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S C U B A    D I V I N G

Open Water SCUBA Diver Course consists of five academic/pool modules, and four open water SCUBA certification dives. The five modules can be completed in as little as 3 days. See schedule.

Prerequisites include that you be comfortable in the water, can swim for 200-yards OR 300 yards with mask, snorkel and fins, AND tread water for ten minutes.

Certification includes receiving a PADI Open Water certification card. This "C-card" is evidence of your training  and will be required to obtain compressed air, rent or purchase equipment, and participate in  diving activities. Course can count towards college credit.

The three parts for Scuba Certification are academic, confined water (pool), and open water certification dives. Academic may be classroom or online (eLearning). Open water may be done at a local quarry or vacation destination (referral).

Academic and Pool Sessions normally held over 3 meetings. Open water certification dives can be in a MD or VA quarry or a referral to a tropical destination. All equipment except that listed under "Each Student Provides" is included for pool use. Must be 10 years old to start junior certification.

Entire course video is available on DVD. All classes will view the video at home prior to the academic session. This will provide more flexibility for the students to view the videos on their own time. Each student or couple will purchase a DVD for $35 for home viewing. The video may be returned after the course for a full refund provided it is in good condition (no scratches). Any student without a video player may view the video portion in our classroom at any time.


Sign up now - online registration
Use this form to enter contact information and reserve your spot in a course.

I've never been a very strong swimmer. Does that matter?
Scuba Certification requires only that you be a reasonably proficient swimmer - able to swim 200 yards using any stroke or 300 yards with fins and mask/snorkel and to tread water for 10 minutes.

What does the classroom portion of the course cover? The main focus is on the effects of pressure on your body. As you dive deeper, the pressure on your body increases. This changes the pressure of air your regulator delivers and the amount of nitrogen absorbed into your blood.

How long does it take to get certified? Scuba Instruction is built on the mastery of classroom knowledge and water skills How long it takes to achieve that mastery depends on the individual. There are 5 classroom and pool modules that normally takes place over a period of up to 3 or 4 sessions. An intensive course can be done over a period of 2 to 3 days, but still require a minimum of 2 days for the certification dives. PADI eLearning course requires completion of the online course, 2 pool sessions, and 2 days certification dives.

Can the course be done in one day? No. One day is not enough time to master the skills, become proficient in planning and conducting a dive, and build the knowledge and confidence to dive on your own or become certified. Most dive professionals and previously certified divers will agree that the more time spent with instructors and divemasters during the course, the safer diver you will become.

What are the age requirements for enrolling in a scuba certification course? You must be at least 10 years old. Students between the age of 10 and 15 receive a junior certification requiring diving with a certified adult.

What are "Certification Dives"? These 4 dives are in open water (not a confined pool area) used by the instructor to determine if you have mastered the skills you need to be a certified diver. They are the same skills you practiced in the pool. They are required to be done over a period of 2 days and may be done at a local quarry, or referred to a resort diving destination.

Can I dive on vacation without getting certified? Yes, you can. These experiences go by different names such as "Discover Scuba", Introduction to Scuba", or "Resort Course". The activity usually consists of a pool session where you practice some essential skills and then are taken on a supervised shallow dive. These experiences are a safe, inexpensive way to gain familiarity with the sport and decide if you wish to pursue full certification.

My ears hurt even when I dive to the bottom of a pool. What happens when I dive even deeper? The pain you feel is called a "squeeze" and is caused by the pressure of water pushing against your eardrum. One of the first things you'll learn in scuba class is a simple technique of equalizing. When done properly, you won't feel any pain in your ears.

What equipment must I buy? You will need your own mask, snorkel, fins, and at least 5mm neoprene boots. All other equipment is supplied for the pool sessions. We supply shorty wetsuits for the pool sessions.

Sharks. Is my fear justified? Many people have been made to fear sharks and other marine animals because of the false image given them by movies and TV. Fact is, most marine animals including the shark, octopus, barracuda, and moray eel are shy and passive around humans. None are more misunderstood than sharks. Humans are not the natural prey of sharks.

