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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Fun Easter Traditions From Across the Globe

With the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing in the US, it’s hard to believe that Easter is fast approaching! Next weekend, kids across the country will be dying eggs and waiting for that infamous bunny to drop off some treats.

Many countries around the globe celebrate Easter, each with their own cultural traditions, such as religious ceremonies, activities centered on children and families, and even special dining experiences.

Let’s explore some of these unique traditions…

easter sweden

Eggy Fun in Sweden

Easter in Sweden is about fun, food and festivity, with humor-filled celebrations commencing on Easter Saturday. Children dress up as good witches, wearing long skirts, colorful headscarves and painted red cheeks. They travel from home to home, trading cards, paintings and drawings in return for sweets, eggs and coins– very similar to the American Halloween! At dinnertime, children drink påskmust (“Easter sap”), a dark brown carbonated beverage flavored with secret ingredients, while the entire family enjoys a traditional lamb steak dinner.

On Easter Sunday, food takes center stage. In typical Nordic fashion, the feast is comprised primarily of fish. Different kinds of herring, a selection of smoked salmon, roast ham and various cheeses are enjoyed. Of course, the main attraction is the Easter eggs. Eggs are exchanged and then later used in a game where players roll them down roofing tiles. The player’s egg that goes the furthest without breaking is the winner of the game.

haux easter omelet

All Bells

In France, church bells ring every day of the year except for the three days of Easter. Legend has it that the reason the bells stop ringing is because they’ve made a trip to Rome in order to be blessed. On Easter Sunday, the bells make their return and tour the entire country sprinkling chocolate eggs, chickens and rabbits as they go in each and every garden. After midday, children head to the gardens to find their hidden treasures left by the blessed bells. The day of events also includes a hearty meal, normally consisting of lamb, which is the Easter dish of choice in France.

In one particular town in France, the town of Haux, a giant omelet made of 4,500 eggs is served in the town’s main square. The massive omelet feeds 1,000 people! This unique tradition is based on the story of Napoleon and his army, who were traveling through the south of France. They stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army the next day.

german easter egg tree

Toy Hunting in Germany

Easter Baskets are the main tradition in Germany. Children receive a basket put together by their parents, containing not only eggs and chocolate, but also toys and other gifts. The baskets are hidden in the garden, and the kids have to hunt for them after church on Easter Sunday. This is particularly popular in rural areas where houses tend to have big gardens, making it a fun challenge.

In more urban areas, families tend to go on an Easter walk and hide their Osternest, which means Easter nest, in the forest or a meadow. The kids go hunting for it during this special family expedition.

Many Germans have an ‘Easter Fire’ where they burn their Christmas tree to show that winter is over and spring is coming. It is also popular to have an egg tree. Real eggs are painted and then hung from branches in a vase inside the house. Some people go to huge efforts to cover an entire tree in their garden with these delicate egg ornaments.

Greek easter kokkina

Red Eggs Only, Please

In Greece, after attending church, people make their way to the homes of friends and relatives. They carry candles, which are placed in each home and burn through the night, to symbolize the light returned to the world. Celebrations continue with the cracking of “red” eggs at the Resurrection Table. The “kokkina” or dyed red eggs, become pieces of a traditional game. Each participant takes an egg and challengers attempt to crack the egg of their opponent. The breaking of the eggs is meant to symbolize Christ breaking from the tomb. The person whose egg lasts the longest is assured good luck for the rest of the year.

In Corfu, the tradition of “pot throwing” takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. Citizens throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street. Some say the custom of throwing pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in new pots. Others say it derives from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day, used to throw out all of their old items.

Bulgaria Easter Face Paint

Rosy Bulgaria

Here people don’t hide their eggs — they have egg fights! Whoever comes out of the game with an unbroken egg is the winner, and is assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year.

In another tradition, the oldest woman in the family rubs the faces of the children with the first red egg she has colored, symbolizing her wish that they have rosy cheeks, health and strength.

hungarian easter sprinkle poem

Thirsty in Hungary?

