Interested in diving at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park? We have a full-service PADI dive shop across the marina from the main Concession building. The dive shop runs reef trips on Reef Adventures, a custom-built 35-passenger catamaran. They have rental gear available, and offer expert instruction up to PADI Divemaster. Novices will be interested in the available PADI Open Water certification. This program costs $485 (plus tax), lasts 3 to 4 days, and ends with certification as a full PADI Open Water Diver. This is an intensive course, and certifies you to dive anywhere in the world! If you aren’t interested in the time commitment (or if you are just trying the whole "scuba thing" out to see if you like it!), we do offer a "resort course", PADI’s Discover Scuba Diving, which is a one-day course for $175 (plus tax). This course includes a morning of classroom and skills work and finishes with instructor-led dives. Although the Discover Scuba Diving course does not include a PADI certification, many who take the course return to get take the full Open Water class.
Certified divers who just want to see the reef can take a trip on the U.S. Coast Guard-certified dive vessel Reef Adventures. The trip costs $60 plus tax. Equipment rental is available. Reef Adventures makes two stops along the reef line, hitting sites such as Molasses and French Reefs and the Benwood ship wreck. If you need to rent gear, a full package is $29 plus tax, or you can rent BCs, regulators, wetsuits or snorkel sets. If you have never done a reef dive before, or if you just want to find the best spots on the particular reef you are visiting, you can take along a guide for $40 per person, plus tax.
In addition to seeing the reef, many divers who come down to the Florida Keys want to take a course to become a better diver. The best course for this is PADI’s Advanced Open Water, which we offer for $385 plus tax. "Advanced" includes not only deeper dives and wreck dives, but allows the diver to choose which skills they are most interested in improving, from Peak Performance Buoyancy to Underwater Photography. This is the certification that is generally required by the local dive shops in order to visit the deeper wrecks on the outer reef tract, like the famous USCG Duane and the USS Spiegel Grove. If you are more interested in covering one skill at once, you can take a PADI specialty course or two. Two-day specialties are $200 plus tax, and include Deep Diver, Underwater Navigator, Search & Recovery, and Wreck Diver. If you don’t have that much time, you can try one of the one-day specialties for $175 plus tax, including Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project Aware Diver, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty, Fish Identification, Boat Diver, Equipment Specialist, Underwater Naturalist, or Enriched Air Diver (this course can be combined with any other PADI specialty). We also offer the two-day PADI Underwater Photography course for $150, which includes the rental of an underwater camera.
So you already have your Advanced certification? Have you considered becoming a PADI Rescue Diver? Rescue costs $425 and will not only teach you to be a safer diver but will certify you to assist other divers in trouble. If you really excel at Rescue and Advanced, maybe you should consider diving as a profession. If you are interested, we offer the PADI Divemaster course for $750. As a PADI Divemaster, you will be a member of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, an elite group of professional divers. This is a course for people who are seriously committed to making scuba a safer sport, and certifies you to work as a mate and divemaster on any dive or snorkel boat.
Chances are, you are one of the many people who have been meaning to get some first aid training but haven’t quite gotten around to it (or perhaps you WERE certified, but have let your training lapse). In that case, PADI Emergency First Responder is the perfect course for you! EFR is an intensive one-day class that combines first aid and CPR, and we offer it for $125 plus tax. Unlike many first aid courses, PADI EFR is good for two years before retraining, not one. We also offer DAN Oxygen Provider instruction for $75 plus tax, a must for anyone in the diving industry and a great way to expand upon your PADI Rescue Diver or EFR training.