Yes, you read that headline correctly. This month saw the opening of Blue Planet Scuba at 1761 S St. NW, near the intersection of 18th and S, downstairs below Rosemary’s Thyme Bistro.
Everyone I tell about this business has almost the same response: “So, do they expect you to scuba dive in the Tidal Basin?” Definitely not, but you can get certified without ever leaving D.C.
The store will have an official grand opening Saturday Nov. 6, 11 am to 5 pm. Blue Planet Scuba will offer discounts on classes, giveaways and door prizes.
The Dive Masters
The retail store is owned and operated by Heather Tallent, Matt Kavanagh and Jonas Furberg. The three have impressive credentials in their professional lives and all, of course, share a passion for diving and the environment. The owners have been involved in diving for many years but teamed up about a year ago to teach, and then came up with a vision for the retail store.
Tallent summed up the store’s philosophy for me:
The three words we try to remember are education, conservation, and adventure. We’re creating a different kind of dive operation: we are going to provide personalized attention and small, high-quality classes that we think people should expect in scuba.
Why Dupont Circle?
I asked Kavanagh why they chose this area. “Dupont Circle is a great location because it’s so close to downtown that it’s convenient for just about everybody but also is a fun, vibrant neighborhood so we can put on events and engage the community. As an organization we’re committed to the sustainability and environmental consciousness, so we needed a place that’s just a few blocks from the metro so folks don’t have to drive,” said Kavanagh.
Retail Items and Classes
The store offers top-quality diving supplies such as masks, fins and bouyancy compensators. The real draw for enthusiasts and novices are the classes. Blue Planet offers basic PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) beginner certification, and for the already certified, more advanced classes like wreck and night diving.
Classes are conducted in pools at area universities. Schedules are flexible to offer a busy professional the chance to get certified in an intensive weekend or spread out over weekly evening classes for a month. Blue Planet also organizes tours, so keep that in mind as you plan a winter getaway.