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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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Solar in the Spotlight – Boating with Sun Power



In recent years, terms like "going green" and "eco-friendly" have become more than just buzz words on talk shows, commercials and product packaging. From personal care items to energy-saving appliances, we are surrounded by options that help consumers not only save the Earth, but also save money.

Tûranor PlanetSolar, first boat to circle the globe with solar power
When it comes to environmentally friendly options, solar power is at the forefront. It’s no longer uncommon to see solar panels on roofs of neighboring homes or even large businesses. Solar power is being utilized everywhere- and our waterways are no exception. In 2013, the MS Turanor PlanteSolar, an 89,000 kg catamaran, completed its journey around the world utilizing solar power alone. And, throughout the US, solar ferries are being considered for public transportation needs.


Solar ferry boat
But it’s not just the big guys who are making the most of solar energy; boat owners can also take advantage of this option. Going solar offers many benefits. Not only does this alternative power protect the environment, it’ll save you money in the long run. Yes, the initial investment is higher, but once you’ve opted in, sun power is free!

Additionally, utilizing solar power allows boaters to access waterways that may otherwise be restricted. With environmental issues at the forefront, many lakes and rivers are not open to gas-powered boats, which can cause environmental pollution (and noise pollution).  Solar power is a pollution-free alternative.

For battery-operated watercraft, solar can top off batteries and increase longevity– extending your time on the water. When the sun is out, a solar panel provides a continuous trickle charge– charging your batteries nearly anywhere, anytime; on the trailer, at a mooring, docked in a slip, or even when you’re out driving. A small panel can eliminate the need for a bulky external charger, struggling with moving heavy batteries to and from the boat, and complete setbacks caused by dead batteries.
Consider a solar option for your current boat or next boat purchase. You’ll not only be helping the planet, but you’ll save some cash too!


boat buying guideThinking of buying a boat but not sure which option is right for you? Get your FREE Guide to Buying a Boat! From kayaks to solar fishing boats, you''ll get descriptions of the many boating and watercraft options, pros and cons, and more!








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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy Father's Day!




We’re celebrating Father’s Day by honoring the newest Dad in the Sub Sea System's family, Kyle Mayfield. Kyle and his wife, Veronica welcomed Wyatt Mayfield on January 27th. We asked Kyle some questions about his new role as Dad to Wyatt!

How did you find out you were going to be a Dad?
I had been away on business in Mexico, and I remember Vern giving me a piece of paper from a recent doctor's visit. It took me a sec to realize what I was looking at, and then it finally hit. It was a pretty awesome moment!


What surprises you the most about being a Dad?
The fact that I, me, have a child, the whole experience has been pretty surprising. I’m constantly learning something new about myself because of my son.


What’s the biggest change you’ve had to make, to accommodate your new role?
Time management and getting accustomed to being prepared for all the things this little guy requires…thank God for my wife!


What words of encouragement would you give to a friend who is about to become a Dad?
It gets better- you were a baby once and you turned out ok. But seriously, at this stage, even the roughest stretch can be forgotten with the littlest smile.


What three adjectives would your parents use to describe you?
What’s an adjective? Individual, entertaining, affable


What is the best advice your Dad ever gave you?
It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay; I don’t yet know how that will apply to parenting, but do you want to buy a baby?


What kind of activities did you and your family enjoy during your childhood that you intend to share with Wyatt?
Camping, hiking, skiing…being active and being outside


Wine or beer?
A chilled rose…c’mon, no contest- rocky mountain water all the way!


We wish all Dads a Happy Father’s Day, and hope you get a chance to enjoy your favorite activity… or at least, your favorite “rocky mountain water”!



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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Celebrating National Aquarium Month!




OdySea Aquarium

June is National Aquarium Month, and Sub Sea Systems is celebrating by featuring our aquarium partners and their unique conservation efforts.

Aquariums provide family fun, education, and interactions with sea life (including Sea TREKking!), but it may come as a surprise that aquariums are frequently involved in conservation and sea life rescue missions. 

Here are a few of our partner aquariums and the special efforts they are making to keep our planet blue!

Sea Life Park, Waimanalo, Hawaii (Oahu)

Sea Life Park in Oahu, Hawaii provides a wide variety of education and interactive programs. The Park supports animal species preservation via their “honu” (Hawaiian green sea turtles) rescue and support efforts. The Park celebrated World Turtle Day, 2017, with the release of three honu into the wild. Children from local schools participated in the event by becoming “Reef Rangers”, a kid’s conservation club sponsored by the park. The Park also endorsed the Green Sea Turtle Blessing and Release Celebration, by partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and releasing two green sea turtles as part of a collaborative conservation initiative to protect this threatened turtle species.


