Breathing underwater, like eating fireworks, constructing a monument, and getting married, should only be attempted if you’re confident you can do it. Acquire all the skills needed to mingle with the mermaids with today’s Groupon to GirlDiver. Customers may be required to travel to the following locations: Tukwila for pool sessions, Auburn for classroom sessions, and Seattle’s Seacrest Park for open-water dives. Choose from the following options:
- For $35, you get a scuba refresher course (a $79 value).
- For $129, you get a four-night SSI-certification tropical-referral course, valid on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (a $279 value).
- For $209, you get a five-night SSI-certification open-water course, valid between May 2012 and September 2012 (a $429 value).<p>
GirlDiver’s team of scubasmiths bequeaths students with underwater skills and SSI certification with a schedule of classes. Out-of-practice divers can recall safety tips and stretch rarely used gill muscles during the scuba refresher course’s one day of pool work. For certification, students tear through the tropical-referral course’s curriculum of SSI-required online work, one night of classroom work, two nights of pool work, and four open-water dives performed within 12 months of the program. Similarly, the SSI open-water course immerses divers with online, classroom, and pool work, but follows up with two open-water dives, tentatively scheduled at Seacrest Park pending beach closure or impenetrable sandcastle walls.
Staff members precede the SSI tropical-referral and open-water courses with an orientation session, during which attendees fill out medical releases and ask questions about equipment rental or general scuba qualms. For the tropical-referral course, students haul scuba masks, snorkels, and fins from home or rent gear from the facility for an additional $20 per water session (not included with Groupon). The open-water course supplies all of the necessary rental gear, except for the personal snorkeling system and 3-D goggles.
Cindy Ross was an unlikely person to found a scuba-diving school. Told by a commercial diving instructor at 19 that she was too small to scuba, Ross didn’t begin to explore the sport until she was in her 30s. Earning certification was a trial, and she spent her first four dives lugging 80-pound gear in the snow up and down a massive hill—and, adding insult to injury, the men’s equipment didn’t even fit properly. But the fifth dive changed everything. Held in Puget Sound, Ross felt a calling to the location's green waters and white anemones, and since then, the aquanaut has frolicked with such neighbors as a 1,200-pound sea lion, hundreds of Canadian seals, and a giant Pacific octopus.
At Scuba Shoppe, Ross and her team of instructors immerse guests of all ages in the sport of scuba. Try Scuba classes held in the center's 84-degree pool familiarize students with their equipment before they plunge into the water to practice. Alternatively, an open-water certification program from Scuba Schools International expounds on these pool sessions with shore dives in the rolling waters of Puget Sound, which let students hone their skills in a more realistic environment or find a dolphin pod to adopt them. As part of this training, they will visit the den of a resident Giant Pacific Octopus. For the more advanced, Scuba Shoppe provides training for specialty certifications, including rescue diving, night diving, and underwater digital photography. An onsite dive shop outfits customers with all the necessary dive gear and accessories.