Get to Know Us

We are here to help!! We are independent PADI scuba instructors in the Rome/Utica NY area who want to share our love of diving with new students. Since we are independent, we are much more flexible with schedules than most other facilities. We are local to the Rome area, so there is no need to make a long drive to the bigger cities. We do work with other dive shops when needed to give you the best of all worlds.

We are all PADI certified instructors, so we all use the same teaching materials, teach skills to the same standards, and use the same open water locations as the big shops.

Give us a call, check us out, learn to dive with us!

Certification is a three-step process:

1. Learn the theory through various teaching methods such as eLearning (online), Touch (tablet) or classroom sessions using traditional books.

2. Learn and demonstrate the skills in a controlled environment during the confined water sessions. We utilise the Rome YMCA pool or the Rome School for the Deaf for our pool sessions.

3. Demonstrate your skills during the Open Water while exploring a 100-year-old shipwreck in the St. Lawrence River. If you prefer, we can provide students with a referral which allows them to complete their certification at remote locations of their choice.

Yippee, I’m in a book!

Sometimes things just fall into place. Many years ago, we spent our family summer vacations at Nick’s Lake in Old Forge. We had a pop-up camper and the memories were awesome. We had just found the series “The Adirondack Kids”. They were stories about a few kids growing up just north of Old Forge. Many of the locations that they visited on their journies, we had also visited. Jump forward many years, I had heard about a “train wreck” in Blue Mountain Lake. I was the adult Advisor of BSA Venture Crew 9 where all members were scuba divers. We set out to find the coal car with very limited information regarding its location. We found it on the first day of our search. It was not the train engine as was described to me, but rather a coal car that had slid off a barge carrying coal from one side of the lake to the other. A few years later,  I had decided to place a geocache on the site. Now, jump ahead a few more years. We met Gary, Carol and Justin VanRiper, authors of The Adirondack Kids!! My Wife, Michèle (more commonly known as Mitch) mentioned to Carol and Gary that I had a story about a coal car in Blue Mountain Lake. I met up with them shortly after and filled in the details. Who knew that those series of events would land me, of all people, as a character in a kid’s book series!!

 

“Thank You” to the Rome YMCA Aquatic’s program!!

Over the past couple of decades, scuba lessons have been taught at the Rome YMCA. This relationship was originally developed by Dave Hinman of Delta Divers. While Delta Divers stopped providing instruction, independent scuba instructors Gary Bustos and I (Andy Beach) have continued scuba instruction over the past several years. The Y’s pool has allowed many people the opportunity to try out scuba diving via the Discover Scuba program, and many others to become fully certified divers. These students have gone on to be recreational divers visiting many parts of the world’s oceans, commercial divers, Marine Biology majors, and/or parts of our Armed Services, Unlike the larger dive facilities in other cities, our philosophy has been on safety first, and fun a close second. Because we are not focused on the bottom line, we are able to spend more time with our students which makes them better divers. I’ve watched other divers during open waters (final certification dives in Alexandria Bay), and I truly believe that our student’s skills surpass those of other recently certified students. This has been partly the result of continued cooperation between instructor’s and the Y’s Aquatics Program Director Christina Twogood and the Y’s Multi-Team Leader Bruce Hairston. I would also like to extend a huge “Thank You” to the many lifeguards who have watched over us.  While the YMCA has asked us to leave the facility over the Y’s tax-exempt status concerns, we are developing a new business model that will allow us to still provide instruction in the Rome/Utica area.