$249 for an open-water diver certification course ($399.50 value)
- One 2.5-hour Friday classroom orientation
- Two pool and classroom sessions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (equipment included)
- Four open-water ocean dives on the following weekend (equipment not included)
- SSI Digital Open-Water Learning System (educational materials)
- One-year SSI digital logbook
A classroom lesson commences the open-water diver certification course, covering fundamental diving techniques and other material in the SSI learning system. On the following days, students adapt to their equipment and underwater maneuvers during pool sessions, clad in school-provided scuba gear. They meet the following weekend to earn their certification with ocean dives, which can take place at Salt Point State Park, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, or Monterey. (Students need to arrange their own transportation.)
All participants must provide or purchase their own mask, fins, snorkel, boots, and gloves; students receive special pricing for dive-shop purchases. For the open-water dives on the second weekend, scuba equipment rental is an additional $106.50, or students may purchase their own gear. View a class schedule.
Sonoma Coast Divers
After leading expeditions in search of underwater treasure, the instructors of Sonoma Coast Divers show their students how to cook and eat the spoils—abalone. They try to conclude each of their abalone diving classes with a group picnic, where everyone can compare their catch in hopes of snagging a record-size shell. Persistent hunters can even compete in the autumn's abalone cook-off, part of a Halloween celebration that includes subaquatic pumpkin carving.
These special events highlight the dive venue's dual emphasis on community and adventure. Whether they are hosting a scuba certification class, a Stress & Rescue course, or a simple air-fill service, the staff freely shares their passion for oceanic exploration. Their training pathways safely transform patrons from first-time pool divers into instructor-level dive masters. By filling their curriculum with specialty courses—such as night diving, wreck diving, and bubble collecting—they inspire guests to pursue different disciplines. They also plan several trips for all skill levels, guiding tours through local kelp forests and planning weeklong retreats to Caribbean islands.