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Sub Sea Systems — Our World is a blog dedicated to the unique experiences of Sub Sea Systems — Immerse yourself in our incredible adventures, company culture, and innovative programs and products.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Our (Exciting) Year in Numbers!



2019 was a VERY big year for Sub Sea Systems, loaded with fun and innovation! From exciting new products to world firsts, participating in a massive coastal cleanup, amazing new team members and a couple of weddings…our SSS family has had a very busy year.

We always recap our year by sharing a cute and clever infographic. This year, we’ve had so much “new and exciting” going on that we've decided to take a unique approach with sharing our year. We hope you enjoy the video below!


As we say goodbye to 2019 and TREK into a new decade, we wish you great success and many new opportunities. Our team has a lot on the books for the year and we look forward to sharing these exciting happenings! Stay tuned!



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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Get to know Sea TREK’s Anthony Leonce!



This week, we’re excited to share a special interview conducted by our guest blogger, Sea TREK Guide and Sub Sea Systems intern, Levi Leonce. We asked Levi to interview his father, Anthony Leonce, the head of Sea TREK in St. Lucia and the manager of Sea Adventures, Inc.

Anthony has been a member of the Sea TREK family for close to 7 years and his operation has won several awards. He is a well-respected member of the Sea TREK community and we’re excited for you to get to know him a little better.


LEVI: When did you first start working with Sea TREK? 
ANTHONY: I first started working with Sea Trek in 2013 and have been with them ever since.

LEVI: What did you do for work, prior to working with SeaTREK?
ANTHONY: Before working with Sea Trek I managed the dive center for the Sandals hotel in St. Lucia

LEVI: What do you love the most about St. Lucia?
ANTHONY: I would probably say the people and terrain.


LEVI: What is your typical day like?
ANTHONY: I wake up at 3:30am and worship. Then, I teach an exercise class at 5:00am. I drop my son to school at 8:00am and report to work doing dives till 4:00pm and then I proceed to teach another exercise and karate class from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

LEVI: Tell us about your family
ANTHONY: I have two sons; one 20yrs and another 14yrs. My mother and father are still alive, and I have 5 brothers and 8 sisters.


LEVI: What do you do for fun?
ANTHONY: I love sparring, diving, playing cricket and board games with friends.

LEVI: What is your favorite sea animal?
ANTHONY: Aquarium fishes.

LEVI: What are you most proud of?
ANTHONY: It would definitely be SEEING my son grow into a young man.


LEVI: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
ANTHONY: It would be to honor God, work hard and find a life to give to.

LEVI: What would your co-workers be surprised to learn about you?
ANTHONY: I lay hands and pray with the sick.


We’ve really enjoyed having Levi at SSS headquarters the past few weeks. Bright, kind, and willing to jump into any project, from helping assemble helmets to reviewing marketing materials, and writing this article! We appreciate  Levi and Anthony and the contributions both have made to our company and the Sea TREK program.

Levi Leonce


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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Delphinus Takes the Prize


delphinus wins reef alliance award

Each year, Reef Alliance (a conservation program sponsored by Sub Sea Systems) and its partners participate in the International Coastal Cleanup, a worldwide volunteer effort organized by the Ocean Conservancy.

Founded in 2009, the Reef Alliance program promotes sustainable diving practices and environmental education. The program's mission is to educate, create awareness, and encourage proactive conservation efforts in local communities. Every year, the Sea TREK operator that best exemplifies the program's goals is recognized with the Reef Alliance Award. We're extremely proud to announce Delphinus as the recipient of the 2019 Reef Alliance Award.

In 2019, Delphinus hosted multiple events for International Coastal Cleanup. Over 120 volunteers collected nearly 2600 lbs. (1178 kg) of trash and debris from local beaches, turtle nesting grounds and a mangrove habitat. In addition to cleaning up these vital resources, Delphinus continued its community outreach and conservation education efforts.

Delphinus crew cleaning up beach

In January, Delphinus held several events during World Environmental Education Day. Utilizing its interactive dolphin experiences, Delphinus curated strong emotional connections between participants and the dolphins. The event was combined with an educational message focused on threatened marine environments. Participants left with an indelible memory and a stronger passion to conserve the marine environment.