In what is possibly the most unusual Easter activity, Hungarian girls and women dress up in traditional costumes and wait for boys and men who – armed with a bucket of water – go from door to door, visiting female relatives, friends and acquaintances. Men politely ask the women if they can sprinkle them in the form of a “sprinkle poem”, and if they get a yes, they pour the bucket of water on them. It’s even more fun if the water is cold and girls are screaming. Younger girls often have a friendly competition of who gets the most sprinkles.

A modern approach to this “sprinkling” occurs in more urban areas, where women wear casual clothes for this occasion, and men sprinkle perfume or cologne in women’s hair. The result is that most women have about 40 different scents in their hair by the end of the day.

What family traditions do you celebrate on Easter? Share with us below!

If your family tradition includes an Easter getaway to the tropics, be sure to check out a Sea TREK adventure – fun for the whole family!

sea trek helmet dive location

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Learn About FunCat Electric-Solar Catamarans

While the northeast U.S. experiences crazy amounts of snow, and our west coast is drowning in rain, we can’t help but think about boating season! Once the first day of spring arrives, we know we’ll be on the water in no time!

Our favorite mode of transportation on the water is the durable FunCat Electric-Solar Catamaran. Built for fun on the water, USA-made FunCats are easy to drive, dock and store. But there’s more than meets the eye with the durable and reliable Funcat catamaran. In addition to a near effortless ride, these Cats have a “boatload” of features!

Clean Footprint

FunCats are electrically powered. Unlike most propeller boats that use fuel to operate, FunCats are powered by two rechargeable, 12v marine batteries (available in both AGM and Lithium-Ion). These efficient batteries can run for up to 6+ hours, then easily recharge. Since the Cats do not require gas or oil to operate, they are often able to navigate bodies of water that do not allow fueled boats. The environmentally clean FunCat also has a solar panel option, making them even more efficient. The solar panel option increases efficiency by approximately 40%! The FunCat also includes a handy LED volt meter that visually displays the charge level of the batteries.

Easy All Around

FunCats are so easy to drive, even kids can steer! Two simple switches allow the FunCat to maneuver forward or back, right or left, and even in a complete 360°. This simplistic operation also allows for uncomplicated docking. While many boats can be cumbersome to take in and out of the water, FunCats are easy to maneuver on and off trailers, park next to docks, and even fit in tight spaces. The high maneuverability is attributed to the unique rudderless, thrust design and the boat’s simple controls.


The comfy “chaise lounge” chair lets boaters adjust seating positions, so sun worshippers can enjoy lounging flat, while leaf peepers can sit upright.  The FunCat is also uber-quiet, so taking one out early in the morning or late into the evening won’t wake the neighbors or disturb wildlife. Not to mention, it’s SO relaxing– quietly floating on your oversized lounge chair!

Escape From the Sun

Even sun lovers need an occasional break from hot rays, and thankfully a standard FunCat accessory is the adjustable bimini shade. The shade can easily be secured in an up or down position. When up, the bimini shade provides riders a respite from the grueling sun. Still looking for more ‘cool’ alternatives? The FunCat water-tight, side storage compartment can be utilized as a cooler, to keep libations cold and food protected from the heat.

Awesome Options

FunCats offer a quiet, stable ride on the water, but there’s so much more one can do to “trick out” their catamaran. Fishing fanatics can take advantage of custom fishing pole mounts, making the next expedition a breeze! Toting extra belongings? A giant, canvas storage pouch that attaches to the back of the FunCat seat stores everything from wet bathing suits to extra towels. FunCats can be kept in pristine condition via the heavy-duty boat cover. FunCat owners may also purchase a lightweight trailer for transport, made of durable aluminum.

We’ve Got You Covered

FunCats come with a 12-month, pontoon-to-pontoon warranty, and are CE marked and U.S. Coast Guard approved. The boats are proudly made in the USA of high quality, commercial-grade, and reliable materials. The durable design and low maintenance get you out on the water faster, and enjoying life on the water longer!

