Due to the tireless efforts of
Proprietor, Instructor, and Dive Master Alan La Bounty, Scuba Habitat has
developed quite a loyal following. Customers are like family and the
camaraderie between the divers is quite remarkable.
Scuba Habitat is open Tuesday
through Friday, from 11:00am to 7:00pm, and Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.
There are five truly wonderful Master Diver Instructors on staff making it
possible for Scuba Habitat to offer the full range of PADI - Professional
Association of Diving Instructors certified classes.
I love these guys because it was
their professionalism and personalities that helped me finally become a
Certified Open Water Diver at the ripe old age of 46. I knew from the
moment I walked into the shop, which is located on Brea Canyon Road -- one block
north of Diamond Bar Boulevard, that these were people I would be comfortable
with, and that I could trust.
Besides the Open Water Diver course
I took, Scuba Habitat offers Advanced, Rescue, Medic First Aid/CPR, Dive Master,
Assistant Instructor, and Instructor courses. There are also a wide
variety of specialty classifications you can obtain, such Night Diving,
Underwater Photography, Wreck Diving, and Spear Fishing.
The full PADI Open Water Diving
Certification Course I took included one (1) confined water (pool) dive, and
four (4) open water (ocean) dives, along with five classroom sessions and was
only $249 including the gear. (There is some personal gear that may be
required, but anyone who likes to swim and snorkel, like me, will make good use
of stuff like fins, mask, etc. anyway.)
You know what? SCUBA diving
has vastly improved ever since the early days! Many safety features have
been incorporated. Diving is considerably more comfortable and economical
now, and it has become a mainstream sport that's enjoyed by all family members.
Dive Master Alan La Bounty told me, "Diving is a great activity for anyone
over the age of 10 and under the age of 99," and having taken the course
and gotten certified, I would have to say I totally agree with him. My two
sons are already bugging me to begin their classes.
Most people find out about Scuba
Habitat from word of mouth recommendations, because to become one of Alan's
student's often involves also becoming one of his many friends. Scuba
Habitat's dive trips are scheduled all the time, and there is always at least
one day per month.
Before long, all the clientele get
to know one another. It's a great way to make new friends.
Diving is a "buddy" sport meaning you dive with one or more
buddies and closely watch over one another. Groups of divers not only use
the buddy system, they also help each other with gear, getting in and out of the
water, and share the whole experience.
What's truly amazing is that even
when you are with a group of experienced divers who have made hundreds of dives,
everyone still gets real enthusiastic about the marine environment.
There are numerous discussions about fish, formations, colors, and so on,
as if they are a group of astronauts who have just returned from a lunar
landing. Sometimes there is some much enthusiasm about what was down
there, it makes you want to jump right back in and take another look. And
in fact, most of the divers make 2, 3, even 4 dives a day because it's so much
Safety plays a major role in the
diving experience. Divers, especially at Scuba Habitat, are very
responsible about safety. All the training is safety oriented to provide
years of safe enjoyable diving. There is no typical SCUBA diver because
just about anyone can dive, and you can dive just about anywhere. One of
the public's misconceptions about diving is that wintertime in California wasn't
a good time to dive. As it turns out, winter is a great time to dive
because the beaches are so much less crowded, the water cleaner, there is more
visibility, and there is more marine life to see.
The first time I went for an ocean
dive, my instructor took my dive buddy and me to Newport Beach. Hey, it
was the beach and, therefore, I didn't expect to see much marine life, just
sand. To my amazement, we saw several spider crabs as big as
bowling balls, groups of bright orange/red Garibaldi fish and their iridescent orange and blue babies, octopuses, and even a school of harmless leopard sharks
that peacefully swam below us.
On my second dive, which was from a
boat at Catalina, I saw an endless array of marine animals and aquatic features
including lots of lobsters and fish, and I explored caves and wondered in the
marvels of towering forests of kelp and incredibly beautiful reefs.
I think my third dive was truly the
most amazing. We traveled overnight to the Santa Barbara Island in a cool
boat the Scuba Habitat had chartered for his divers. When we awoke from a
good night's sleep, we were at this beautiful island untouched by man.
There were hundreds (probably thousands) of sea lions swimming all over the
place. When my buddy and I went diving, we discovered how curious
and playful the sea lions are. A few juveniles kept trying to pull our
fins off in play, and they mimicked our moves as we did theirs. We were so
captivated by them, that we barely had time to collect some delicious lobsters.
You see, we had purchased fishing licenses before leaving on the trip, and
divers can collect four of these delicious "bugs" per day as long as
they have a fishing license.
Since becoming certified, I have
discovered there are so many spectacular places to dive in Southern California
and around the world. I would recommend that anyone interested in a
healthy, safe, and highly enjoyable sport visit Scuba Habitat in Diamond Bar,
and also get certified. Who knows, maybe next lobster season we can dive
and dine together.
Scuba Habitat is located at 3220
South Brea Canyon Road, Suite B, Diamond Bar, CA 91765-3481 - Phone:
909-594-7927 - Web: http://www.scubahabit.com.