The flipper-clad minds behind Oceanblue Divers live and breathe below the sea?and they're bent on helping others do the same. But while their expertise pervades every aspect of scuba adventuring, their facility's offerings can be boiled down to three deep-diving categories: training, gear, and travel.
The Training: Cookies are central to the Oceanblue Divers training philosophy?but not in any edible form. The PADI-certified instructors instead view baking as the antithesis of their diver-training program. Nobody can learn to dive through rote steps and precise measurements, they believe, but rather only by becoming comfortable through and through with the gear, the techniques, and the ocean's depths. Hence the curriculum: a mix of classroom instruction and pool practice augmented by real-world anecdotes from the instructors. A notable absence? Recipes.
The Gear: The onsite shop stocks equipment from some of the top scuba brands in the world, including Aqua Lung, Scubapro, Henderson, Mares, Liquivision, and more. Divers can also shop on-the-go by browsing everything from dive bags to gauges in the online store.
The Travel: The Bahamas, Indonesia, the Cayman Islands?such tropical locales are par for the course when it comes to Oceanblue Divers' adventures, upon which all skill levels are welcome. The team can also function as full-service dive travel agents, building custom vacations for divers with specific destinations in mind, such as Cozumel or their neighbor's hot tub.
The PADI- and first aid-certified instructors at QC Scuba school students in the slippery ways of underwater breathing apparati with hands-on courses held seven days a week. PADI designs its Discover Scuba course to expose students to breathing underwater, which is the most elemental of scuba techniques next to looking good in a wetsuit. After a brief introduction at QC headquarters, pool dives are held outdoors in Bellmore, Huntington, or Bayshore or indoors at Queensborough Community College or the Freeport Rec Center.
Mask? Check. Flippers? Check. Tank? Check. Scuba New York gives you all the skills and supplies you need to dive in open water. Classes start at the most basic level in the facility's indoor saltwater pool and progress through such advanced techniques as rescue diving and ice diving.
As a PADI Five-Star scuba-diving center, Seascapes USA’s PADI-certified instructors and dive masters dedicate themselves to providing fun, thorough, and individualized scuba instruction. They lead recreational courses such as open-water and advanced open-water certification, as well as professional courses that include dive-master, instructor-development, and master scuba-diver-trainer courses. Instructors also teach specialty courses in subjects such as boat diving, night diving, wreck diving, and getting sand out of hard-to-reach places. The scuba center houses a heated indoor pool in which aspiring divers fulfill their training, as well as a shop that sells and repairs equipment.
Blue Water Divers is the dream project of Lorraine and Dave Riscinti, who have more than 30 years of combined experience in the diving industry. Along with a number of capable instructors—many of whom started as customers—this husband-and-wife team assists divers as they take their first steps into the deep or learn new skills for underwater exploration. They lead introductory courses, such as Discover Scuba, and more advanced sessions, like rescue diving or wreck diving.
The modular open-water course, for example, teaches newcomers the basics and provides ample time to build confidence through practice dives in the onsite heated pool. Eventually, students can attend Blue Water's expeditions to farflung locales, like Turks and Caicos, or more local hot spots, including Dutch Springs, a spring-fed lake with 100-foot depths and excellent visibility.