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.
Richard J. Sass first felt the weight of a scuba tank about his shoulders at 15, when a friend's father strapped him into a suit and threw him into the world's deep end, as it were. Rick fell in love with diving before ever surfacing on that first adventure, and he started Sub-Aquatic Sports & Service – or SASS for short – to share his passion with others. He and his staff teach a full range of scuba classes, from beginner certifications to becoming a dive instructor. They lead trips into waters across the world, from Australia to Micronesia, from the Great Lakes to the Galapagos Islands.
Ocean Sands Scuba's knowledgeable instructors guide divers into the deep with scuba training for beginner and advanced aquanauts alike. Interested patrons test their sea lungs in introductory scuba classes, splashing about in the facility's custom-built pool before moving on to a complete certification course. During certification, students pick up essential information on equipment, techniques, and the trendiest Atlantean nightclubs through in-class study and pool dives. After four weekly classes, burgeoning submergers hit the open water on one of Ocean Sands Scuba's dive trips to Gull Lake or Lake Michigan. Ocean Sands Scuba also stocks scuba equipment from Scubapro, Diverite, and Stahlsac for divers who have already reached certification or for hydrophobic sea turtles.
At Altek Sports and Scuba, divers with years of experience train students of all levels, including those with handicaps or mobility issues, how to explore watery depths during scuba certification classes. Pupils safely plunge beneath the depths of a training pool within the five-star SDI/TDI training facility, or they dive in open water with a licensed instructor leading them through every step in the underwater breathing process.
Just Add H2O's diving experts have guided students of all levels of experience safely through waters for more than 34 years. Providing diving certifications through PADI and NAUI, instructors chart progression from introductory diving lessons all the way up to instructor certification, which comes with a license to ride giant seahorses. Just Add H2O's staff also hosts local and regional dives and leads trips to Lake Michigan shipwrecks, the cool depths of Gilboa Quarry, and tropical destinations such as Truk Lagoon in the Eastern Caroline Islands. To ensure that dives proceed without a hitch, the facility lets guests rent or purchase gear and can help to maintain used equipment.
Hart City Scuba’s team of dive masters and instructors turn mere waders into full-blown explorers of the aquatic world. They achieve that through group and private scuba programs such as open water diver, rescue diver, and conversational mermaid. In addition, they can mend any dive gear gone awry and fill tanks with fresh O2.