From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to the earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.
“What are we going to do today?” Never has there been a question more often repeated in the history of summer vacation. You could do the movies, the park, the pool, the beach. They’re all tons of fun, sure…. just like they were the last gazillion times you did them. If you’re in an activity rut, let us put a wacky, outside-the-box idea into your brain while you rack it for your next adventure: with a little bit of certification, you could replace “Let’s go to the mall” with “Let’s go scuba diving!”
Learn to dive with Scuba 2000
Scuba 2000 in Richmond Hill is more than just a store. It is a world-class service provider for everything scuba diving. It offers both a retail store as well as a full-service department for dive gear repair, teaches a range of certification courses, and facilitates local as well as foreign and exotic world travel. Whether it’s Tobermory in the Bruce Peninsula or the Galapagos in the Pacific Ocean, Scuba 2000 can help you make your diving dreams come true.
Scuba 2000 is also the only store in the Greater Toronto Area with its own tropical indoor pool. “We can teach courses any time,” says Norm Cerny, a certified dive instructor with Scuba 2000. “Our hours for teaching are extremely flexible.”
You can be certain that you’re getting the very best instruction, because all of Scuba 2000’s certifications are issued through the Professional Association of Dive Instructors, or PADI, which is the largest diving association in the world. “We’re hooked up with the big guys,” Norm states proudly. “All of our instructors are PADI certified, and we follow all the safety and training protocols they lay out.”
Children as young as ten years old can be certified through the Junior Open Water Diver program, and there is virtually no upper age limit. If you thrive, you can dive. And believe it or not, scuba diving requires minimal investment, since diving gear can be rented. If you’re not keen on financing an international trip, you can dive in places that are within driving distance—both within and just outside of York Durham Headwaters (more exciting info below on diving YDH).
Becoming certified: the basics
The first and most important course you will need to complete to become dive certified is the Open Water Diver course, which is comprised of both classroom and in-water training. Scuba 2000 offers condensed courses that can be done in a weekend, and slower-paced courses which are conducted over a period of time. Want private lessons for you and a few friends, or maybe just the family? Yep, they do that, too.
Because Scuba 2000 has its own pool, there is no rush to pick up all the skills required to be certified. Need more time to master certain in-water techniques? Nervous about jumping right in on your first attempt? Not a problem. Scuba 2000’s instructors can go at your pace, whatever it is.
Overall, Scuba 2000 wants its students’ diving experience to be positive. “We have about 25 instructors that circulate and work through our store,” Norm Cerny says. “They’re all very professional people. We make absolutely sure that we’re not only providing world-class service, but we’re providing an enriching, exciting and happy environment where people are allowed to learn at their own pace—even if they don’t have a lot of experience in the water.”
Diving local; diving year-round
Did you know that there are tons of great places in Ontario to go scuba diving? The St. Lawrence River has some of the best fresh-water diving in the world. A drive north of York Region will take you to the harbour village of Tobermory, or as it is better known, the shipwreck capital of Canada. “There is no other place where you can have crystal-clear water and so many different shipwrecks,” Norm states. “Some of them date back hundreds of years. These are living, breathing archaeological finds, and divers are taught not to disturb them. You go back in time down there.”
In Caledon, Scuba 2000 has its own private open-water dive site. Durham Region is also a popular destination for emerging divers who want their first experience with a local shipwreck. The Juno, which sank in 1915, lies beneath approximately 15 feet of water in Bowmanville. In 1912, the PB Locke sank off the shores of Port Hope, and is today another popular local destination.
Also, scuba diving is something you can do all year round, not only in the summer months. You just need the right type of suit. Cold-weather diving can be done in what’s known as a dry suit, and to be dry-suit certified, Scuba 2000 offers an ice diver’s course every year. “We supply a dry-suit that is the same design which the Canadian military has been using for about ten years,” Norm says. “If you have one of those suits, then you can go diving anytime, anywhere on the planet.”
If we’ve convinced you to have your very own underwater adventure this summer, check out Scuba 2000 in Richmond Hill to begin your journey towards certification. 9033 Leslie St., Unit 12. www.scuba2000.com, (905) 771-1500.
Story by Katherine Ryalen