CORPORATE JET SOLUTIONS

Introducing the Enterprise Jet Card.

DIVE IN

TO YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

Owning a scuba and swim center may seem like a radical departure from corporate America, but for DiVentures owner Dean Hollis, it was a natural fit.

“I grew up in Florida and always loved the water: whether it was near it, whenever I had a spare moment at the lake or the beach; on it, as an avid competitive water skier for many years; or in it, in the pool, lake or ocean,” he said. His first dive, at age 16, sparked a lifelong fascination with the sport. “My first dive was in Crystal River in Florida, diving with the manatees,” he recalled.

Hollis transitioned that fascination into a business when he and a team of swim and scuba enthusiasts opened the state-of-the-art DiVentures center in Omaha, Nebr. in 2010. A second location in Springfield, Mo., was acquired the next year. “After retiring from corporate life, I wanted to open up a little dive shop, as a place to hang out with other people who love scuba diving and give me an excuse to dive more,” he recalled. “That ‘little’ dive shop ended up being state-of-the-art, fully integrated, complete scuba and swim facilities.”

DiVentures is open to swimmers and divers of all ages and skill level. “Our Omaha location certifies more divers every year than any other dive shop in the United States,” Hollis said. The DiVentures Springfield location is also in the top 5 for certifications.

The facility’s atmosphere is welcoming and warm with water to match: there is a maximum differential of 2° between the air and the water, so even the most hesitant swimmer will feel comfortable. An enclosed HVAC system uses the water to heat the air in winter and the air to heat the water in summer. The smell of chlorine is reduced by a UV filter, and though the humidity is high, the bubble-shaped windows stay clear of fog.

The pool is 14 feet at the deep end, different from many – Hollis says that divers don’t experience the same buoyancy at eight feet as at 14. The biggest change in diving pressure occurs in the first 13 feet of diving: you would have to dive 90 feet to get the same increase in pressure as at 13 feet.

Diving with DiVentures offers the opportunity to travel. Group trips include airfare, resort accommodations and diving, so you don’t have to stress about the planning. “One of the reasons DiVentures was created was to travel,” Hollis said. “Most people learn to scuba dive, so they can go to beautiful places and see all the beautiful fish and reefs. Getting scuba certified is really the means to the end, with travel being the primary reason.”

Divers – and aspiring divers – who don’t live near DiVentures don’t need to fret: DiVentures can offer private classes and weekend certifications for families or individual divers who don’t have a dive shop nearby, and anyone can travel with DiVentures: even if a group trip isn’t your cup of tea, the travel department can help book trips for individuals or families, as well. DiVentures’ experienced team, including a full time travel director and dive coordinator, will make sure that the trip meets your expectations – so if your goal is to relax on the beach, you won’t be scheduled for a research trip.

Private jet travel and a love of diving go hand in hand, soaring over commercial options. “While accessibility and reliability has improved somewhat with commercial options, it can often times be difficult, due to customs and connecting times, to get to your destination in the same day,” he said. Connecting flights, weight limits and the lengthy lines all can cause problems with commercial flights that are avoided with private travel. “In the Islands, most commercial flights arrive and depart at the same time, so after traveling all day, dealing with the hassles and stress, you get to stand in line with hundreds of other people, waiting to get to your tropical paradise. Not a great way to start your relaxing vacation,” he said. “There are so many beautiful islands that are easily accessible from the United States, even with light jets.” Hollis advised.

If you’re looking for the right training to get started with scuba, Hollis has a simple message. “Call DiVentures,” he said with a smile, and then provided a list of questions to consider in vetting any potential scuba center. “Ask if they are a full service dive center, explore what their location looks like, and see if they are associated with a reputable international certification agency (such as SSI, PADI, NAUI). Most importantly, make sure they focus on ensuring they make you a safe and confident diver, and don’t just rush you through the course.”

The DiVentures team is proud to provide a truly turnkey experience, from learning to swim to the first time you don scuba gear, to your first (of many) scuba vacations. “Our customers take the whole journey with us, starting from swim lessons to scuba to eventually traveling with us. It all starts here at DiVentures,” Hollis said.

As for crafting that perfect scuba trip? Hollis and his team suggest looking not at where you think you want to go, but rather at what you think you want to do. “Scuba diving offers such a vast array of experiences – knowing up front what you want to get out of a trip can make sure you get the most out of the experience,” Hollis said. Are you looking to see loads of coral, or wildlife, or hoping to catch a glimpse of a sunken wreck? There are perfect places for each of these desires – check out the best of the best below!

 

THERE ARE SO MANY BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS THAT ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE FROM THE UNITED STATES, EVEN WITH LIGHT JETS

Dean Hollis

Founder, DiVentures

FOR THE BEST PURE SCUBA DIVING

THE CORAL TRIANGLE

Where in the world?

Within the Coral Triangle’s borders are at least some part of the coastal areas od Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.

What makes this location best in class?

The Coral Triangle is a biologically diverse marine environment that offers a huge variety of dive sports and diving year-round. Megan Oswald, DiVentures Travel Director, also points out the value for the money in this area and the wealth of attractions and destinations. This area of the world boasts more than 500 coral species, or 75 percent of all known species worldwide, as well as active nesting grounds for six of the world’s seven species or sea turtles.

THE BEST FOR WILDLIFE

GALAPAGOS

Where in the world?

About 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos archipelago is comprised of 17 islands, including the large Isla Isabella. Only a few of the islands have accommodations for visitors.

What makes this location best in class?

A single day of diving in this area offers a glimpse of dozens of species. Those who dive in Galapagos see incredible black-blotched rays, adorable sea lions, swarms of barracuda and jacks, turtles and manta rays galore. And of course, the sharks — hammerheads, whitetips, tigers and Galapagos. Seven ocean currents meet at Galapagos, and protected marine and island areas mean wildlife remains center stage. Explore the area so awash in underwater, mammals, reptiles, and birds it led Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution.

FOR THE BEST WRECKS

TRUK LAGOON

Where in the world?

Imagine over 77 square miles of underwater wrecks to explore – you’ll find just that in Truk Lagoon, a sheltered body of water in the central Pacific. About 1,100 miles northeast of New Guinea, it is located mid-ocean and is part of Chuuk State within the Federated States of Micronesia.

What makes this location best in class?

Diving conditions and visibility are fairly consistent in Truk Lagoon, and the area is an underwater museum for numerous World War II Japanese planes and ships. Many of these virtually intact sunken ships are referred to as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon,” and each is now home to swarms of marine life and exotic corals. There are over 300 varieties of hard and soft corals to view in Truk Lagoon.

THE BEST FOR QUICK TRIP

COZUMEL

Where in the world?

Just beyond the Gulf of Mexico and south of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico lies the island of Cozumel. It remains a mostly undeveloped island, and is a popular cruise ship port of call famed for its scuba diving.

What makes this location best in class?

As the category implies, Cozmel is best in class for its incredible ease of access. This part of Mexico is close the United States, and Oswald advises it has many dive sites appropriate for all stages of certification (beginner to advanced). With crystal-clear water and incredible variety of marine life, Cozumel’s reefs offer an underwater experience you won’t soon forget. The waters surrounding the island are so clear that visibility can be up to 250 feet, providing a spectacular view of as many as 250 different species of fish.