scuba their own way, and bellow sea shanties as loudly as they liked. Today, their PADI Five Star IDC facility is fast approaching its 10-year anniversary, and has grown beyond basic PADI training programs to incorporate everything from underwater digital photography to lessons in deep diving, wreck diving, and night diving. The shop's instructors are fully certified in first aid and emergency oxygen use, and provide factory-authorized service to big-name companies such as Poseidon, Genesis Scuba, and Dive Rite.
On top of offering certified instruction in everything from open-water diving to sea-serpent domestication, the crew supplies fellow divers with quality scuba, snorkeling, and swimming equipment. They also plan exotic expeditions to the Caribbean and tropical Pacific for warm-water dives, and divers looking to stick closer to home can inquire about day trips or weekend getaways to locales such as the Great Lakes or Whitefish Point.
The trainers at Motor City Scuba and Snorkel outfit and educate aquatic explorers ranging from beginners to advanced technical divers. The PADI five-star diving center hosts a wide variety of courses, teaching skills ranging from open-water and shipwreck diving to how to properly lecture a school of clownfish. Once certified, diving enthusiasts can sign up for group excursions abroad.
The diver double-checks all her gear before leaving the surefootedness of the boat and falling into the deep water, where she explores shipwrecks and seemingly untouched expanses throughout the Michigan Underwater Preserves in the Great Lakes. The team of PADI- and SSI-certified instructors at Scuba Centers of Michigan helps students prepare for these types of adventures every day, covering advanced topics such as diving at night and how to properly greet a sturgeon. The instructors also start from the beginning, teaching basic open-water diving techniques, which their pupils practice in the onsite heated pool. To complement its courses, the center stocks gear from equipment brands such as McNett, Aqua Lung, and Suunto, and it organizes diving trips to South Africa and Australia.
The Dive Shop’s trained staff instructs aspiring divers during hands-on classes in the heated, indoor pool. The Discover Scuba class offers students 10 and older a three-hour submerged frolic session under the supervision of a diving instructor, allowing them to acquaint themselves with new equipment and submarine perspectives. New divers need no more than a bathing suit and a towel to experience the joys of safe submersion, learn about typical open-water dive equipment, and engage in aqueous recreations of classical Greek tragedies.
At Sea the World Scuba Center, divers emerge with the tools needed to explore underwater alcoves ranging from shipwrecks to quarries to ocean reefs. The business's clientele matches the diversity of these diving locations, with athletes, retirees, and aspiring marine biologists all walking through its doors, brought there by their love for scuba diving.
To foster this passion, Sea the World Scuba Center employs a team of certified instructors who follow the PADI curriculum to turn novices into expert scuba divers. In addition to open-water certification, they teach more specialized courses on the skills needed to rescue dive or turn professional and start a career cleaning the fish tanks of wealthy giants.
At their shop, Sea the World Scuba Center's staff also sell the gear required to traverse underwater landscapes. Described by manager James Mott as "the most heavily stocked scuba center out there," the shop brims with items from brands such as Oceanic and Aqua Lung.
For more than 30 years, ZZ Underwater World has initiated swimmers into the world of scuba diving. Their year-round classes have taught people to safely plumb the depths of the Earth's largest seas, and their instructors are both SSI- and PADI–certified, rendering them able to certify their students and lead them on any level of dive from snorkeling to deep scuba. ZZ Underwater World's onsite shop sells snorkels and flippers among other gear from a wide range of brands, useful for people who thought Waterworld was a prophecy and are stocking up. The staff also hosts scuba vacations, taking troupes of divers to explore the wrecks of the Great Lakes or world-class destinations such as Belize or Fiji.