Breathing underwater, like eating fireworks, constructing a monument, and getting married, should be attempted only if you're confident you can do it. Foster self-assurance and condition lungs with today's Groupon: for $159, you get a scuba-certification course at At the Water's Edge in Westfield (a $389.95 value). This class includes course materials, online lectures, open-water evaluation dives, and a certification card but students must bring their own fins, snorkel, mask, and boots or rent them for $80.
At the Water's Edge's dive masters shepherd flocks of neophyte Nemos through scuba and snorkeling classes, teaching would-be Cousteaus the ropes regarding safety techniques, equipment use, and the handling of actual ropes. The scuba-certification course equips aquatic enthusiasts with both academic and on-the-water training in a safe, three-part lesson in the fine art of breathing through a tube. The course begins with an 85-question online multiple-choice exam, which tests brain-libraries on their knowledge of first aid before on-land instruction gets metaphoric feet wet trying out scuba equipment on dry land. Four to six scuba sessions add up to approximately 12 hours of pool time, in which students learn basic knowledge of how to move with and operate the scuba equipment in a safe, confined environment free of rip tides' literal pool sharks. Finally, students perform five dives in a two-day period in both fresh and saltwater environments to prepare them for solo adventures in the deep blue.
At the Water's Edge's classes are kept at a ratio of 12 students to one instructor, ensuring swimmers get the time and attention they need to master the mechanics of submarine maneuvering. Designed to impart mastery of scuba techniques, the certification class accommodates Groupon-holders looking to stretch their gills, prep for hydrovacations, or win back their true love from the arms of an amorous octopus. Classes take place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday—see the schedule for more details.