Pacific Northwest Dive Clubs and Groups

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Online dive forums and resources can be a great source of information and help you get excited about learning new techniques, exploring new dive sites or areas, and meeting new dive buddies.

Always remember that people’s opinions vary, as does their actual experience and knowledge on a subject..so just be aware of that as you get advice.

Recreational Forums

  • Northwest Dive Club: Local pacific northwest focused dive forum. Lots of folks talking about diving, good place to find regular local dives.
  • Scubaboard: Scubaboard covers recreational diving all over the world. Need advice on diving in the Caymans, they’ve got a sub-forum for that. Want to know about diving in Fiji, no worries…they have a Pacific Islands Forum too.

Technical, Rebreather & Cave Forums

  • The Deco Stop: A forum focused on technical and cave diving. Great info and a wealth of info, but comments can get snarky for novices asking questions who haven’t done their research independently.
  • Rebreather World: Community focused on rebreathers. Great place to learn and ask questions about rebreathers.
  • CCR Explorers: Rebreather focused forum, also heavily leaning toward cave discussions.
  • Cave Diver’s Forum: As the name implies, all about the caves.

Local Groups & Clubs

Archaeological & Exploration Teams

Other Great Local Technical Training

Deep Diver

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Scuba divers discover beautiful coral reefAfter your first few scuba dives, you soon want to explore a bit deeper. There’s something exciting and mysterious about the depth that attracts dives.

The Fun Part

The fun part about this course is the opportunity to explore the deep. It’s exhilarating.

What You Learn

  • Techniques for diving in the deeper  range of 18-40 metres/ 60-130 feet
    Deep scuba diving equipment considerations
  • Experience in planning, organizing and making at least four deep dives under the supervision of your PADI Instructor

The Scuba Gear You Use

You use all the basic scuba gear including a dive computer, some accessories and most likely a dive light

Check with your local dive shop about gear rentals and packages offered with this course. You can find most everything at the scuba diving shop in your area.

The Learning Materials You NeedDeep Diver crew pak for scuba diving training class

PADI’s Deep Diver crewpak (DVD and manual) provides a thorough overview of the principles and techniques needed to complete the PADI Deep Diver specialty. In addition to previewing skills you’ll practice with your instructor, the materials serve as a reference guide for deep diving in a variety of conditions and environments. You’ll also find the answers to common questions such as :

Is it true that ascending no faster than your bubbles is a good ascent rate?
Can a slow ascent replace a safety stop?

Beautiful coral reefs in Australia

Your Next Adventure

Scuba lessons for deep divesMany shipwrecks are often found in deeper water. That’s why the PADI Deep Diver course is a natural companion to the PADI Wreck Diver course. Sometimes you can take these two specialties concurrently.

Other training to consider is the PADI Enriched Air Diver course on your way to PADI Master Scuba Diver

Project AWARE Fish ID

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Have you ever been scuba diving and asked yourself, “What was that?”

The PADI Project AWARE Fish Identification Specialty course provides you with the fish identification basics so that next time, you know the answer.

The Fun Part

You’ll find you enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures that you see. The fun part about this course is you can use the skills you learn on every scuba diving vacation because once you learn the main fish families and characteristics it will help you decipher the species you see all over the world.

For example, a butterfly fish in the Caribbean has a similar shape to a butterfly fish in Southeast Asia, but their colors and markings maybe wildly different. If you know what fish family it belongs to, it becomes much easier to look up the local name or at least be able to intelligently ask the local scuba instructor what you saw. That works better than asking about a “yellow thingy with a funny tail fin.”

Divers in full scuba gear hovering over reef to view fish

What You Learn

During two dives you gain hands-on (okay, eyes-on) experience in looking for and identifying the fascinating fish you see underwater. You’ll learn :

  • How to identify characteristics of local fish families and species
  • Fish survey techniques and strategies
  • How to practice fish identification dive planning, organization and procedures

The Scuba Gear You Use

You use all the basic scuba gear. You may also need some scuba accessories such as a dive slate for making notes when conducting fish surveys.
Check with your local dive shop about gear rentals and packages offered with this course. You can find most everything at the scuba diving shop

AWARE Our World Underwater manualThe Learning Materials You Need

AWARE’s Our World Our Water includes a section on identifying reef fish based on body shape and habitat. You’ll also learn about marine life indigenous to tidal zones, polar regions, kelp forests, and wetlands. Our World Our Water also includes a five page glossary of terminology used by marine biologists.

Visit Project AWARE Foundation to download your copy today.