Easy… reliable… fun! We can’t wait to enjoy time on the water aboard a FunCat. Bring on the sunshine!

Special Pricing!

FunCats are currently available at a special discount! Save over $600 off the regular retail price. Check it out here!

funcat catamaran special price

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Famous Side of Sea TREK

Each year, over 200,000 people go on an underwater journey. They don helmets and walk among fish, dolphins, and sometimes, even sharks! Young and old alike enjoy a world that many will never experience.

We consider all of these Sea TREK participants to be VIPs, however, our helmets have been worn by some extra-special people. They’ve also been utilized in some very unique and very public ways.  It’s pretty cool to experience a little fame here and there!

One of these unique situations happened in 2016. The Netflix show, Stranger Things’ key character, Eleven, appeared in a Sea TREK helmet in season 1, episodes 5 and 6. Eleven donned the helmet in order to enter a sensory deprivation tank. Stranger Things and the character Eleven have an extensive cult following. In fact, there are so many fans of the show that Funko, creators of well-known pop icon figurines and toys, created an Eleven doll, complete with a Sea TREK helmet. Stranger Things also had a Sea TREK helmet on display at the 2017 Comic Con in San Diego, California. Eleven fans with an artistic side have created some pretty amazing artwork featuring Eleven’s underwater adventure, helmet and all.
Numerous reality TV shows have featured Sea TREK; from The Amazing Race to Myth Busters, The Bachelor, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, Below Deck (Season 5) and more. TREKking has sure had its share of exposure! The popular HGTV show, House Hunters has shown their home shoppers taking a break and doing a TREK.  Our own VP of Marketing, Hannah de Bie, was featured on a House Hunters’ episode and they even included a clip of Sea TREK as part of her career backstory. House Hunters’ sister show, Island Hunters, has featured Sea TREK in a number of its episodes.

We’ve never questioned the sexiness of Sea TREK. Proof of our appeal was evident in the Travel Channel’s series, Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches. The star of the show, Bridget Marquardt, visited Xcaret park in Mexico.  She described it as a “cool experience” and stated, “I felt like a space explorer!”

 TREKking opportunities are not lost on famous sports figures. NFL Linebacker James Harrison experienced Sea TREK while visiting OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. James took his son for a TREK in the amazing OdySea tank. This year, three LPGA golfers, Alena Sharp, Guilia Milinaro, and Ryann O’Toole also TREKked in the tank at OdySea. Another NFL player, Olivier Vernon of the Miami Dolphins, took on a TREK at Miami Seaquarium in Florida.  And in Aruba, the entire defense lineup of the Green Bay Packers took an underwater jaunt together, thanks to Sea TREK!
From the music world, brave TREKkers include famous singer Alicia Keys, who took her TREK in Aruba. The Canadian band Magic!, well known for its reggae fusion sound, TREKked together in Miami, and Harry Styles from the band One Direction also walked underwater in Miami.

In 2017, country music star Jimmy Charles released a hit song, “Bout Summertime.”  His unique music video shows Jimmy playing his guitar underwater at Coral World, USVI, wearing a Sea TREK helmet. You can see his video here:

For Ellen DeGeneres’ 60th birthday, we were invited to include a Sea TREK voucher as part of a VIP gift basket. Ellen has yet to redeem her Sea TREK, but we hope to host her on an underwater TREK soon! Maybe she’ll even find Nemo!

What famous person or TV show would you like to see take a TREK? Tell us below!

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

All About the Award-Winning Xcaret

Xcaret Named Best Park in the World for The Third Consecutive Year!

We’re excited to share that Xcaret, an eco-archaeological park in Quintana Roo, Mexico (south of Cancun), has once again been awarded the 2018 Silver Travvy award for “Best Water Park” and “Best Theme Park” in the world! Sponsored by travAlliancemedia, an innovative leader in the travel industry, the Travvy awards are considered the “Academy Awards” of the industry!

