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, November 30, 2017

When the Spirit Moves You - Volunteer!


 

For most of us, December is a flurry of activity, from holiday shopping to trimming the tree. But for some, the holidays are not as cheery. Families in crisis and beloved military that are far from home deserve to feel the holiday spirit, too.

This holiday season, you can make a difference by volunteering to help those in need. Take advantage of the wide variety of volunteer programs and opportunities that exist throughout the month of December.


Honoring Our Military
You can send holiday cheer to a veteran by sending a simple greeting card. The American Red Cross “Holidays for Heroes” program delivers cards to members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. This year’s program will deliver cards from communities to local military facilities, veteran’s homes, hospitals, and military family support groups. You can read more about how to send a holiday card to a veteran here.

Want to do more for our wonderful heroes? You can adopt a military family via “Operation Christmas Spirit.” Adopt-a-family by fulfilling their Christmas wish lists with gifts for all family members, or send gift cards so that they can do their own shopping. You can also “adopt” single Marines and Sailors by giving them gifts and gifts cards, so that they can celebrate while away from their families. Read more here.


Serenade a Senior
The holiday can be lonely for seniors who may be separated from family. You can help spread cheer to seniors by serenading them with holiday songs and carols. Pleasant Hill, an affordable housing community, offers the opportunity to be a singing sensation and serenade a senior for the day. Check out the details here.

Travel and Triumph
Combining a unique vacation with volunteerism offers a chance to spread the holiday spirit of goodwill to children and communities in need. The IVHQ’s Peru – Lima program enables volunteers to help out with Christmas-oriented activities in various children’s shelters throughout the city during the month of December. Traditionally, the volunteers also travel to an Andean village to put on a Christmas celebration. IVHQ’s volunteer program in Colombia offers volunteers a special experience and the chance to help communities in need during the festive season. For volunteers who travel during Christmas and New Year, additional activities include assisting with small Christmas parties at elderly care facilities, feeding the homeless and helping with childcare. For more information, go to the volunteer hq website.

Keep it Local
If you would prefer to volunteer in your own community, many churches and local Goodwill or Salvation Army locations offer volunteer programs from feeding the homeless to “playing Santa” and distributing gifts to children. For a list of Salvation Army locations, go here.


Sub Sea Employees Volunteer

Our Volunteerism
For the past 3 years, Sub Sea Systems has participated in an annual coat drive organized by AIT Logistics. Collected coats are distributed to homeless and families in need through the Union Gospel Mission in Sacramento, California. Last year, several volunteers from Sub Sea Systems helped hand out the collected coats, as well as socks, tarps, gloves and blankets to the homeless. The volunteers also assisted in serving a warm holiday meal at the shelter. We’re looking forward to this year’s coat collection and helping serve the homeless in our community.

The Union Gospel Mission serves over 8,500 meals every month to the homeless men, women and children of Sacramento. The Mission also offers chapel services 8 times a week, a 9-month in-house drug and alcohol rehabilitation program along with vocational training and job placement. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to the Mission, visit: http://www.ugmsac.com/

 For additional volunteer opportunities this holiday season, check out volunteermatch.org. There are over 700 volunteer programs listed! You’ll feel all the merrier, knowing that you have made the holidays brighter for someone in need.


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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Part 4, Get to Know Sub Sea Staff!




Next in our series, "Get to Know Sub Sea Staff" we'd like to introduce you to Tiffany Bishop! Tiffany has been working for Sub Sea Systems for 3 years. She and her partner, Tyler work together at SSS Headquarters with the awesome responsibility of making sure all of our Sea TREK and Clear Lounge locations are equipped with everything needed to run smoothly. She was also involved in the intense process of helping to get the new 3,000 pound Aquaticar shipment from California to Orlando in time for the IAAPA trade show!



What is your job title?
Officially, my title is "SeaTREK Technician"- but I’d like to think of myself more as a “Sub Sea Systems Technician.”

How would you describe your job to someone you just met? 
Gosh, this one is a difficult question… I usually start off with “we make underwater diving helmets for the less experienced diver.” Which is always followed by a look of bewilderment. That’s when I look down hoping that I have one of our SeaTREK t-shirts on, so that I can just point to the helmet- which is still followed by a crazy look. I just summarize it: “we have awesome underwater diving helmets in many locations all over the world, and we have also been creating new things that would just blow your mind in the form of underwater entertainment.” My part in all of this includes managing inventory, shipping awkwardly shaped items to locations, and handling whatever else needs assembling. Everything from putting logos on Sea TREK helmets to making sure we’ve got the right parts for our products, and that they get where they need to, when they need to.


