Eastern Watersports wants to get you in the water, whether that means coaxing you onto a paddle board, helping you earn your Scuba certification, or just outfitting you in a brand new wetsuit. The shops sells all the equipment and accessories aquatic adventurers need to navigate the waves, from top-quality paddle boards and kayaks to sea scooters and underwater cameras. And, the experienced staff leads a variety of tours and lessons for beginners or those hoping to better hone their surf, wake board, paddle board, or water skiing skills.
Chesapeake Underwater Sports founder Mike Nieman has spent the majority of his life in or around water. As a child, many of his relatives worked Chesapeake Bay as watermen. In 1972, Mike began diving for the U.S. Air Force, and after his service, became a merchant seaman. During those years, and through all those experiences, Mike kept his eye on one dream: opening a dive shop of his own.
Mike did just that in 1987. Today, having been involved in the training of more than 2,000 divers, he continues to promote the sport–or, in his case, lifestyle–of diving through instruction. At his shop, Mike and his team of NAUI instructors provide education ranging from basic courses all the way up to instructor qualification programs. They also assist clients in planning exotic diving trips, and maintain an expansive stock of equipment and accessories.
Atlantic Edge Dive Center's dive-masters might technically be classified as land mammals, but they spend enough time under water to earn the honorary title of amphibian. They spend days and nights teaching and leading dives, whether they're arming curious beginners with basic skills in one of their on-site swimming pools, or conducting open water certification tests off the coast. They go beyond simply certifying students for adventure: they provide rescue diving, dive master, and instructor training as well.
Their passion for the aquatic pastime draws them to all kinds of watery outposts. They lead excursions to the Florida keys to help rehabilitate the coral reefs surrounding the islands, and dive into the relatively calm waters of the tanks in the Baltimore National Aquarium, where they have a chance to see 53 species of fish feed in the secret underwater cafeteria.
PADI-certified scuba instructor John Walker opened Lancaster Scuba in 1993 to encourage others to explore underwater ecosystems. Today, the center is a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Center, which means Walker and his staff are teaching the next generation of scuba instructors. Of course, if you just want to learn how to safely scuba dive for leisure, the center has an array of courses for beginners and mermaids alike. On top of everything, Lancaster Scuba has a store with scuba gear, an on-site cylinder filling station, and an eco-friendly approach that earned it a PADI Green Star Award.