Delphinus has developed The Environmental Education Plan, which consists of several active campaigns. One of these campaigns, the Environmental Leadership Program, provides environmental training for the organization’s staff. 250 staff members participated in 14 sessions.

Volunteer cleaning beach


Delphinus’ also hosted its annual community outreach event, “The Festival of the Oceans.” Locals were invited to learn about the ocean through art, science, gastronomy and ecology presentations.

Delphinus is also one of the main conservation promoters for the endangered Vaquita, Mexico's only endemic cetacean and the world's most rare marine mammal that is on the brink of extinction. Through donations and its social campaign, #SOSVaquita, Delphinus draws awareness to the threatened species and supports ongoing efforts to protect Vaquitas.

Vaquita

Delphinus operates 7 dolphin interaction habitats across the Riviera Maya in Mexico, 2 of which are dolphin TREK programs (and one SeaTREK program). For 15 consecutive years, Delphinus has received the Socially Responsible Company Certificate, and its 7 locations are all certified by the Humane Conservation, AMMPA and IMATA. As this year’s Reef Alliance Award winner, Delphinus will receive a stunning glass trophy and promotion through Sub Sea Systems’ marketing channels. Big congrats to Delphinus!
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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Fun on the water, safe for the environment!



There’s no question that for most of us, boating is just plain fun. Being out on the water with friends and family can be relaxing, or exhilarating!

Unsurprisingly, several studies have identified dozens of unintentional and unexpected hazards to the environment associated with boating, which might have many reevaluating how they spend their days on the neighborhood lake. Boating can be a real detriment to the health of our waterways, sea life, and surrounding land. Heavily trafficked waterways and the presence of vessels increase the growth of algae. Deposits left from boats can change water chemistry. And, wildlife can be negatively impacted by boat fumes and the chemicals used to clean watercraft.

solarcat solar electric catamaran

But there are options for eco-conscious boaters! Solar power is now being utilized in boating operations. In fact, experts say that the aquatic applications of solar are evolving faster than ever, as people seek a way to enjoy boating without contributing to waterway damage or loss of sea life.

As a company, Sub Sea Systems is always seeking new ways to get people to enjoy the water while respecting the environment. In 2001, we began producing FunCat, an electric catamaran designed for boaters who sought a way to enjoy the water, without the damaging effects of a typical boat. FunCat catamaran owners loved the easy to drive, easy to dock and easy to store FunCat! FunCats also proved to be a great rental product for the boating industry, allowing even inexperienced boaters to steer their way across the water.

In 2018, as demand for eco-friendly options grew, we upgraded the FunCat to include solar panels. The solar panels offered FunCat boaters additional time on the water and a vessel that utilized no gasoline or oil. As interest in a solar boating option grew, we rebranded our popular FunCat as SolarCat Solar-Electric Catamarans. And, this year, we launched a brand new website, solarcatusa.com.

solarcat solar electric catamaran

There’s more to the SolarCat than just its flashy solar panels. SolarCat personal catamarans are designed and constructed in the USA of high quality, long-lasting materials. As easy as ever, SolarCats require no boating experience. Two switches propel the SolarCat forward, backward, left or right, or even a super smooth 360°. Every catamaran includes a sunshade for comfort on the sunniest of days, and plenty of storage for personal items. One of the compartments can even be used as an ice chest, for that just-caught fish or a bottle of champagne! The on-board battery charger ensures you’ll have plenty of juice for a leisurely day on the water. SolarCats are built to last and include a 12-month warranty on parts. And, Sub Sea Systems’ amazing SolarCat team members, Keenan and Greg, are here to help with outstanding product support.

