Until mammals sprout gills through evolution, sheer willpower, or trout-transplant surgery, snorkeling offers the most enjoyable alternative for underwater breathing. Explore an underwater ecosystem without sacrificing the lungs with today's Groupon: for $89, you get a discover snorkeling class, and take-home mask and snorkel from Eco Dive Center in Culver City (a $178.95 value). Lessons are held every Saturday afternoon.
Winner of the Project AWARE International Environmental Achievement Award in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, Eco Dive Center leads echelons of underwater waders through snorkeling courses designed to buoy confidence. During the three-hour group pool-training session (a $95 value), fledgling flounders are acquainted with snorkeling gear, including a take-home mask (a $59.95 value), snorkel (a $24 value), and fins (free rental). Learn to adjust, clear, and de-fog the mask after an encounter with a mouth-breathing octopus, as well as master the respiration process through the snorkel device. Under the tutelage of professional breathologists, aquatic apprentices don snorkeling fins in the heated pool to practice the art of the foot-paddle and avoid cramps and fatigue. Pupils will surface-dive and clear the snorkel, as well as simulate entering the water from a boat, the beach, or on the back of an agreeable orca. Participants are required to bring along a personal swimsuit, towel, and fanny pack full of waterproof animal crackers.
Eco Dive Center
Eco Dive Center’s dedication to water conservation shines through in its educational programs. The dive team teaches its students not only about scuba diving, but how to properly care for and respect the underwater world. It’s much more than just a water-safety school and aquatics emporium, although it does house dive gear from renowned brands such as Bare and Oceanic in its 5,000 square-foot store. And it does, of course, certify students in both basic open-water PADI skills and more advanced specialties, such as rescue and first-response.