Xcaret (pronounced Shh-Caret) Eco-Archaeological Park opened in 1990 and has welcomed more than 23 million visitors from all over the world. Since its inception, Xcaret Park has stayed true to Mexican culture by paying tribute to the country and enriching the park experience through unique attractions such as a multi-level aviary, a Mayan village and gorgeous underground rivers.

So, what makes this park so outstanding? Xcaret features more than 50 attractions which reflect the rich history and culture of Mexico. Combine that with amazing food, Mexican artistry, and top-notch performances, and you’ve got an experience of a lifetime. Where else can you float without a care down a magical river, visit a wide variety of animals and sea life, then, follow up with a traditional Mexican dinner and a fabulous cultural performance, all in one beautiful location?

Fun for Adventurers, Great and Small

Xcaret has something for everyone, including the youngest member of the family. The park’s Children’s World was created just for kids from 0 to 12, and features water slides, hanging bridges, a parakeet habitat and a playground in perfect harmony with the impressive Mayan jungle. There’s also a wading pool, a sandbox, water jets and many more activities, so that kids can have an unforgettable day. There are lifeguards at each body of water, and (mandatory) life jackets are available in kids’ sizes. The Children's World has restrooms in which “to-scale” facilities have been installed for its pint-sized patrons. It also has four family bathrooms, two feeding rooms, two dressing rooms and three shower rooms. If your kids are adventure-seekers, they’ll have a blast with Adventure Kids, a park program that gives participants the opportunity to feed and interact with small stingrays, or snorkel in a tranquil lagoon. Of course, we’re partial to the opportunity for kids over the age of 8 (and up to 100!) to Sea TREK, where they can get up close and personal with a variety of underwater residents.

Did you know? Xcaret opened the world’s very first Sea TREK location in 1999. Since the program’s humble beginnings with just 9 helmets, it has now grown to be the world’s largest Sea TREK locale, with 75 helmets, 2 Sea TREK trails, and annual participation exceeding 130,000 guests!

Adrenaline Rush

If you’re into exhilarating activities, Xcaret does not disappoint. The park’s speedboat, Adrenalina, will cool you off and get your heart pumping! Adrenalina’s speed maxes out at 90 km/hr (56 mph). Its 360° turns will take you from one side to another, in a fun and safe way. If you’d rather stay dry and stay above it all, Paraxute (pronounced parachute), the park’s parasailing adventure, elevates guests up to 600 feet (183 m), allowing you to gaze upon all the beauty of the Caribbean Sea and the treetops of the Mayan jungle.


In addition to the aforementioned stingrays and parakeets, Xcaret is home to a wide variety of animals that educate and entertain! The Aviary alone houses over 1500 birds. From mockingbirds to pink flamingos, the Aviary features programs that focus on conservation and the reproduction of endangered species. After a visit with the flock, animal lovers can check out the marine turtles and manatees, or stop by Jaguar Island or Puma Island, for great views of slick and sinewy, free-roaming cats.  Of course, a visit would not be complete without stopping by the Coral Reef Aquarium, to view its 500+ coral reef structures.


Opportunities abound for sneaking in some education during your park visit! Xcaret’s Mexico Espectacular, an evening show with incredible costumes, advanced technology, and rich set design, offers a spectacular setting for a history lesson. More than 300 actors in original costumes perform a variety of dances and concerts that reflect Mexican traditions. There are even several thrilling Mayan sports games that are played during the show– including a hockey-like game with a flaming puck, and a ball game where players can only use their hips! Spectators can also take in the “Voladores”, a ritual ceremony featuring “flyers” climbing a pole. Seated on the edge of a platform, the Voladores perform music, then launch themselves from the platform, swinging upside down attached at their ankles to the center pole, imitating birds in flight - a high-energy, unique Mexican custom!


