Our first three years were spent teaching classes out of a Starbucks coffee shop every weekend. We worked from a home office and operated the GirlDiver world via internet, Blackberry’s and storage sheds.
As we’ve grown, we want to be able to play in the traditional dive world and receive recognition from the certification agencies. In 2013, we opened our first full-fledged retail dive training center.
From a space inspired by the tropics and nestled among old town main street businesses in Auburn (a suburb located 30 min from Seattle) , we are still here to do things a bit differently. From the moment you enter, we want you to leave Terra behind and become immersed into undersea dreams. You’ll find our latest class offerings, scuba gear and accessories, as well as our travel opportunities posted…well, on blackboards…just like Starbucks.
We offer coffee and tea to our friends…and that’s pretty much anyone who enters our place. We invite you to bring your questions, your tales and your passion of the sea through our doors. After all, that’s really the reason we come to work each day.
We have a compressor system for tank fills and a repair department, servicing ALL equipment on-site, so no need for you to send your regulators into the abyss for service. With a rental department designed to keep divers diving, even before they can purchase their total diving system, two rinse tubs outside will allow divers to rinse their gear while their tanks are refilled for their next dive. We think it makes sense…we think you’ll like it.
(130 E Main St., Auburn, WA 98002)
Our Founder’s Story (Cindy Ross – PrimaGirlDiver)
When I was 19, I was told by a commercial diving instructor that I was too little to learn scuba. And at 19, I hadn’t yet learned to question limiting statements, so I happily enjoyed my life on land and watched the waves from the shore.
In my thirties, I longed for a change. I wanted to spend more time enjoying life and less time “working”. How would I accomplish this? Well, Jacques Cousteau dove until he was in his mid-eighties, so there was the answer!
My Open Water class was taught in the snow. We hauled all of the gear (80+ pounds) down and up a steep slope…four times. The only thing I learned from that experience is the water was cold and the gear was heavy. I hated diving.
But I had already signed up for the next course and so I decided to take the Advanced class then walk away from scuba forever.
My fifth dive was held at one of the most abundantly filled sites in the Puget Sound. I was floating like an astronaut in clear, green water with white plumeous anemones glowing as they covered the pilings. I knew that not even Disney could do this, so I decided…the gear is heavy and the water is cold, but I’m going to figure out how to do this thing, because I get it. I know why divers dive.
I learned to dive in an industry still not fully recognizing women as “different”. Mens equipment just doesn’t fit as well as women-centric gear would. So, I learned to dive in an ill-fitting drysuit (the gal at the shop said it fit…), a men’s BCD (the vest we wear that holds the tank and provides floatation) and learned tips and techniques along the way that made the gear and cold issues work.
If you’re dressed properly, you won’t be cold…even in water down to 40 degrees. If you build your muscles through continued diving and “dive nutrition”, the gear becomes manageable, and your overall health and wellness improves as well.
Since then I’ve had so many National Geographic moments underwater, it’s hard to remember them all. I’ve swam with a 1200 pound stellar sea lion during a morning lesson with a student in 30’ of water. I’ve had the Canadian Broadcasting Channel on hand when hundreds of seals left their sunning to join me for a surface interval in Canada. I’ve witnessed Giant Pacific Octopus crawling over structure…definitely the ballet of the sea, and I’ve been privileged to watch a GPO tend to eggs for the season until one day, the eggs have hatched and my old familiar friend has gone away, exhausting her life for her young.
The underwater world is a place like no other, and to be able to introduce new divers to that world on a daily basis? I’m truly living the dream. Come and join me…the pool is open!
“Everyone should see fish. Some people should see fish below the water, others above and still others in aquariums. As long as everyone is seeing fish, the world is good.”
“A girl should be able to dive all day and still look great in a little black dress at night.”
” All time is beach time. No worries…”
Girldiver Trivia about Cindy
I was chosen last for all games at recess and my mother agreed to waive me from PE in high school, opting for drama and choir instead. Now I am one of the foremost voices for women throughout the world in an extreme sport. Who would have thought? The ocean is bigger and heavier than I. It is only when I release myself into its power that it takes me where I need to go.
Meet Team Girldiver!
Questions?? CONTACT US