Among Diving Locker's group of seasoned and certified underwater experts, accomplishments include inspecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef up close, swimming with fish in the blue waters of Guam, and spending more than 40 years helping snorkelers choose the right fins. Diving Locker's staff of instructors combine their wealth of collective experience to provide students with technical education?such as PADI certifications and search-and-recovery training?and to impart their genuine love for the fruits of globe-trekking. In addition to being a hub for scuba equipment sales and instruction, the business' audacious employees also organize and lead diving jaunts around the world and to a number of local underwater destinations on weekends. Diving Locker has been in operation since the late 1960s and has been operated since 1972 by Greg Kocher, the facility's resident equipment guru and mermaid interpreter.
It's hard for Andrew and Christine Edwards to remember a life without scuba diving. From an early age, they both would plunge into the depths of Vancouver's waters, gazing across underwater landscapes where wolf eels swam and octopi stretched their sneaker-covered tentacles across a carpet of strawberry anemones. These experiences stuck with them, and in 2007, the couple opened Ocean Planet Adventures to share their life's passion with others.
From Discovery Scuba classes to advanced PADI certifications, Ocean Planet Adventures' instructors guide their students at dive sites peppered across Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound, a UNESCO biosphere. During these expeditions, instructors and groups feast their eyes on jungles of aquatic plants and animals, including whales. Aside from open-water diving, the staff teaches specialty courses such as wreck diving, which lets divers explore shipwrecks or polish the hoods of sunken automobiles.
A PADI five-star instructor-development centre, Ocean Pro Divers has provided Surrey with professional scuba training and gear for more than two decades. Over that time, owners Shannon and Wes Kozak have netted a team of expert, PADI-certified instructors, who draw from both local and tropical experiences to enlighten students at their fully equipped facility. In addition to offering the full spectrum of scuba-training courses, the Ocean Pro Divers staff leads diving adventures almost every weekend of the year. They also offer travelling dive packages to international destinations, giving students a choice between wading through exotic waters or staying near home to explore the subaquatic depths of Vancouver, which abound with marine life and hibernating hockey players during the off-season.
With world-record freediver Mandy-Rae Krack directing PADI courses, a well-travelled crew, and the 30-foot custom-built ATA ‘TUDE vessel, Pacific Pro Dive creates both educational and adventurous experiences. Loading the boat with expert and novice snorkellers, guides lead them through Vancouver Island's dive sites, where they come face-to-face with rockfish, seals, and lingcod during underwater excursions. On marine eco-tours, captains ferry passengers around Ford’s Cove or Baynes Sound to spot orcas or bald eagles tweeting at the Vivian Island Bird Sanctuary before stopping at destinations such as Hornby Island for ice cream. The team's photographer can be employed to take professional snapshots of aquatic adventures, and the dive shop equips customers with everything needed. Additionally, they have a water taxi for cruising between the islands, and organize international dive charters to locales such as the Cayman and Socorro Islands.
Langley Diving lures surface dwellers to exclusive underwater soirees through the deluxe diving experience. The adventure into the underwater breathing begins with properly fitting into scuba gear and sprouting flippers before Langley's PADI-certified instructors present a brief explanation of safety scuba-equipment usage. At the pool, enjoy one hour of supervised underwater time and practice the basics of scuba-diving technique. Langley Diving also snaps an underwater photo commemorating each diver's "first breath" underwater. The entire deluxe diving experience typically lasts three hours, start to finish—and while students won't be certified to dive just from one class, they will be certified to sit in puddles with scuba gear on.