Established in 1977 by the late Phil Cohagan, one of Louisiana's diving pioneers, Seven Seas' legacy lives on through National Association of Underwater Instructors trainer Nancy Cohagan and her two children. Nancy leads a team of experienced, NAUI-certified instructors who train students to NAUI standards through intensive in-water classes. They introduce scuba theory and beginner technique during a basic certification program, which includes sessions in an onsite classroom and a custom-built, heated pool, as well as five dives in local waters. To help students build on these skills, instructors also lead advanced diving courses on topics such as search and recovery, nonpenetration wreck diving, and underwater photography, as well as certification programs for nitrox and rescue divers.
In Seven Seas' dive shop, staff members help customers navigate racks of gear for sale or rental. They offer basic student packages that contain all the pieces needed for class, as well as individual wetsuits, masks, gauges, and accessories from brands such as PADI, NAUI, O'Neill, and ScubaPro. The shop's staff can also repair broken or worn equipment, and proofread messages in bottles before they're tossed out to sea.
Underwater Adventures's owner and veteran diver Mark Smith has spent the past 22 years assembling exclusively NAUI–certified instructors for his team. For the company's classes, they hop into pools or natural bodies of water to help pupils as young as 10 to achieve a diving certification. In addition to teaching recreational scuba and seahorse riding, they also train first responders on underwater search-and-rescue tactics and public-safety diving. Mark is also an instructor for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Department and has facilitated dive training for several municipal agencies including the Louisiana State Police and multiple fire departments.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Seal Sports' stable of sturdy single-person kayaks facilitates lengthy nautical excursions. Each vessel comes equipped with a comfy seat, paddle, and flotation vest. Once deck hands set up shop and draw an anchor tattoo on their foreheads, they can push out from the shoreline to glide atop the placid brackish waters of nearby Lake Pontchartrain or meandering Bogue Chitto River. Kayaks are rented out for periods of 24 hours on weekdays—allowing ample time for cruising, picnics, and general sightseeing. Meanwhile, weekend rentals let clients pick up their boat on Friday, take children around the waterfront on Saturday and Sunday to prove that SpongeBob Squarepants isn’t real, and drop off the equipment on Monday.
When Darryl and Larry Massey founded their flagship sporting goods store, Massey’s Professional Outfitters, in 1972, they never dreamed it would become an empire. But that’s exactly what happened. Within a handful of years, the father-and-son company had sprouted five locations stocked with a range of recreational equipment for outdoor enthusiasts. Though an undulating market and shifts in consumer interests challenged the company, Massey’s remained dedicated to equipping its clientele with gear from revered brands such as Patagonia, North Face, and Lowe Alpine. Today, their legacy is carried on by family members who share their vision of focusing on the needs of each consumer, whether the client wants to rent a kayak or requires specialty footwear for hiking or wading through a swimming pool of cake batter.
There are many ways to explore Lacombe's natural landscape, and Bayou Adventure gives you access to just about all of them. There are bike rentals for rolling along the surrounding nature paths, while kayaks allow sightseers to traverse the water or just stay on land and fight with paddles. For those looking to fish or hunt, Bayou Adventure keeps a wide assortment of equipment?as well as bait?in stock, from tackle to turkey necks and chicken livers. And for anyone not officially sanctioned for either activity, the outpost helps you start your journey by offering hunting and fishing licenses.