Over its 30 year history, The Dive Shop has trained over 10,000 new scuba divers and earned the honor of being a five-star PADI Instructor Development Center, without ever switching owners. The same teachers who helped the first class of students discover the underwater world now aid their children and grandchildren in making the same discovery through Open Water Certification diving courses and introductory lessons. They start beginners off in the safety of local pools, before plumbing the depths of Lake Rawlings during certification dives.
Bahamas native David M. Hay spent his youth exploring the world of underwater wrecks while on dives with his father. Laura Schild Hay became enamored with sea creatures at an early age. David fervently kept up with diving, racking up nearly 6,000 logged dives working as a dive instructor and assisting West Virginia State police with underwater criminal investigations. Laura, on the other hand, cultivated her love for biology by breathing regularly and earning a doctoral degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. She rekindled her passion for marine life in 2000 when she learned to scuba dive in northern California. Two years later she wandered into a Maryland dive shop seeking diving opportunities, where dive instructor Dave escorted her into the seas and, eventually, down the aisle.
Along with David W. Hay, the diving duo founded Atlantis Divers in 2005, where their certified team coaches beginners, fallen dolphins, and advanced ocean explorers alike. In addition to public safety training by Public Safety Diving instructors, who currently serve on police- and rescue-dive teams, Atlantis Divers educates pupils with 10 scuba classes. There, instructors abet apprentices with courses focused on managing dive emergencies and learning how to prepare wreck dive equipment.
Sport Factory Scuba outfits underwater explorers and land-based competitors with equipment and training. PADI-certified instructors lead students on their first excursions into local pools and open water destinations, while the dive center outfits then with fins, masks, regulators, and waterproof cotton candy. Softball and baseball teams step into the mesh walls of the facility’s batting cages and pitching lanes, where they can practice their swings or test a riot shield. The onsite sportsmen's shop also carries equipment for disc golf, cornhole, and paintball.
At Quantico Scuba, fledgling divers learn to view the water as a second home through comprehensive instruction and diving-themed social events. Quantico’s PADI-certified instructors teach new and experienced divers in a series of certification classes, ranging in level from basic open-water certification to master diver. Certified students can proceed to specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Wreck Diver, and Coral Reef Conservationist. Quantico Scuba also oversees a dive club, where divers can connect with other divers over weekend trips, overseas holidays, and summer internships in Atlantis. Divers make use of new and used equipment from Quantico’s onsite dive shop, featuring top brands such as Pinnacle, Underwater Kinetics, and OtterBox.
The Chesapeake Bay Diving Center has been anchored in the same location since 1986, where it continues to offer lessons to un-gilled recreational and commercial divers on how to properly breathe underwater using self-contained apparatuses. After strapping into the included equipment, an experienced diving instructor will teach students still adjusting to life in their underwater condominiums the basics of breathing through a regulator, how to clear water from their masks, and the trick to adjusting the pressure buildup during descents.
Afterwards, guests will be set free to explore the depths of a swimming pool, where they will experience the weightless sensation of undersea exploration first experienced by our ancestors, the mermaids.
Certified PADI professionals teach introductory diving skills, where students learn scuba basics, such as becoming comfortable in scuba gear and staying calm while breathing underwater. These Discover Scuba classes are an easy introduction that cover what it takes to dive, allowing students to give scuba a try before becoming certified. In additional to full PADI certification courses, they also regularly plan excursions from their base in D.C. to explore seldom-seen, deeply submerged portions of the Atlantic. To ensure that as many people as possible can share such amazing experiences, they offer basic certification courses in open-water diving as well as in a slew of advanced underwater skills, such as rescue diving.