Did you know that Northfield is now home to Chicagoland’s largest indoor scuba diving training facility? This April, Nick Kouris brought his Berry Dive Center to Northfield to gain the unique amenity of an indoor pool. The center was located in Northbrook for ten years before moving into their new location at 200 Northfield Road.
Nick was born and raised in Glenview and for the past ten years, he has been a Professional Association of Diving Instructor. His dad and mom, also diving instructors, introduced him to scuba at a young age, and he has been diving ever since. He continues to share his passion for diving as a Boy Scout counselor, working with Scouts to obtain their merit badge for scuba diving.
Never thought of taking diving classes? Nick says, “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Don’t let fear hold you back from trying something new and exciting!” And trying it is easy and inexpensive, with their summer Discover Scuba special of $19 for an hour and a half of group instruction with a Dive Master. The Discover Scuba class will allow you to test the water (pun intended!) and see if diving is something you enjoy. For those that choose to move on to certification, classes typically take around 20 hours to complete, with certification lasting your whole life.
Of all of the places in the world, Nick’s favorite place to dive is Lake Michigan, and the Dive Center’s boat takes clients on lake diving trips frequently. Nick says there are a number of interesting and historical finds under lake’s surface, ranging from World War II aircraft and a German U-Boat to antiques in rummage piles from the World’s Fair and the Great Chicago Fire. He says most people would be surprised at the history beneath the water’s surface, with shipwrecks close enough to snorkel to from the North Shore. If Lake Michigan isn’t your flavor, Nick also organizes all-inclusive diving trips to exotic locations like Cozumel and Fiji.
Another of Nick’s passions is training the Chicago Police Marine Unit and other public safety dive teams. He and his team of instructors conduct training for everything from ice-diving drills to training for new diving officers. He says he finds this instruction challenging yet rewarding because emergency dive teams are trained to work in the worst of circumstances in water with zero visibility and with specialized equipment.
The Berry Dive Center offers a wide array of programming. Planning on snorkeling or scuba diving on your next vacation? Rather than waste your precious time in paradise getting certified, train before you go so you can jump right in! The Center also recently introduced mermaid-themed birthday parties where swimmers don a colorful single fin and experience what it’s like to swim like a mermaid.
As Nick says, “Why miss out on the other 75% of the world?” Get started with a Discover Scuba class this summer, and try something new! Visit www.berrydivecenter.com to learn more.