Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.
Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to six locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company?s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company?s exotic diving excursions around the globe.
American Pro Diving Center helps visitors and locals explore the clear, teeming waters of Florida with year-round manatee tours and diving adventures. All-equipment-included manatee snorkel tours in Crystal River or winter expeditions to Homosassa River let snorkelers rub flippers with the rivers' large population of resident sea cows. In-water guides keep the experience safe and fun for both manatees and people, and snorkelers swim in between the gentle creatures, giving them a gentle pat or a canister of whisker wax.
For deeper subterranean adventures, the center offers classes that range from Discover Scuba Diving to full PADI open-water certification, in addition to specialty courses on rescue and wreck diving. Divers can plunge into one of seven diving excursions, including night dives in Rainbow River or mermaid line dancing in the lost city of Atlantis.
Snorkel with Manatees' expert divers lead tours on underwater sojourns to discover peaceful manatees and environs beneath the waves. Offering both group and mini manatee tours year-round, the guides monitor each diver to ensure safe practice with the animals. Their Crystal River scallops tour scours the ocean floor for tasty scallops while avoiding crabs auditioning for The Little Mermaid revival, and the Snorkel with Manatees excursions explore the Crystal, Homosassa, and Chassahowitzka Rivers on airboat. They also teach the fundamentals of their craft during discover scuba-diving lessons.
With a nearly 30-year history, Adventure Diving's staff boasts knowledge regarding the best ways to explore the planet’s natural splendors, leading groups on expeditions covering water, air, and land. As the name suggest, diving is the crew’s first passion and where many of their explorations begin. Through schools of fluorescent fish and past reefs of red coral, the certified scuba instructors share their skills with pupils. To help acquaint interested parties with the water and ready them for open-water dives, they offer complete scuba-certification courses. Throughout the year, the squad snorkels in small groups up to herds of gentle manatee and finned cats in Crystal River and King's Bay.
Additionally, Adventure Diving’s team ferries nature lovers along the water’s surface during romantic sunset cruises with complimentary beer and wine and speedy airboat tours over fresh and salty waterways. On land, they saddle folks onto horses for a scenic jaunt through wooded backcountry, and in the sky, an unforgettable perspective of the Orlando area and the many surprises hidden its backyards is provided during helicopter tours.
The Scuba Gym’s Try Scuba lesson shepherds schools of aspiring divers through two hours of underwater breathing practice spritzed with scuba-savvy tips and a family-friendly ambiance. After the certified instructor and assisting dive master divulge 30 minutes of diving dos and don’ts above the water, scuba students can affix fins to their land-dwelling feet, strap metal lungs to their backs, and submerge themselves in the siren-free waters of the National Training Center’s 70-meter dunk tank. Buoyant learners harpoon their newfound underwater existence by absorbing essential survival facts, such as clearing masks of fog or placating spooked seahorses. From there, an hour of diligently supervised aqueous amusement commences, with underwater scooter races, rounds of toy-torpedo launches, and whole-body corkscrews through hula-hoop rings.
The tour guides at Florida Manatee Tours & Crystal River Watersports ferry sightseers down the scenic Indian River waterways toward Kings Bay. On a two-and-a-half-hour boat tour, seafarers gaze along the shore at elegant waterfront homes, keeping peepers peeled for white-tailed deer, otters, and indigenous motorboats. Travelers soon arrive at the coast of the Crystal River Indian Archeological State Park, land that Native Americans first settled more than 10,000 years ago. Scenic wildlife-management-refuge areas brim with photo-worthy wildlife, keeping camera-wielders on their guard to snap shots of wild pigs, manatees, and aquatic yetis. Tours depart twice daily from the docks behind the Days Inn Resort.