PCH Scuba

South End

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In a Nutshell

Master-certified instructors lead first-time divers throughout two weekends, the first indoors, then in open-water sessions

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Feb 7, 2013. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Limit 1 per visit. Reservation required; subject to availability. Must sign waiver. Must be in general good health or have physician's consent. Must be 10 or older. Subject to weather. Food not included. Extra $65 fee for scuba cylinder and fill. Must bring own mask and snorkel; if not, mask and snorkel available for purchase at discounted rate. Classes must be used by the same person. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Besides opening up nearly limitless opportunities for adventure on its own, scuba diving provides valuable spatial-orientation experience in case one ever gains the power of flight. Throw out your water wings for this Groupon.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $399 for a scuba-certification course and Catalina Island weekend getaway for one (a $949 value)
  • $785 for a scuba-certification course and Catalina Island weekend getaway for two (a $1,898 value)

Two nights at hotel, roundtrip ferry tickets, and all rental gear rental is included, except mask and snorkel. Divers should bring their own mask and snorkel or can purchase them at a 20% off discounted rate.

Over the course of two weekends, one on beautiful Catalina Island, first-time divers morph from inveterate air breathers to incipient amphibians, earning Open Water Diver certification to embark on 60-foot dives with a buddy. The first weekend is spent in the classroom, where students learn the fundamentals of scuba, including equipment, dive theory, neutral buoyancy, and which brands of wax work best against siren songs. Day two also incorporates a pool session where pupils try out what they've learned and get their first taste of the low life, that is, life below the water.

All this preliminary work is just an appetizer for the main course the next weekend, when the class cruises off aboard the Catalina Express fleet for a two-day getaway exploring an otherworld of kelp forests, flocks of fish, and even an eerie wreck or two. Most take advantage of the Friday-evening ferry, which affords the opportunity to relax into the weekend over a few brews and request “Kiss From a Rose” from the island's noisy seal population, though some prefer the 6:15 a.m. boat on Saturday.

The sunlit hours of the next two days are spent accumulating all the necessary wetsuit time for certification through six forays into the bay's watery wonderland. Saturday evening is wide open, freeing students to explore some of the cantinas friendly with the school, including The Lobster Trap and Luau Larry's. Guests stay two to a room at the Catalina Beach House or the Hermosa Hotel, a beachy, diver-friendly cottage on the brink of Avalon Bay. For an additional fee, arrangements may be made for single-room accommodations.

PCH Scuba

Trips and training form the centerpiece of PCH Scuba's services for area hydronauts. Programs range from beginner-level certification to search-and-recovery training, and adventures journey both close to home and as far ranging as Fiji. The Open Water Diver course makes for a fun and accessible first foray beneath the waves, incorporating a deep-delving adventure to Catalina Island, which is named after the third queen of Spain: Queen Island. The staff leads explorations of San Diego's collection of wrecks and adventures on chartered dive boats. Whatever sort of wave-blanketed voyage the aquatic adventurer desires, PCH's community of Master Scuba Diver–certified teachers and dive leaders are eager to chaperone.

Customer Reviews

PCH Scuba really goes above and beyond to ensure you learn the material, and that you are safe and confident in every aspect of the PADI Certification process. They worked with our schedules, provided excellent instruction and really made us feel like part of a family. Many thanks to Bret, Amy, Nikki, Joe, Chad, Peter and the rest of the gang for such an amazing experience. We had Amy in the classroom where she was clear and concise imparting tidbits for remembering important details and preparing us for the written quiz. Nikki was our instructor in the pool and ocean, she made sure to communicate clearly and took her time with us to give us the best possible experience in and out of the water. Knowing that they aren't just there to sell gear, helped confirm this was the right place for us to learn. I look forward to other group dives PCH Scuba has that we can participate in.
Stacie C. · May 1, 2017
Instructors and overall experience was wonderful. Excellent value for the money. My only complaint is that there are extra costs during the trip that wasn't mentioned in the advertisement (at least when I purchased mine).
Daniel H. · December 26, 2016
My kids loved every minute of this experience. Professional, Fun, and Safe!
Susan H. · December 26, 2016

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