With summer begins one of the most fascinating and enriching diving courses available. Starting July 10th, students enrolled in the Los Angeles County Advanced Diver Program (ADP) will experience diving in areas ranging from some of the best advanced beaches around to high altitude lakes. Students will, of course, do all the dives that you might guess would be included: night dives, navigation dives, deep dives, search and recovery dives, and boat dives. However, as an L.A. County program, ADP has access to resources that are not available to the public, which in past years included permission to camp overnight and dive at places such as Castaic Lake. Students will gain unusual hands-on experiences: For example, students may learn to use pneumatic power tools and, working in teams with lift bags, will actually lift and move a 600-pound steel pipe.

ADP also offers an opportunity to meet many of the noted authorities in the field, lecturing on topics including dive medicine, commercial diving, marine biology, and underwater photography. By the end of the summer, ADP students will have learned how to distinguish a halfmoon from a blacksmith, Charles’ Law from Amonton’s Law, and hypocapnia from oxygen toxicity.

As Southern California divers know, beach diving here can at times be challenging but also very rewarding. If you can learn to dive here with ease, you can dive anywhere in the world. In ADP, beach diving and surf skills are highlighted, and the L.A. County volunteer instructors emphasize safety and fun. Divers learn practical oceanography, and learn how to read the waves to find the best places to enter and exit the surf easily. As an added benefit, every beach dive ends with a potluck barbecue where students can relax and socialize.

Started in 1964, in the days when “advanced” really meant ADVANCED, the L.A. County Advanced Diver Program now provides training that exceeds the standards of the NAUI/PADI Master Scuba Diver and Rescue Diver certifications. Now known simply as ADP, this course attracts students with a variety of diving backgrounds ranging from semi-professional photographers with over 3000 dives to newbie divers with shiny new C-cards. However, this is not a course for every diver. It is a 10 weekend-long program (over 100 hours) spanning mid-July to mid-October, with every third weekend off. Because this course is so time intensive, the instructors of the ADP program go to extra lengths to help students make up any missed classes and dives. But it’s worth the time. More information can be found at www.lascuba.com. ADP is intended for anyone who wants to become a more confident and more knowledgeable diver, especially Southern California divers. ADP is ideal for the devotees of diving, those who have a passion for learning about all aspects of recreational scuba diving. And it’s only available here in Southern California.