What is your favorite part of the job?
Honestly, my favorite part of working here is being able to work with my better half, Tyler. I never imagined that we'd get the opportunity to work together, and for a company that is like no other. Words can’t even describe what it means to us to be part of this adventure. The different, amazing concepts that I have seen come to life before my eyes- its almost hard to call it work.

What do you do in your spare time, away from work?
Well depending on the weather, I like to go camping way out in the backcountry, away from any people or cell phone service- with just my best friend, our 2 dogs, Jack and Dewy, and our gold mining equipment. It is always a lot of work and we never find as much gold as we hope, but its still the thrill of the hunt. Once you find that first glimmer of gold in your gold pan, you’re hooked!



What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 
Something I have come to realize is that life is really short, and time is the one thing you can never get back once it has passed. So, with this in mind, I try to make the most of the time that I have with my loved ones, no matter how crazy they can be!

What are you the most proud of?
I guess I would have to be most proud of how versatile my work skills are. If there is something I don’t know how to do, I want to learn how to do it. I like to be open-minded and I try to learn new things everyday.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I would like to be able to freeze time. I always thought it would be cool to do that.

Beer or wine?  Cocktail- or just an Original Smirnoff Ice.



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Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Thanksgiving" Around the World



In just a few days, Americans will spend quality time with friends and family, watch some serious football, and “gobble down” way too much food. It’s time for a celebration of gratitude… and every recipe imaginable for leftover turkey!

While Thanksgiving is considered an American tradition, you might be surprised to learn that several other countries celebrate similar holidays. Their dates, meanings and customs may differ, but they all revolve around the celebration of gratitude.


Erntedankfest- Germany
Germans participate in Erntedankfest, a religious holiday that typically takes place on the first Sunday of October. Ermtedamlfest is a harvest festival that celebrates “a good year and good fortune.” In rural areas the harvest is taken more literally, but cities also hold festivities. Celebrants don an Erntekrone, a harvest crown made of grain, flowers and fruit. The feast favors chickens, hens, geese and castrated roosters.



August Moon Festival-China
The Chinese population celebrates August Moon Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month on the Chinese calendar. The Chinese believe that the moon is roundest and brightest on that day. The holiday is alternatively known as Women Festival, as women are considered similes to the warmth of the moonlight. Gifts of fertility are often shared, including the Chinese moon cake. Friends and relatives convey their love for one another by gifting the delicacy.

Brazilian Thanksgiving
The Ambassador of Brazil created a contemporary version of the traditional U.S. holiday in the 1940s. After visiting the U.S., he fell in love with the concept of the American holiday. Celebrated on the last Thursday of November, Brazilian Thanksgiving begins with a church service to give thanks for the fall harvest and ends with an autumn carnival. The meal served in Brazil is almost identical to the U.S. dinner, including turkey (called “peru”) and cranberry sauce.


Vietnam- Tết Trung Thu Festival
In Vietnam, people celebrate the Tết Trung Thu Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) in September or early October. This fall celebration is also known as the Children’s Festival. The Vietnamese believe children are symbols of innocence and purity - the closest connection to the sacred and natural world. Children light lanterns and perform lion dances as part of the celebration. This is the second most important holiday tradition in Vietnam! Tet Trung Thu is very much like a combination of the U.S. holidays – Halloween and Thanksgiving; children parade on the streets, while singing and carrying colorful lanterns of different sizes. One of the most popular shapes is a lantern that spins when a candle is inserted, representing the earth circling the sun. Dances, including the traditional Vietnamese dragon dance, are also part of the festivities.



India-Pongal
Pongal is a 4-day festival celebrated January 12th through the 15th, to mark the beginning of the end of the winter season in India. The second day, Surya Pongal, is the most important day of the festival. On this day, people throw their old clothes into the fire, have an oil massage and then wear new clothes, to worship Surya, the sun god. During the festival, cattle are bathed, dressed and served pongal (rice boiled in milk), women of the house perform puja for the prosperity of their brothers, and families decorate their floor with decorative patterns using rice flour.

Barbados: Crop Over
The Crop Over, a traditional harvest festival in Barbados, features singing, dancing, climbing a greased pole, feasting, drinking competitions and calypso music competitions. The celebration starts in June and ends on the first Monday in August. With street parties, craft markets, food tents, Crop Over has evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival -- similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad.


