PADI-certified scuba instructor John Walker opened Lancaster Scuba in 1993 to encourage others to explore underwater ecosystems. Today, the center is a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Center, which means Walker and his staff are teaching the next generation of scuba instructors. Of course, if you just want to learn how to safely scuba dive for leisure, the center has an array of courses for beginners and mermaids alike. On top of everything, Lancaster Scuba has a store with scuba gear, an on-site cylinder filling station, and an eco-friendly approach that earned it a PADI Green Star Award.
Atlantic Edge Dive Center's dive-masters might technically be classified as land mammals, but they spend enough time under water to earn the honorary title of amphibian. They spend days and nights teaching and leading dives, whether they're arming curious beginners with basic skills in one of their on-site swimming pools, or conducting open water certification tests off the coast. They go beyond simply certifying students for adventure: they provide rescue diving, dive master, and instructor training as well.
Their passion for the aquatic pastime draws them to all kinds of watery outposts. They lead excursions to the Florida keys to help rehabilitate the coral reefs surrounding the islands, and dive into the relatively calm waters of the tanks in the Baltimore National Aquarium, where they have a chance to see 53 species of fish feed in the secret underwater cafeteria.
Underwater Playground submerges aspirant deep-sea divers, pruned snorkelers, and strident swimmers in a waterlogged array of parties, lessons, and aquatic aerobics. Eschew dangerous, unsanctioned gill-insertion procedures with a Try Scuba session, a beginners' course laying out the basics of subaqueous submersion. After each Cousteau-in-training has suited up with professional diving equipment, a Scuba Schools International (SSI) dive professional leads a two- to three-hour lesson at Underwater Playground's heated, saltwater pool before participants make their first tile-scouring dive in search of priceless treasures and wayward swim trunks.
Lehigh Valley Dive Center's owners spend a lot of time underwater everywhere from the Cooper River to the Bahamas, doing everything from searching for treasure to looking at exotic marine life. In order for others to experience the same amazing sights, they teach students to safely dive in introductory and certification scuba classes. They complement classroom training with hands-on sessions in pools and, eventually, the open water itself. Once divers gain confidence and skill, the owners invite them along on diving trips around the globe or just to stop into the store to talk shop.
Drawing on more than three decades of combined experience, the instructors at Indian Valley Scuba aim to make breathing underwater a cinch for each and every one of their students, no matter how familiar they are with scuba diving. With its main Pennsylvania location, partner pools, and satellite centers, a team of divers stays splashing year-round, educating first-time students or seasoned treasure hunters. Fundamental courses introduce newbies and fine-tune advanced divers, while specialty classes delve deeper into the possibilities such as wreck diving, night diving, and reef-conservation efforts.