OdySea Aquarium, Scottsdale, Arizona

OdySea Aquarium is committed to supporting a variety of programs at the local, regional, and global level to educate and inspire guests about aquatic life and conservation. OdySea partners with the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Department and supports their mission to conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources.

Additionally, OdySea joins with SANCCOB, a registered non-profit organization whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds. 


Miami Seaquarium, Miami Florida

Miami Seaquarium® is committed to wildlife conservation and the rescue, rehabilitation and release of distressed marine mammals. This commitment began even before the park first opened its doors. In July of 1955, the park's conservation work began when Maime, a 3 week old, 47-pound manatee was rescued after being injured.

Since that first rescue in 1955, Miami Seaquarium has rescued, rehabilitated and released countless manatees, sea turtles, dolphins and whales. Since 2002 alone, more than 80 manatees that have been rescued and rehabilitated and in the last decade, more than 200 sea turtles were rehabilitated under the Seaquarium’s care. It is one of only three facilities in the State of Florida with a letter of authorization from the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Manatee Critical Care Facility. The park's highly trained animal rescue team includes divers, staff veterinarians and animal caretakers who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


SeaLife Aquarium, Manchester, United Kingdom

Not only does SeaLife Aquarium share the wonder and beauty of our oceans with its visitors, the Aquarium sponsors the Breed Rescue Protect program, which includes a system of care and best-practice animal husbandry that draws on decades of collective experience from marine biologists.

SeaLife runs breeding programs for creatures as diverse as sharks, rays, penguins and turtles, and participates in rescue and release efforts for injured and sick animals. SeaLife also campaigns for the global protection of marine wildlife.


Underwater World, Guam

Underwater World Guam
Like all aquariums, UnderWater World shares beautiful sea life with its guests. However, this aquarium enforces a strict policy of only accepting and displaying animals that have been bred, collected, transported and treated in accordance with the Guam Environmental Education Committee. In fact, in 2007 the Marine Aquarium Council and the European Union of Zoos and Aquariums recognized one of their collection templates for international use.

Additionally, Underwater World participates in Project Guam, which focuses on restoring and protecting coral species of local concern. The aquarium partners with the University of Guam to organize field training workshops for restoration efforts. Participants included international and local aquarium specialists, students and scientists. Since 2013, UWW has installed a public laboratory at its facility, where visitors can learn about coral reproduction and conservation. 


It’s easy to get lost in the wonder of the underwater world when visiting these amazing aquariums. Communicating how much support they provide to sea life and our planet may encourage more participants to visit, enjoy, and learn more about our oceans and the lives within.

Sea Trek Underwater Helmet Dive Locations



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Thursday, June 1, 2017

PART 3: Tips & Tricks for Travel Savings- Money Saving Travel Apps





When you're traveling, your best resource can be your phone, and having helpful apps that that can assist you with everything from navigation to translating can save you a lot of heartache. There are many travel apps to sort through, but some are definite money savers! Take a peek through these options, and see which apps you might want to use to save cash on your next vacation.

GasBuddy-Your Gas-Saving Friend

save on gasThis app is one of the best for saving money on road trips. GasBuddy locates the closest gas stations and provides approximate pricing for each. With this app, you can get directions to the closest station, and earn points and achievements for contributing information about local prices so that others can benefit. GasBuddy also offers a $100 free gas giveaway daily!




WifiMapper

Free Wi-Fi can be a great money saver when you travel. The WifiMapper app addresses the problem through crowdsourcing its data and integrating the information with Foursquare, so you’ll know whether the “free” Wi-Fi at a café a few blocks away also requires the purchase of a pricey latte. In addition, it measures the quality of the Wi-Fi signal, so you can find the fastest free connection nearby to upload your vacation pics.

Cheap Flights

The CheapFlights app helps you search and book the best prices on flights and hotels from hundreds of airlines and accommodation providers globally. See the cheapest days to fly, or find the best flight for you by balancing price, layovers and flight duration. Compare and book immediately, or later by saving your personal preferences.



Viator Tours and Activities


empire state building tourWant to experience the best sites and sounds during your trip, but do not know where to start? Viator has you covered! With the Viator app, you can discover over 20,000 of the world’s top-rated tours and activities in over 1,500 destinations worldwide. Viator’s offers range from VIP experiences at iconic locations, like the Sistine Chapel, to “Skip the Line” passes at popular attractions, like the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. The best part? Viator guarantees the lowest prices on these top tours.