To take this course, you must be
PADI Open Water Diver or Junior Open Water Diver (or qualifying certification from another organization)

Puffer fish resting on the coral reefYour Next Adventure

While you’re learning about fish, you’ll probably also be curious about the different types of coral and want to check out the Coral Reef Conservationist course.
As you learn about fish survey techniques you may also want to work on a conservation project as part of your PADI National Geographic Diver certification.
You may also want to brush up on your underwater photography skills so that you can document and capture images of the species you’re encountering.

Discover Scuba Diving

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If you want to find out but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into a certification course, Discover Scuba Diving will let you try scuba to see if you like it. Most PADI dive shops offer a version of this program, either in a pool or other body of water.

You might try it close to home or while you’re on vacation. While not an actual scuba certification, during the Discover Scuba Diving experience you’ll learn how to use scuba equipment in shallow water and get a quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world.

The Fun Part

There is nothing like breathing underwater for the very first time. It takes a little getting used to –after all, human beings weren’t designed to do that – but after a few minutes of awestruck wonder, most participants realize how easy scuba diving really is.

The biggest challenge instructors have with the Discover Scuba Diving program is not coaxing participants into the water, but coaxing them out when the program is over. The fun part? It’s all fun! Experience scuba diving under close supervision. If you’re like most people, you will be hooked after your first breath underwater What You Learn You learn the basics you need to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional. One thing you’ll learn is that you really can breathe underwater and whether you like doing that or not.

You will:

  • Take the plunge with PADI Learn what wearing scuba equipment feels like and how easy it is to move around underwater while wearing it
  • Find out what it’s like to breathe underwater and learn whether you can be comfortable there
  • Learn some basic skills and safety rules that will carry over to your full scuba certification course when you take the next step

The Scuba Gear You Use

All the equipment you will need is typically included in a Discover Scuba Diving experience. You’ll use all the basic scuba gear including a mask , snorkel and fins, a buoyancy compensating jacket that also carries your scuba tank, a scuba regulator to breathe from and instrumentation to monitor depth and air supply. You might also wear a scuba wetsuit or a weight system depending on where you do your Discover Scuba Diving program.

The Learning Materials You Need

  • Just your willingness and undivided attention

Nitrox Diver

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The PADI Enriched Air Diver course is PADI’s most popular specialty scuba diving course, and it’s easy to see why. Scuba diving with enriched air nitrox gives you more no decompression dive time. This means more time underwater, especially on repetitive scuba dives.

The Fun Part

Divers breathing underwater with Nitrox

You can typically stay down longer and get back the water sooner. No wonder many divers choose this as their very first specialty.

What You Learn

  • Techniques for getting more dive time by using enriched air nitrox
  • Enriched air scuba diving equipment considerations
  • Enriched air considerations, including managing oxygen exposure, how to tell what’s in your scuba tank and how to set your dive computer

Nitrox scuba tanksThe Scuba Gear You Use

You use all the basic scuba gear. Your dive regulator. must be enriched air compatible.


Woman preparing for Nitrox class

Ask your PADI Instructor about how you can start your PADI Enriched Air Diver course during your PADI Open Water Diver course.

Nitrox or Enriched Air manualThe Learning Materials You Need

The Enriched Air Diver crewpak includes all required materials* to complete PADI’s Enriched Air Diver specialty. The Enriched Air Diver Manual covers the procedures for diving with Enriched Air (up to 40%) and the Enriched Air Diving video on DVD demonstrates step-by-step how to plan a dive using multiple dive tables. The crewpak also includes the 32%, 36% and the DSAT Oxygen Exposure tables.

Divers preparing their Nitrox scuba tanks

* The RDPTM used in the PADI Open Water Diver course is required but not included with this crewpak.

Breathe underwater longer with Nitrox


Required Tec Diving Equipment

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Intro to Tech Diving / Discover Tec Diving

1 Back Plate & Harness (Stainless Steel or Aluminium)
1 Back Inflation Style Wing

1 Set Double Steel Cylinders with Isolation Manifold (100+ cu ft recommended)
2 DIN Regulators (Double Cylinder Configuration)

  • Hose Config:
  • 7 ft. Primary Regulator Hose
  • 22 or 24″ Necklace Regulator Hose
  • 24 or 26″ SPG hose

1 Single Single Steel Cylinder (100+ cu ft recommended)
1 DIN Regulators (Single Cylinder Configuration)

  • Hose Config:
  • 7 ft. Primary Regulator Hose
  • 22 or 24″ Necklace Regulator Hose
  • 24 or 26″ SPG hose