We’re so excited about our amazing, eco-friendly SolarCat that we’re offering an incredible price cut for Black Friday! If you’re in the market for a unique gift, want to avoid the crazy mall crowds, and are looking for the perfect present for your family, you can purchase a brand new, American-made SolarCat catamaran and save a whopping $1000. Check out our deal, starting Friday, November 29th. The special pricing ends on Cyber Monday, so you’ll want to sail on over to our website, www.solarcatusa.com. If you’re in the US, you can purchase securely online! Or, give us a call at 530-626-0100 during normal business hours, and we’ll get a brand new SolarCat on its way to you. You’ll be out on the water in no time!


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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Virtual Reality Goes to New Depths… Underwater!



At Sub Sea Systems, we create immersive and interactive products and programs for the marine tourism industry. From our incredibly popular Sea TREK helmet diving experience, available across the globe, to our newly upgraded SolarCat solar-electric personal catamarans, we’re always looking for fun and creative ways to get people in and under the water.

Our latest product endeavor entails an ever-so-slight submersion (snorkeling) with incredibly detailed virtual reality content. In partnership with Ballast Technologies, Inc., a world leader in aquatic virtual reality, we are releasing three VR snorkeling systems: DIVR, DIVR+ and Deep Dive VR. Welcome to the next level of immersive virtual reality!

VR snorkeling combines the neutral buoyancy of water with the immersion of virtual reality.  The patent-pending technology includes a waterproof virtual reality headset combined with a library of high-quality VR content- from coral reef dives to shark encounters, an Atlantis adventure, and even an out-of-this-world space journey!

virtual reality snorkeling

DIVR

DIVR allows participants to float freely while experiencing neutral buoyancy, audio and 360° virtual content. The DIVR system is portable, and can be used in any shallow swimming pool. Participants wear a floatation belt, VR headset with snorkel, and a secure tether.

DIVR plus virtual reality underwater

DIVR+

The DIVR+ system is a portable snorkeling system with sensory effects. Custom, stationary thrusters emit fluctuating thrusts of water and multiple bubble-induced sensations, which are synchronized with the visual and audio content. Participants feel the tickle of a school of fish or the rushing sensation of water as they zoom through tunnels. In the outer space journey, participants feel the vibration of passing meteors as they approach the space station. The system sets up along a pool edge in minutes, so guests can enjoy the 360° virtual adventure in neutral buoyancy, in no time.

deep dive vr water park virtual reality

Deep Dive VR

Deep Dive VR is a fully self-contained, standalone system. It comes complete with a shallow acrylic pool, 10 VR snorkeling stations, and a back-of-house building with an equipment room, briefing room and top deck lounge. It’s a complete turnkey setup!

Stephen Greenwood, CEO of Ballast shared this about these amazing new products, “Pairing virtual reality with water may not seem like the most obvious match, but once people try it, it's clear just how powerful the combination is. When guests are suspended in water, there is a freedom that allows for absolute immersion, which is impossible to achieve in any other way. Our experiences have already delighted over 400,000 customers.

At Ballast, we've been extremely proud to pioneer this technology and introduce the world to aquatic VR. Our amazing partnership with Sub Sea Systems has enabled us to take our systems to the next level and develop heightened sensory experiences while delivering the best customer service possible. We're grateful to Jim Mayfield and the entire team at Sub Sea Systems for their extensive knowledge of water-based technology, deep industry relationships, and for our shared vision of the future of aquatic attractions.”

Are you ready to jump in? Ballast and Sub Sea are demonstrating the exciting DIVR and DIVR+ systems at IAAPA Expo 2019 in Orlando, Florida– November 19 -22. Sign up now to try an in-water, virtual reality snorkeling demonstration at booth #8180. Spots are limited!




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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Part 7, Get to Know Sub Sea Staff



Introducing Sub Sea’s newest staff member and Graphic Designer, Myles Thompson. Even though he joined the team recently, he has seamlessly fit right in! Myles jumped into a full workload and has been producing amazing work since day one– including applying his extensive background in videography to shooting and editing promotional videos for our latest products– VR Snorkeling (DIVR+) and SolarCat Solar-Electric Catamarans.


Q: When did you first start working at Sub Sea Systems? 

In August of 2019, 3 days before my birthday.

Myles Thompson Military

Q: What did you do for work, prior to working for SSS?