Roaming the 200-acre park would make any adventurer hungry. When it comes to dining opportunities, Xcaret offers a number of casual to fine dining experiences. High quality techniques and traditional ingredients combine with an innovative vision to create specialties that reflect the unique foods and drinks of Mexico. And, the park offers enough variety to please those who just want a quick bite, to gourmands looking for a more refined culinary experience.

Paradise on the Water

Of course, the big attraction of Xcaret is its natural network of channels and cenotes that circulate under the Yucatan Peninsula. The underground waterways at Xcaret offer a relaxing way to explore mangroves, swim in crystal clear water, or snorkel in a unique, jungle-like setting. Paradise River offers a fun raft option, where guests travel through canals surrounded by the jungle, where they can observe blue crabs, iguanas, peccaries and more.

We are sure you can see what makes Xcaret a unique place to visit and spend time with friends and family. If you’d like to learn more about Xcaret, check out their website at, where you will find information about the park, read about the Xcaret hotel, and discover discounts and booking information.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Small Steps, Big Impact

Good news! Americans are recycling at a higher rate than ever before - recycling rates have more than tripled over the last 30 years! This steady growth has created jobs and wages for Americans, and has supported community development. For example, according to recent data, recycling and reuse activities in the United States accounted for 757,000 jobs and produced $36 billion in wages in a single year!

At Sub Sea Systems, employees participate in the annual International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy. In 2017, SSS and its associates worldwide removed hundreds of pounds of plastic and other trash pollutants from our beaches, reefs and waterways.

But there’s more work to be done. While many of us are conscious of the impact of trash and waste on our environment, there are several “little things” we may be doing unconsciously, that cause a negative environmental impact.  Take a look at the typical behaviors below. Can you improve your personal efforts?

Plastic beach trash

Straws, Bottles and “To Go” Cups

You’re out and about and grab a beverage while on the road. Or, maybe you like the convenience of disposable cups at home. Do you toss the cup and straw in the trash after you enjoy your drink?  Of the eight million tons of plastic trash that flow every year into the world’s oceans, the plastic drinking straw is a top contributor to all that tonnage.  Small and lightweight, straws often never make it into recycling bins. Although straws amount to only a fraction of ocean plastic, their size makes them one of the most insidious polluters, because they entangle marine animals and are consumed by fish.

This video, released by the “One Less Straw” campaign, shows scientists removing a straw embedded in a sea turtle’s nose went viral in 2015. It’s clear that the skinny little drinking straws have a much bigger impact than most of us realize. Add in the cup your drink came in, and we’ve got an even bigger concern.  Check out for more info about straws and how they harm our environment.

Globally, we utilize a million plastic bottles per minute! 91% of those are not recycled. When you “Grab a Coke and Smile”, are you holding onto that bottle until you see a recycle bin?  Think before you toss. The ocean’s animals will appreciate it!

 Junk mail trash

Junking Junk Mail

Junk mail is an annoyance we all have to deal with. We are deluged with advertisements, offers and announcements via the USPS.  In fact, the average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail per year! 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in US landfills annually. 44% of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only half that much junk mail is recycled- what a waste of our precious trees! Recycling one ton of this paper trash would save approximately 700 gallons of water and power the average home for six months.

While recycling junk mail will certainly help protect our environment, we can avoid receiving unwanted solicitations in the first place. Check out and find out how to remove this nuisance from your mailbox.

The Cost of Being Clean

It’s good to be clean, but equally important to be green, when cleaning up.  Some products offer convenience and are easy to use, but there is an environmental price to pay for their utilization.

One newish product on the market is wet wipes for cleaning. Once only used for babies, wet wipes are now picked up to clean up. The synthetic fibers that make up wet wipes prevent them from being compostable or recyclable. So, after a single use, they head to the landfill! In addition to negatively impacting the environment, wet wipes can be detrimental to human health. They contain a mixture of chemicals to enhance their cleaning abilities. These chemicals can be toxic and harmful to those who come in contact with them.