HotelTonight

Did you know you can save a ton of money if you book a hotel room last minute? The Hotel Tonight app offers amazing prices for more than 15,000 hotels in 35 countries. The app also includes exclusive discounts and perks programs, as well as a seamless, 10-second booking feature. HotelTonight even offers 24/7 customer support.

OpenTable

Make a lunch or dinner reservation and earn points that can be converted to gift cards. Some restaurants offer 1,000 points, worth $10 (though the majority give you 100 points, or $1). While not exactly instant gratification, you’ll be dining out anyway, so why not earn points and free meals for future use? Or, start collecting points now and use the certificates during your travels. The OpenTable app works at more than 33,000 restaurants worldwide.

Postagram

postagram postcard appWho said snail mail was overrated? Postcards are a classic travel memento to share with friends and family. With the Postagram app you can bring this tradition into the digital age by sending personalized photos and messages from your phone to relatives. They’ll receive actual, printed postcards for $1.99 a piece, which covers printing and postage (mailed within the US).




Uber

If you want to get anywhere, Uber is there for you. As a company that provides drivers to take you from point A to point B, Uber is usually cheaper than cabs, and you don’t need to make a phone call! Just open up the Uber app, plug in your starting point and the desired destination and Uber will send a driver your way. Once you enter your credit card details, everything is taken care of; you don’t need to worry about having cash and you don’t even need to have your physical credit card on hand. Use Uber to get to and from the airport, or as your vacation “designated driver”. You can even track your driver’s route, so you’ll know right when he’s going to arrive at the pub to pick you up.

Groupon

Most app users love Groupon for local deals, but with a little planning, you can also use it to search for deals on restaurants, things to do, and hotels for your next destination. Order Groupons ahead of your trip, then utilize the app to get your deals once you’re at your locale.

Got a money-saving travel trip you’d like to share? Let us know below!







Terrie Carrozzella is the Web Designer & Social Media Manager for Sub Sea Systems. Want to contact Terrie about Sea TREK helmet diving, Clear Lounge underwater oxygen bar, or FunCat electric catamarans? Email her here!terrie@subseasystems.com
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Liven Up Your Facebook Page with Facebook Live!


Facebook Live graphic

Your Facebook page is one of many marketing tools that help promote your business. This fun- and FREE!- entity boasts 1.94 billion monthly active users. That’s a lot of potential customers to target! Facebook offers some unique features that can help you reach your target market, while also providing additional content to utilize across other social platforms. One of the latest and greatest additions to Facebook’s toolbox is Facebook Live.

Facebook Live allows page owners to produce live, streaming videos from their locations. With the simple click of a button, you can transform your page from a static representation of your business to a lively, interactive opportunity to engage customers and build content. Facebook users love watching videos, and the added ability to comment on what they are watching means users stay on the page longer. Future customers can ask questions and make comments about what they are watching and you can interact with them while you are broadcasting!

Facebook Live video from Clear Lounge Cozumel An example of how to take advantage of this option is to check out what Clear Lounge’s Javier Fortunato has been doing with Facebook Live. Javi has been recording awesome videos from Clear Lounge Cozumel for several weeks. When Clear Lounge held a dance party recently, Facebook viewers had the opportunity to watch as participants danced and played in Clear Lounge! They were able to ask questions, which gave Javi the chance to build a report with potential customers. Facebook Live videos also create permanent content by automatically saving to your Facebook videos tab. This content can then be copied and shared with other online entities like YouTube and Instagram.
 
Want to try Facebook Live? It’s easy! All you need is a smartphone and the Facebook app. Log into your business page via the app, and the “Live” option is under your post field. Click on “Live”, type in a description for your video, then click the blue “Go Live” button at the bottom of the screen. You’re ON! Get more details at https://live.fb.com/.
Important side note: ensure guests are comfortable with being on your live video by posting a notice about the activity in a prominent location at the video site. Give customers the opportunity to “opt out” of being recorded if they choose.
 

Have you done a live event? What did you gain or learn from recording live? Share with us your experiences below! 
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's National Safe Boating Week!




Next week is National Safe Boating Week. Sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council and the National Weather Service, this endeavor seeks to inform and remind boaters on the best practices to ensure boating safety. One of the key elements to a safe boating experience is to ensure life jackets are available to all on board, and worn by even the most experienced swimmers.

While statistics show that boating accidents are on the decline, the numbers still reflect an alarming number of incidences on U.S. waterways. In 2015, over 1,000 boating accidents were reported; the most frequent were due to collisions with other recreational vehicles, followed by collisions with a fixed object. There were 428 drowning deaths reported in 2015, and out of those accidents, 352 were not wearing life jackets.

