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Divers can find training ground at local lake

Wet suits and scuba fins might seem a little extreme when visiting Perch Lake, but they're a necessity to the Cheesehead Divers.

The Cheesehead Divers are a group organized through St. Croix Scuba in Hudson. The club of certified divers participate in several "fun dives" throughout the summer at area lakes including Perch Lake in Hudson.

Diving companies claim that Perch Lake has a wide variety of underwater fish and plant life. It also has a number of sunken fishing boats, platforms and other diving wonders.

For those who don't know how to scuba dive, St. Croix Scuba and Superior Expeditions offer certification classes and open water courses at the lake. For more information, call St. Croix Scuba at 715-381-5300 or Superior Expeditions at 651-490-3225.

St. Croix Scuba:

According to St. Croix Scuba's Web site, Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the most widely recognized and respected diving certification in the world.

Anyone in good health, who is reasonably fit and comfortable in the water can earn a PADI Open Water Diver certification.

Divers between the ages of 10 and 14 are able to earn a PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification.

• A PADI Junior Open Water Diver between the ages of 10 and 12 years may dive only with a PADI Professional, a certified parent or certified guardian to a maximum depth of 40 feet.

Diving classes at St. Croix Scuba include the fundamentals of scuba diving, dive equipment and techniques.

Classes consist of five pool dives and knowledge development sessions and four open water (ocean or lake) dives.

The PADI programs are performance-based and students proceed as the course skills are mastered.

Students must supply their own mask, scuba fins and snorkel.

Special discounts are available for new students.

Call St. Croix Scuba at 715-381-5300 to schedule a class.

Superior Expeditions:

Superior Expeditions, based in the Twin Cities, has instructors, assistant instructors and dive control specialists licensed and certified through Scuba Schools International (SSI), the largest school-based scuba training agency in the world.

The group, which is responsible for teaching scuba diving courses at the University of Minnesota, continuing education classes for Anoka and Hennepin (Minn.) counties, as well as the St. Paul, Minn. Youth Programs scuba Summer Camp, offers instruction for divers ranging from entry level to advanced.

Some classes are offered at Perch Lake; however, many take place on Square Lake in Minnesota.

Superior Expeditions also coordinates and schedules both local and tropical dive travel. Recent trips have included Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Roatan, Truk Lagoon, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. All dive and support staff have experience in both local and tropical waters.

Typical Open Water training includes one snorkel dive and two scuba dives on Saturday and two additional scuba dives on Sunday. Depending on the dive site and conditions that day, each dive will range between 20 and 45 minutes.

Call Superior Expeditions at 651-490-3225 to schedule a class.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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