How much does it cost to refill the oxygen tank? First of all, we do not dive with 100% oxygen. Oxygen is toxic at pressure below 15 feet. We dive mostly using compressed air that has been cleaned and moisture removed to make it suitable for breathing at depth. Cost to refill the tank is $10.00.

Where do you hold the classes? Classroom sessions are held in the shop. Pool session is at the Hood College pool in Frederick. Certification dives can be at a quarry in MD or VA, or a referral to the Caribbean.

What if I miss a classroom or pool session? You cannot skip any sessions. Classroom modules must be done in sequential order and can be "made up" . We do not charge you more if you need more time to complete the course.


519 E Church St, Frederick, MD  21701

(301) 663-9363

PADI 5 Star Training Facility

Hours  Mon-Fri 12-8pm; Sat 9am-5pm

Since 1987







For those with time constraints.


For an accelerated class or special scheduling, you may consider a private class. Plans will be made individually to meet the schedule or deadline of the student. Additional class fee of up to $200. May be limited by availability of instructors and pool access.


The video portion of the course is available on DVD. This DVD is purchased separately for viewing at the students convenience for $35. DVD's in perfect condition with index card and DVD case may be returned at the end of the course for a store credit.

PADI eLearning

The entire academic portion of the course can be done online or offline. See for details.


No hidden fees. Our Instructors have the most dive instruction experience, some over ten years.

We have the newest rental gear. No gear is over 3 years old. Maintenance cycle is 12 months or less.

We use shorty wetsuits during the pool sessions. It can get cold while being submerged in the pool during the skill development sessions.

Our training agency, PADI, is the worlds largest and most recognized

Our compressed air is tested quarterly for impurities, CO2, and harmful hydrocarbons

We are a full service dive shop, able to help you with all your questions and needs.

We have more inventory and better selection

We have more experience with dive travel and local dive destinations

Brass Anchor is your LOCAL dive shop. Start here to form a connection to our family of divers.


Scuba Diving Course                  $250

Personal Gear mask fins etc       about $250

PADI Crew Pak                             $80

PADI OW DVD                              $35

Rental Gear for confined water   Included

Rental Gear for certification dives  about $150

Quarry Admission Fees               $40-$70

Brass Anchor Scuba Course Includes

3 Academic sessions

3 Pool sessions

The PADI 'CREWPACK': Open Water Manual, Log Book,  Dive Tables, Student Planning Slates

Use of Tanks Regulator BCD Wetsuit & Weights

Free 6 month subscription to Dive Training Mag.

Free DAN Student Membership

Needed for Open Water Certification:

4 Open Water SCUBA Dives (2 days)

PADI Registration and Certification Fees

Instructor Fee

Photo ID

Rental Equipment for OW Dives

PADI Open Water Certification Card - Your Gateway to Diving Excitement!!!

Each Student Provides

Mask and Snorkel *

Fins and Boots *

Swimsuit and Towel

Air Fills at Quarry ($6-$8 per tank)     

Open Water Quarry Entrance Fees (two days, $30-$40/day)

Rental Equipment for Certification Dives

  (BCD, Regulator, Compass, Wetsuit, Hood, Gloves, Tanks, & Weights)


Scuba Course $330

Class & pool only


The class number is our name for the course. Please refer to this number when signing up for a course.

Each class consists of  5 academic modules and 5 pool modules. These modules can be completed in as few as 3 days or over 2 weekends. The dates and times shown here are the actual times this class intends to meet. The days shown i.e. "Sat & Sun" are when the course is being held.

Each student must stop by to fill out paperwork, get sized for gear, etc.  The modules must be done in sequential order. You cannot skip any modules.

Arrange with your instructor for certification dive dates, You have the option of certifying at a warm water destination of your choice. We can help you find a PADI facility anywhere in the world.