Breathing underwater, like eating fireworks, constructing a monument, and getting married, should only be attempted if you’re confident you can do it. Today’s Groupon gives you all the skills you need to mingle with the mermaids: for $189, you get a scuba-certification package at Mac’s Sports, valid in Clearwater, Dunedin, and Tampa (a $379.90 value). The package includes:
- Course tuition (a $159.95 value)
- Student training kit that includes a certification card, logbook, and registration fees (a $99.95 value)
- Two open-water dives (a $60 value each)<p>
Divers will need to provide their own mask, fins, snorkel, weights, and weight belt. The veteran aquatic trainers at Mac’s teach new divers to safely stay underwater using scuba gear. Students will matriculate in Mac’s open-water-diving program, learning the basics of submerged exploration in both academic sessions on land and flippers-on sessions in the heated indoor pool. Resources and materials included in the training kit bolster brains with the ins and outs of maneuvering and communicating underwater, and the certification card lends credibility to any attempts to retrieve coins from the bottom of a fountain. Before the completion of the program, students will venture out to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park for two open-water dives, reaching depths up to 40 feet while enjoying warm temperatures, 200 feet of visibility, and the ever-present chance of swimming into a snoozing eagle on vacation from flying. Call ahead to reserve a spot in class.
Mac’s Sports was born as the Beach Store in 1938, a general shop that supplied visitors of the neighboring beach with groceries, newspapers, fishing gear, and snack food. After the owners and their kids moved to New Mexico during World War II, the shop was renamed Mac’s and became a hit with youngsters due to its sought-after candy bars and heroic staff of swamp things. Though the original owners would soon repurchase their former business, its new name stuck, and the store would eventually evolve into Mac’s Dive Shop with a renewed emphasis on watersports and outdoor recreations. Mac’s has since opened two more in locations in Tampa and Clearwater, and its team boasts well over a century of cumulative scuba-diving experience.
Underwater jaunts remain the central focus of the shop, where instructors help students earn their gills with conveniently scheduled scuba-diving courses. After graduating from the open-water certification program, beginners can finally pull back the kelp curtains of their suspiciously private aquatic neighbors, and experienced divers can seek advanced education in higher-lever diving techniques and digital underwater photography. Group classes and guided dives take place nearly every day.