Israel: Sukkot
Sukkot (Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles) is a biblical holiday celebrated between late September and late October. On this special occasion, Jewish people reflect on how the Israelites felt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the exodus from slavery in Egypt, as referenced in the Bible. The 7-day tradition includes special prayer services and holiday meals. Structures called “Sukkah”, constructed of natural materials including fruits and vegetables, are an iconic part of this holiday. If you visit Israel during Sukkot, you will see sukkahs built in yards and balconies throughout Israeli neighborhoods.

There are several other countries that observe their own versions of Thanksgiving, with a wide variety of engaging celebrations and traditions.  What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Share with us below! 

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

A New Adventure- Introducing...Aquaticar!



The weather may be cooling down, but things are HOT! here at Sub Sea Systems. That's because this month, we are revealing something new and extra exciting for our company. With many months of work behind us, we are revealing our latest invention, Aquaticar™, at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) expo November 14th through 17th in Orlando, Florida!

Aquaticar is the world’s first underwater driving experience. Guests drive futuristic, submersible vehicles powered by a Bubble Engine™, through a themed underwater world. The theme can be anything one could imagine-from a coral reef environment teeming with fish, to a rugged Mars landscape.

We interviewed Hannah de Bie, VP of Marketing and Communications, to learn more about this unique amusement park attraction:



Artist Rendering, Aquaticar


Why was Aquaticar developed?


Sub Sea Systems’ mission has always been to make the underwater world accessible. The creation of the Sea TREK® guided helmet diving experience has enabled millions of guests to walk on the seafloor, face-to-face with fish and sea life. The program, however, is limited to a relatively small number of guests each tour. This makes it difficult to incorporate the experience into large water parks or theme parks where volume is critical.

The Aquaticar concept was developed to integrate a unique underwater experience similar to Sea TREK, into a high-volume setting. Depending on the number of cars on the track, the Aquaticar ride can accommodate 400+ guests per hour, making it a viable consideration for water parks and theme parks.

Additionally, the Aquaticar environment provides a blank canvas for water parks to tell a story. Traditionally, the main attractions at water parks are water slides, wave pools and lazy rivers. These staple rides don’t lend themselves to telling a unique story or engaging customers in the theming of the park. Aquaticar will immerse guests in the story the park wants to tell – perhaps a treacherous drive through a desolate landscape, or a spooky ride through a "haunted" underwater world.


Artist Rendering, Aquaticar Track

Who came up with the original concept?

Sub Sea’s president, Jim Mayfield, came up with the original Aquaticar concept. (The man never sleeps!).


What stage of development is Aquaticar in currently?

After 2 years of development– from concept, to engineering feasibility and drawings, to months of testing in the community pool with numerous prototypes– we finally have our first production vehicle and segment of track. We’re excited to debut the product at the largest industry trade show in the world – the IAAPA expo in Orlando, Florida (Booth #467!).

Underwater Testing


 What are some of the challenges of building a product like Aquaticar?

As with most of what Sub Sea Systems creates, there has never been anything like it before. And with a never-before-seen product, there are very few components that can be purchased “off-the-shelf.” Goodyear surprisingly doesn’t make tires for an underwater vehicle! The majority of the components have to be custom fabricated, which is time consuming (and expensive).

Another challenge, however much more fun, is the R&D. For example, our production team built a custom acrylic water tank, just to test the rotors for Aquaticar. Our engineers would fill the tank, drop in the rotor, turn on the air and count rotor rotations, while measuring torque. We went through 4 iterations of the rotor before developing a version that harnessed the right amount of bubble power with the least amount of water drag.

We also found a very supportive partner in a local community parks department, who granted us access to a heated pool during winter for our test drives. On some mornings, we were even driving the car among very patient water aerobics class participants!


Aquaticar Wheels and Rotors

How will Aquaticar “work”?

A proprietary Bubble Engine™ that harnesses the uplift force of air bubbles powers the Aquaticar vehicle. The vehicle travels along a specialized track, where it triggers a mechanical air register every 10 feet, releasing air beneath the vehicle. The air powers the engine and provides fresh breathing air to the canopy. Drivers can steer the vehicle within the track, but cannot steer outside of the course.

The underwater ride time will range between 2-5 minutes. Drivers remain dry from mid-chest up, and wet from the chest down.

How can I find out more about Aquaticar?
You can see an Aquaticar vehicle on display at the IAAPA trade show in Orlando, Florida, November 14-17th – booth #467. Follow the Aquaticar Facebook page for a live video during the show! Also, visit aquaticar.com for more information on this exciting new underwater adventure.


Jim & Kyle Mayfield; Aquaticar in Production


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