1 Primary Mask
1 Back Up Mask

1 Pair Non Split Fins (Spring Straps Recommended)
1 Drysuit (with 2 Pockets, 1 Per Leg, Recommended)

1 Compass
1 Dive Computer (Depth & Timing Device)
1 Set Wet Notes or Slate

1 Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)
1 Finger Spool or Side Handled Reel (100′ minimum)

1 Cutting Device
1 Primary Light (Canister Style Recommended)
1 Backup Light (2 Recommended)

TDI – Advanced Nitrox & Deco Procedures | PADI – Tec 40, 45, 50

Intro to Tech Required Elements PLUS:

1 Aluminium 40 (AL40) or 80 (AL80) deco bottle (O2 Clean)
1 DIN Deco O2 Clean Regulator with 40″ reg hose and 6″ spg hose

1 Canister Light
2 Backup Lights

1 Additional Depth & Timing Device (e.g. Dive Computer)
1 Additional Cutting Device (1 Accessible from Both Hands)
1 Side Handle Reel (200′ minimum)

Trimix Courses

Tech Required Materials PLUS:

1 Aluminium 40 (AL40) or 80 (AL80) deco bottle (O2 Clean)
1 DIN Deco O2 Clean Regulator with 40″ reg hose and 6″ spg hose
1 Lift Bag (80lbs minimum lift, Closed Circuit Recommended)
1 Side Handle Reel (400′ minimum)
1 Drysuit Inflation System (Argon Bottle + Reg)

Advanced Open Water Diver

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Exploration, Excitement, Experiences.  

One of the many creatures you will discover underwater

They’re what the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is all about. And no, you don’t have to be “advanced” to take it – it’s designed so you can go straight into it after the PADI Open Water Diver course.  The Advanced Open Water Diver course helps you increase your confidence and build your scuba skills so you can become more comfortable in the water.  Picture it as getting to sample five diving specialties to see if you want to pursue that type of diving.


Happy scuba instructor after a diveYou’ll hone your skills by completing five adventure dives that introduce you to:


I typically teach this course over a weekend, where we meet on Thursday or Friday to discuss the dives, go over knowledge reviews and make a plan where to meet on Saturday morning.

Day 1 (Saturday) 

  1. Peak Performance Buoyancy dive (make sure you can move about comfortably, control your buoyancy, learn the best way to orient yourself in the water column, different kicking techniques)
  2. Navigation dive (find your way home!)
  3. Night dive (experience totally different critters at night)

Day 2 (Sunday) 

  1. Deeper water diving (feel what it’s like to go to 100’ and how it impacts your senses with a trusted guide)
  2. Project AWARE Fish ID dive (know what you’re looking at and don’t say things to your friends like “the lovely white blobs”)


Couple taking scuba diving lessonsWhat You LearnCool wildlife to see on scuba diving trips

The knowledge and skills you get in the Advanced Open Water Diver course vary with your interest and the adventures you have, but include

  • Practical aspects of deep diving
  • Physiological effects of deeper scuba diving.
  • More ways to use your underwater compass
  • How to navigate using kick-cycles, visual landmarks and time
  • How to better use your dive computer and electronic Recreational Dive PlannerTM (eRDPTM)
  • And much, much more, depending on the Adventure Dives you choose

The Scuba Gear You Use

You use all the basic scuba gear  including your underwater compass. Depending on which three adventure dives you pick, you may also try out underwater photography equipment , DPVs (underwater scooters), a dive light a dry suit, lift bags, a dive flag/float or other specialty gear.

The Learning Materials You Need

  1. Advanced Open Water Crew Pak for scuba lessonsYou need to make arrangements to rent your complete scuba setup from a local shop. I’d recommend the closest Underwater Sports. For advanced classes they’ll charge you roughly $75 for the weekend for normal gear (BCD, 2 or 3 Tanks, regulator with compass, wetsuit with hood, weights). You’ll need to have your own scuba basics (mask that fits, fins, gloves & booties for cold water). If you missing the gloves/booties the shop may be able to rent those for an incremental fee as well.
  2. You also need to acquire the PADI Advanced Open Water manual and complete the knowledge reviews for the five dives we’ll be doing (noted above) before we meet on Thursday or Friday. You can also pick this up at Underwater Sports for approximately $40. PADI’s Adventures in Diving Manual and DVD provide information on more than 16 types of specialty diving. You’ll use them as a guidebook to improve your diving skills and prepare for new experiences and adventures.

