The scuba aficionados at My Scuba Adventures immerse their guests in the art of deep-sea exploration, whether by hawking gear at their dive shop or by teaching technique during in-depth certification courses. Lessons cover everything from snorkeling and swimming to wreck diving and underwater navigation.
Each course can be completed at the student's pace to fit busy schedules and allow ample time for gills to grow in. Along with a heated pool, the facility serves divers' needs with rental and for-sale gear, repairs, and organized trips to far-off dive locales such as Cozumel and Cuba.
From lessons to excursions, from gear repair to retail, Lake Jocassee Dive Shop does it all. The shop itself, undulating in cobalt-blue and teal wave patterns, offers a serene environment for shoppers to peruse their options and stock up on apparel and equipment. Once they've grabbed the necessary gear, students head out to the pool, where instructors and boat captains get divers exploring beneath the pool's surface.
In 2003, underwater overachiever Robbie Bogan embarked on a new endeavor would have him regularly shifting back and forth between the thrill of exploring shipwrecks to the gravity of teaching CPR and marine rescue techniques. The experienced cofounder of Upstate Scuba had created a scuba school that teaches both recreational scuba diving and tactical and emergency diving. As a result, the people who frequent the Upstate facility comprise a diverse student body.
First-timers arrive and are soon dunked into the pool during Try Scuba courses; search-and-rescue personnel often show up for instruction on the latest underwater navigation or night diving. The curriculum includes opportunities to gain certification, which can be used to participate in Upstate Scuba's open-water trips to nearby lakes. As dealers of top-notch equipment, Robbie also teachs divers safe use of breathing apparatuses and how to scare away sharks by impersonating Steven Spielberg.
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.
Scuba John's Dive Shop owners John Baker, his wife Amanda, father Mendle, and a number of scuba-diving instructors—go out of their way to make customers feel welcome. The staff believes everyone should be able to explore underwater worlds—and that they should stay safe and avoid buying ocean-floor real estate while doing so. To that end, the store is stocked with top-flight dive equipment and accessories by brands such as Hog, Omer, Ocean Rhino, Aeris, and Edge.
All of the classes are led by an instructor and conducted to meet SDI standard. Courses are designed for all levels, from beginner to master diver, instructors, and professionals. In specialty courses, participants learn skills required to become an enriched-air nitrox diver, deep-sea diver,
or rescue diver. Students hone their open-water diving and dolphin-language skills in the
warm depths of Florida Springs and other sites.
Mankind was never meant to breathe underwater, but the instructors at Columbia SCUBA defy such limitations, helping students of all sorts—from small children to disabled adults—explore the forbidden depths. As young as 8, kids can start training with PADI Bubblemaker classes, using equipment suited to their smaller size, and swimmers of all ages can join Discover Scuba sessions to learn the basics of diving in the safety of a pool. For students looking to become certified divers, open-water diving and specialty diving courses test practical skills in unique environments, such as submerged shipwrecks filled with sunken coupons, whereas trips to the Florida springs or Caribbean convey the majestic experience of communing up close with marine wildlife.