By DENNIS D. CRUZ
Since opening its doors in 1991, Aquatic Dreams Scuba Center of Modesto has helped prepare underwater enthusiasts for diving in to their hobby. Originally on Coffee Road, the Aquatic Dreams Scuba Center now calls 1212 Kansas Ave., Modesto, its home and has been at that location since 1999. The store boasts over 8,000 square feet of space for products, and provides equipment repairs and CPR classes, among other courses.
“We relocated almost 10 years ago because we needed a larger facility to compensate for our growing business as well as our indoor pool,” co-owner Bonnie Vance said.
The large indoor heated pool is 25 feet wide, 50 feet in length and reaches 12 feet deep.
The impressive pool is used for many activities including: diving instruction, swimming lessons, private parties as well as water safety classes.
“Our water safety classes are vital to anyone interested in going in the water. We have several courses that you take, including quizzes, tests on equipment, and open water training. Open water tests include two formal water dives. Those take place at Tulloch Lake and in Monterey,” Vance explained.
Vance also offered suggestions about how to enjoy the underwater scenery once you are in the water.
“You must respect the animals and nature under water. You have on specific gear and equipment but you can still brush up on coral and jelly fish or even a sting ray,” she said of being mindful of the surroundings.
Every third Tuesday of each month, The Dive Club meets at the store for monthly meetings so they can discus upcoming adventures and events. In 2017 alone, the club ventured out to Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong for dives. Future trips planned include going to Cuba and other exotic waters.
“I did not personally like diving until recently. I owned the store but did not really get into it until recently,” said Vance. “Once you get the whole experience it is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have.”
This spring the club will go to Monterey Bay for an Earth Day Clean-Up Project. On April 21, 2018 club members will join forces to clean up the waters and shore area of Monterey Bay. Over 100 people will be making the trip to help clean the beautiful scenery on land and in the water.
Scuba can be done in warm tropical bodies of water or you can do diving in cold water. Each body of water is different; thus, you will need specific gear for the different types of water.
“Our bodies of water locally, which is cold water, you will need a thick dry suit and vest. The water takes away the temperature faster than the cool air does,” said Vance.
At their store you will find wall-to-wall scuba diving equipment for beginners to veterans of the water. Equipment includes snorkels, fins, tanks, masks, spears, wet suits, goggles and more. Perhaps one of the most advanced pieces of equipment that they offer is the computer device that allows divers to communicate underwater.
“Technology has come so far and it is really advanced. There are computers that divers use underwater as a way to communicate with each other. This is also a great way to stay safe,” Vance said.
For more information, contact Aquatic Dreams Scuba Center at 209-577-3483.