I worked on a variety of freelance film & graphic design projects.


Q: What was your first project for SSS?

My first project was coming up with a concept rendering of the new DIVR+ system, in use in a swimming pool.



Myles Thompson Family

Q: Tell us about your family

I have a five-year-old daughter, Aria, who is intelligent beyond her years and is the cutest thing on planet earth. My mom, who does interior decorating, is basically a cross between every Hallmark mom and Martha Stewart… in short, she is amazing. My dad is my hero and idol; I joined the military because of how much I look up to him. He’s currently battling Alzheimer’s disease, but still maintains his daily quota of dad jokes.

Myles Thompson and his dad

Q: Where did you go to school? 

I went to The Art Institute of San Francisco.


Q: What do you do for fun?

I enjoy taking long road trips and spending time alone in nature, where I practice my photography. I also really enjoy freediving, when I’m able to.

Myles and Aria

Q: What are you most proud of?

My daughter Aria, of course!


Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Anything is possible as long as you’re willing to ignore the naysayers. That includes yourself, sometimes.


Q: What would your co-workers be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t think anything would surprise them, they think I’m pretty weird.


We’re not sure we’d call him weird (although he does do some pretty realistic impressions of Family Guy characters), but Myles is definitely fun, and we’re grateful to have his positive spirit, incredible work ethic and creativity in the SSS office!

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Virtual Reality Snorkeling


DIVR snorkeling

Imagine snorkeling with whale sharks in the Gulf of Mexico or humpback whales in Hawaii. Diving a pristine vibrant reef or exploring the international space station. Experiences previously thought to be inaccessible will soon be available, and in only 3 feet of water!

virtual reality underwater

We’re talking about Sub Sea’s latest endeavor, virtual reality snorkeling! This new and exciting experience is actually THREE different products, with three different opportunities to offer virtual reality in an entirely new and unique way: DIVR, DIVR+, and Deep Dive VR.

Virtual Reality snorkeling

The VR snorkeling product line was created in partnership  with Ballast Technology, Inc. out of San Francisco, California. Born from a chance meeting at a trade show, the Sub Sea team joined forces with the Ballast team to develop, market and sell these incredible systems. Ballast Technologies is the leading provider of aquatic virtual reality. They were the first to design and patent an underwater VR headset, and their premium product, VRSlide, was the world’s first virtual reality system for water slides.

So, what are these new and super cool products? Virtual reality snorkeling is digital entertainment, allowing your mind to explore while your body feels the extraordinary full sensory experience of a near-zero gravity environment. Guests feel as if they are actually soaring through the water, as they explore new worlds previously only accessible to scuba divers, deep ocean submersibles, and astronauts.

deep dive vr snorkel

All three systems allow guests to enjoy this incredible experience! The difference is really in the installation. DIVR takes up a very small footprint. All that’s needed is a shallow swimming pool area large enough to accommodate participants in snorkeling positions without touching one another.  During this experience, participants wear a floatation belt, underwater VR headset and a snorkel. A swim tether is attached to an anchor on the bottom of the pool. The video content begins with the tap of an NFC launcher card.

With DIVR+, participants experience multiple, in-water sensory effects in unison with the visual content. Participants hold on to stationary thrusters that produce varying flows of water and air bubbles. Guests feel as if they are actually zooming through the water, corkscrewing through tunnels and feeling the rumbling vibrations of swimming with a pod of dolphins! The stations are designed for setup along the edge of a pool.

deep dive-vr setup

Last but not least, Deep Dive VR takes the stage as a fully self-contained, standalone system. Complete with its own shallow acrylic pool with 10 DIVR+ stations, and “back-of-house” building comprised of a briefing room, equipment room, rooftop seating area and water entry platform.

DIVR, DIVR+ and Deep Dive VR are the world’s premiere virtual reality snorkeling systems. Dive in and add this incredible experience to your operation. Contact us to set up an in-person pool demonstration. We’ll also be exhibiting and demonstrating at the upcoming DEMA and IAAPA Expo trade shows in Orlando.

deep dive video

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