For years I've been driving past something called Diving Discovery Scuba Center on Central Avenue, but I've never really given it more than a passing glance. Sure I've wondered, "Scuba gear? In Colonie?" But that was about as far as it went.
But you never know when you'll want to go diving for sunken shipwrecks and stuff -- so the other day I decided to venture in and check it out.
It turns out this place is for divers and wannabees.
If you're in the market for say, a wet suit, this is where you'll find it -- but if you don't know how to use said wet suit and the gear that goes with it, they can help you with that, too. Since 1983 this place has been a retail shop/scuba training/certification center.
Granted, I'm not expert in what makes for good Scuba supplies, but it seemed impressive. The shop isn't huge but it has a decent-looking selection of suits, flippers, snorkel gear, diving magazines and more. They also do equipment rentals and repairs.
But the emphasis here is really on the training and certification. They offer a variety of courses, including a four-week certification program. And they've got an affiliate location in Marathon, Florida where they help arrange diving trips for New York clients.
The certification program includes academic training, confined water training and of course, open water dive training. And at the end of it, you wind up with what's called a PADI certification. They provide the wet suit and breathing equipment for the course, but you'll have to buy or rent the flippers, mask and fins.
If you're interested, there's a course starting September 16 that will be taught at the Ravena High School pool. The final part of the class meets at a real body of water. The whole thing will run you about $399 plus fees.
If you catch the scuba bug, you can sign up for some of their advanced training courses.
Discovery Diving also organizes diving and snorkeling trips around the area -- including Lake George wreck dives. They'll also arrange trips on the Atlantic Ocean, the Florida Keys, the Great Lakes and a variety of other spots.
1629 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205
Hours: Mon,Wed-Fri 11 a.m-7p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
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