Although Richard Branson is bringing space exploration to the wealthy, for us adventure travels who want to explore a different world and don’t have a mere $200,000 laying around, Scuba diving is a nourishing morsel allowing the exploration of a seemingly different world. If you can breath you can probably Scuba, it is not difficult to do and juniors as young as 14 can get certified. Many places offer certification, even when you are on vacation there are opportunities to get certified. Certification is not something you want to take lightly though; it is better to get certified by a private dive shop or sporting goods store. At Dive and Photo, in Irvine California there motto is we produce divers that we feel comfortable to dive with. There is a lot of information and you should make sure that you are in a small group where you feel comfortable to ask questions and repeat things that you are not totally comfortable with or do not grasp perfectly. The typical cost is around $350.00 beware of deals online; you want to research the maximum class sizes before you purchase. In addition to you certification you will need to purchase masks, fins, goggles, gloves and booties. These items you want to try on, then you can shop for the best deals online. I have found that diverworld.com or divergear.com have great prices on quality gear. Buying Scuba gear can be like buying a car, the options are endless some are necessary and some are fancy bells and whistles that you will pay a premium that you do not really need. Make sure your mask fits snug. A top of the line setup will run you about $400.00 for everything. The good quality setup will be about $200.00 if you buy them together in a package like on divewherehouse.com you generally get a better deal. Certification consists of 2 classroom sessions or an online learning session, 1 pool session and 4 ocean dives done over two days. It is possible to get a quality certification in 2 weeks if doing it on the weekends. Once you are certified you can enjoy the explorations of a quiet world with colors and dimensions never unlike anything above water. Some great locations for new divers include Shaw’s Cove in Laguna Beach, Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach, and the Kelp forests of Catalina. Diving off a boat as in Catalina is different than a shore dive as in Laguna. You will want to use a reputable boat company as themagician.com. Don’t be surprised if you are swimming with dolphins, rays, octopus, seals or sharks. The remainder of the gear can be rented for new divers, it ranges in cost form $45 to $55 for the day. Try as many brands that you can as a new diver, and find one that you like. I am partial to scuba pro BCDs (Buoyancy Control Devices) and Bare wetsuits, both can be found at diverwherehouse.com. Remember to capture your underwater adventure with a Gopro camera or Intova sport camera. Both are underwater rated to 60 meters or further than you can dive. Gopro is more widely available and has some great features that are costly, the Intova is a low-‐cost solution that does not jeopardize quality but is harder to find. Both however can be found at diveandphoto.com. Looking forward to seeing in the water. Check out our facebook page for updated diving and other great adventure photos and video shot with the GoPro and Intova Sport Cameras.