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 experienced instructors at Total Wreck Divers introduce fledgling aquanauts to the world of subaqueous exploration with a one-hour Discover Scuba class. The session kicks off with an informative lesson about the fundamentals of self-contained underwater breathing, including how to assemble equipment, operate gear, and blend in when crashing a dolphin’s birthday party. Once nascent Cousteaus are sufficiently schooled, pupils suit up and snuggle into the heated onsite swimming pool to train for open water situations with balmy drills and exercises. Total Wreck Divers provides students with all the required gear for the class, allowing dive-dabblers to leave their hand-knitted aqualungs at home. As an added bonus, Groupon holders receive 20% off of the beginner PADI Open Water Certification course when booking at the time of their Discover Scuba class, so those heading south this winter can get certified in-town before their departure.
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 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.
Aquarius Scuba Diving Centre gets people swimming along coral reefs and among the fish through its scuba-certification programs and diving events. Open-water and pool courses plunge students into the water at their own rate, whether their goal is to learn how to breathe underwater or train for professional rescue diving. Groups can use these skills out in the wild on special diving excursions which run throughout the year and tackle a variety of destinations such as the Philippines and Cozumel, Mexico.
At Adventure Sports Newmarket, a long list of scuba certifications are on the menu, ranging from lessons that introduce newbies to the sport to advanced training for spectacular and unique dives. Their Discover Scuba class can help divers toward open-water-diver certification, but only after getting acquainted with the miracle of breathing underwater without the help of a fish.