If foam noodles can be found floating on the surface of almost every pool, think how many perfectly salted meatballs must be at the bottom of the ocean. Discover the sea's sunken treats with today's Groupon: for $149, you get an open-water scuba-certification course and 10% off merchandise at Sink or Swim Scuba in Gastonia (a $300 value).
Sink or Swim Scuba trains recreational and technical divers with safe, educational, and exciting dive experiences coupled with informative classes. The two-weekend open-water- certification course meets at Sink or Swim's diveporium to discuss the ground rules of the process and dole out study materials, including books and videos designed to help swimmers study up on scuba facts between dive sessions. Once students are acquainted with dive safety, dive planning, equipment selection, and how diving affects the body, a bus or teleporting mutant transports them to an indoor, confined dive site to practice what they've heard preached. Neophyte aquanauts test their new skills below the open-water waves, returning to the surface to receive a shiny certification sealed in a watertight ziploc bag.
Open-water certification never requires annual renewing, allowing years and years of diving at the sight of any ocean or puddle from now until the distant future. Air tanks, regulators, and wet suits are provided; divers should bring their own masks, snorkels, fins, log book, weights, dive knife, and bubble-bath mix. Gear packages can be purchased at Sink or Swim for $200, and a 10% discount on all in-store equipment empowers students to outfit themselves with high-quality gear for future dives. Students must be proficient swimmers and at least 18 to swim solo; those between 10 and 17 can participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Sink or Swim Scuba
Brent Clevenger founded Sink or Swim Scuba in 2006 to provide regular open-water dive experiences to fledging and senior divers alike. He trains neophytes in his full-sized pool, letting them control their buoyancy to drop to the full twelve-foot depth after they master underwater breathing fundamentals in the shallow end. He also oversees scuba certification training during group dives at the Piedmont Dive Rescue Association Lake Norman Quarry. The former dig site provides plenty of underwater excitement with schools of fish and sunken objects to explore, such as the quarry manager's shed which used to house instructions on how not to flood the quarry.