A life jacket doesn’t just dramatically increase the chances of survival in an unexpected event, it also buys time. Falling into the water without a life jacket requires one to exert energy to keep afloat while awaiting assistance. Wearing a life jacket nearly eliminates expending that energy. Even experienced swimmers can become tired in the water or can suffer injuries that may make swimming difficult.
Fortunately, life jackets are easy to obtain and are fairly inexpensive. A really great resource is Dick’s Sporting Goods, which also offers tips on how to ensure you are buying the correct life vest for your body type and activity. You can read their recommendations on their website. 
Here are some additional reminders about life jackets, from the U.S. Coast Guard:

  • Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved.
  • Double Check that your life jacket is appropriate for your favorite water activities. Read the label!
  • Take the time to ensure proper fit. A life jacket that is too large or too small will not offer you complete protection. 
  • Check to ensure that your life jacket is in good, serviceable condition, with no tears or holes. Test it to make sure it works properly.
  • Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets based on their weight. Do not buy a life jacket for your child to ‘grow into.’
Want to ensure you have all the required equipment, including life jackets, onboard your boat before getting underway? Download the new Coast Guard boating safety app and utilize the ‘Review Safety Equipment’ feature – depending on the size and propulsion equipment for your vessel, the app will create a customized list of what equipment is required onboard.

Have a safe and fun boating season!
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Appreciating Incredible Moms!


Sub Sea Systems Celebrates Mom Swan

This week, Sub Sea Systems honors mothers everywhere by utilizing social media to post a variety of images that reflect wildlife “moms” and their babies, with interesting facts about each species. (you can read the interesting facts and view the beautiful photographs here.) However, we have not forgotten the human side of this very important day, and would like to honor one of our favorite human moms, Melissa Mayfield.

Melissa is the CFO of Sub Sea Systems; spouse of Jim, our founder; and Mom to Kyle, Hannah and Keenan, who all hold key positions at SSS. She is also a new grandmom to baby Wyatt, an adorable new addition to the team!

We interviewed Melissa so that we could learn more about her background, what she likes to do when she’s not busy managing the finances of SSS, and what kind of advice she could offer to budding entrepreneurs. Here is what we learned about Melissa!

Melissa Mayfield
Melissa Mayfield
Q: What is your favorite thing to do during your off time?
M: Spend time with my husband, family, and especially our first grandchild, Wyatt!

Q: How would you describe Sub Sea Systems to someone who you just met?
M: Our business is unique in a couple of ways: 1. We are in the business of providing fun products for all to enjoy. 2. We get to do that everyday with our three adult children, who each have an integral role in assuring the continued success of our business.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
M: I enjoy all genres of music (except RAP), from classical to country, folk to rock.

Q: What countries have you visited, and which is your favorite?
M: Raising a family of three did not afford me too many opportunities to travel. However, in more recent years, I have had the opportunity to travel to Canada, Curacao, Cayman Islands, and Mexico. And although we have a condo on the Riviera Maya in Mexico where we spend a lot of time, my favorite country/place to visit….is in the good ‘ole USA….HAWAII!

Q: What is your favorite charity and why?
M: My charity of choice is the El Dorado County Food Bank in Cameron Park, California.  No one should go hungry, especially not in my own community.

Q: What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you were younger?
M: There are no guarantees. Live each day to its fullest. Be patient. (Invest in cute shoes and nice lingerie, too ;-)

Q: What are you most proud of?
M: My three amazing children - Kyle, Hannah and Keenan!


Q: What is the best advice your Mom ever gave you?
M: My mother taught through her actions - be kind and generous, show compassion, live your life with honesty and integrity, be strong and stand up for what you believe…and laugh!

Q: What do you think is the best advice you have given to your children?
M: I hope that I have passed on to my children the same advice as my mother did to me.  And, we LAUGH A LOT!!

Q: What words of encouragement would you give to a friend who wants to start his or her own business?
M: It’s not for the weak of heart!  Do your homework, know your customer base, commit for the long haul and most importantly, have a passion for what you do. 

Q: Wine or beer?
M: Depends…a nice Pinot Noir or Merlot.  But my boys would say that you can’t go wrong with an ice-cold can of Coors Light.


Those of us who have the pleasure of working with Melissa on a daily basis can add this – Melissa’s smart business sense, down-to-earth personality and caring heart make working at Sub Sea Systems a true pleasure. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms!

Sub Sea Systems Mayfield Family




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