I’ll supply you a loaner light for the night dive.

Rescue Diver

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“Challenging” and “rewarding” best describe the PADI Rescue Diver course. Building upon what you’ve already learned, this course expands on what you already know about how to prevent problems, and how to manage them if they occur.

The Fun Part

The fun part about this course is rising to challenges and mastering them. Most divers find this course both demanding and rewarding, and at the end, say it’s the best course they’ve ever taken.

Beach rescue with scuba gear on

What You Learn

  • Self rescue
  • Recognizing and managing stress in other divers
  • Emergency management and equipment
  • Rescuing panicked divers
  • Rescuing unresponsive divers

The Scuba Gear You Use

You use all your basic scuba gear including a dive computer and accessories.

Check with your local dive shop about the gear you’ll use during this course. You can find most everything at the scuba diving shop in your area.

Rescue Diver Crew Pak for scuba diving training courseThe Learning Materials You Need

The PADI Rescue Diver crewpak includes all materials required to complete the PADI Rescue Diver course – including a pocket mask. You’ll learn how to think like a rescue diver and preview skills you’ll practice with your PADI Instructor. Once your Rescue Dover course is complete, you can review the DVD to refresh your dive safety skills as needed. This tool box of knowledge and technique will give you the expertise to handle almost any emergency situation.

The Exercises You’ll Complete:

Self-Rescue Review

Demonstrate the correct procedures for the following self-rescue situations:
• Cramp release
• Establishing buoyancy at the surface
• Airway control
• Use of an alternate air source
• Overcoming vertigo and reestablishing sense of direction

Exercise 1 – Tired Diver
Assist a tired (rational) responsive diver at the surface, demonstrating:
• Approach
• Evaluation
• Making Contact
• Reassuring the Diver
• Assists and Transport
• Equipment Removal

Exercise 2 – Panicked Diver
Rescue a panicked (irrational) diver, demonstrating:
• Approach and Evaluation
• Making Contact
• Releases
• Approach with a quick reverse to stay out of a panicked diver’s grasp

Exercise 3 – Response from shore, boat or dock (responsive diver)
Assist a responsive diver in distress, demonstrating:
• Nonswimming assists, including reaches/extensions and throws
• Water entries without losing sight of the victim and paced to conserve energy
• Swimming assists and rescues, with and without emergency fl otation equipment
• Tows with and without equipment removed, including underarm push, tank valve tow and modifi ed tired swimmer carry
• Exits

Exercise 4 – Distressed Diver Underwater
1. Correctly identify and respond to a diver simulating overexertion underwater.
2. Correctly identify and respond to a panicked diver making an uncontrolled ascent.
3. Correctly identify and provide air to, via an alternate air source, a diver simulating an out-of-air emergency, and make a controlled air-sharing ascent.

Exercise 5 – Missing Diver
Quickly and effi ciently search for and locate a missing diver using an underwater search pattern.

Exercise 6 – Surfacing the Unresponsive Diver
1. Use controlled positive buoyancy as an aid to ascent.
2. Bring an unresponsive diver to the surface using buoyancy control of either the unresponsive diver or the rescuer.

Exercise 7– Unresponsive Diver at the Surface
1. Make contact with and check for breathing on an unresponsive diver at the surface, demonstrating:
• Calling for help while establishing buoyancy and turning the diver face up.
• Removing the diver’s mask and regulator, opening airway and checking for breathing.
2. Demonstrate inwater rescue breathing using the following methods:
• Mouth-to-pocket mask
• Mouth-to-mouth
• Mouth-to-nose (optional)
• Mouth-to-snorkel (optional)
3. While continuing effective rescue breathing, demonstrate equipment removal (victim and rescuer) while towing the diver toward an exit.

Exercise 8 – Exiting the Unresponsive Diver
1. Remove a breathing, unresponsive diver from the water,
both with and without assistance.
2. Remove a nonbreathing diver from the water, both with
and without assistance.

Exercise 9 – First Aid for Pressure-Related Injuries and Oxygen Administration
1. Demonstrate steps and procedures for administering oxygen to a breathing, unresponsive diver with suspected decompression illness.
2. Administer oxygen to a nonbreathing diver while using a pocket mask for rescue breathing.

Exercise 10 – Response from Shore/Boat to Unresponsive (nonbreathing) Diver at the Surface
Respond to a diver emergency that requires attending to a nonbreathing, unresponsive diver on the surface,
demonstrating in water rescue breathing, exiting the water and then providing CPR.