The image above depicts a massive “fatberg” weighing nearly as much as a school bus. It was removed from a London sewer. Water utility officials described it as a 15-ton behemoth of “wrongly flushed, festering food fat mixed with wet wipes.” It broke the sewer and cost more than half a million dollars to repair!

In recent years, microbeads have emerged as one of the top ten enemies to waterways. As the name suggests, they’re tiny little plastic beads that some companies use in products like exfoliators and toothpaste. The beads go down the drain, and are too small to be removed by waste treatment facilities. So, they end up in the water, where fish eat them. Microbeads are perfect for soaking up toxins, which are then passed on through the food chain when fish ingest them. Some states have outlawed them. If you’d like to avoid using beauty products that become fish food, check labels for polyethylene and polypropylene, and support the effort to outlaw such plastics.

Getting your wheels sparkling clean with a hose-down and suds at home? It’s a great feeling to have a shiny, clean car, but there are unintended consequences. The washoff of detergent, motor oil, and other car contaminants from the road surface into storm drains can pollute waterways. Opt to skip the home spray down, and take the car to a professional car wash, which recycles wash water or is required to have filters that clean out pollutants.

Be Healthy, But Kind

Tap on, tap off! Whether you’re washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, leaving the tap running while you do so wastes a vast amount of water. It may seem like a small saving, but soaking dishes before washing them and turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth really does reduce the amount of water you use. You use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth! Turn off that tap to save up to 200 gallons of water per month.

muddy hiking boots

Take a Hike or Go Jump In the Lake

If you’re a nature lover, you most likely enjoy the great outdoors through hiking or swimming. Just be sure you’re not carrying invasive species along with you on your next trek. If you have plant matter in the mud on your hiking boots, for example, take some time to clean it off. You could be carrying seeds or other plant-propagating material for invasive plants that can clog waterways, out-compete native plants for water resources, and cause erosion, leading to water pollution. Likewise, contamination of lake water can occur from toxins and chlorine on swimwear from pools. Once chlorine reaches open water, it reacts with minerals in the ocean to form dangerous toxins that take years to disintegrate. It also sickens marine life. Even low levels of chlorine in a water system leads to long-term health concerns for fish and bird populations. Make sure you wash out your swimsuit after a dip in the pool, if you plan on going into a more natural body of water later. Also, avoid bleach, which not only damages the environment, but might eat your swimsuit, too!

Electronics, Ink and Batteries…Oh, My!

Old electronics, ink and batteries travel from your garbage bin to landfills, and cause damage to our environment. Batteries can cause lead, arsenic, mercury and other harmful chemicals to seep into the earth, damaging wildlife and sea life. Ink cartridges have an even more toxic effect on the environment when they are disposed of improperly.

A staggering 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown out every year, and most of them end up in landfills. Ink printers and their ink are made up of several ingredients, most of them chemicals. The harmful environmental factors of ink cartridges can be felt even before they leave the manufacturing plant. Laser cartridges alone take more than three quarts of oil to produce! For a print cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill site, it takes 1000 years, which gives you the extent of how damaging these cartridges can be to the environment.

Fortunately, recycling batteries and ink cartridges is easy! Companies like HP , Canon and Costco  have recycling programs.

electronics in a landfill

If you just got a brand new TV, gaming console, or cell phone, you’re probably trying to figure out what to do with your old model. It can be pretty temping to just toss your aging iPhone 4S or Xbox 360 in the trash, but there’s an environmentally friendlier choice. Every year, 20-50 million metric tons of electronic waste is disposed around the world. Your old electronics are chock full of toxic stuff that should never make it to a landfill, like arsenic, lead, and cadmium. If those materials make it into landfills, they can potentially leak into our ecosystem, damaging plant and animal life and potentially impacting our food supply. Try selling your electronics, or donating them to a non-profit for re-use or recycling. You’ll not only spare our environment of irreparable damage, but you can help raise funds to help support a child or adult in need.

Taking a few simple steps can help save the planet! Sub Sea Systems encourages environmental efforts via our non-profit organization, Reef Alliance. Read more about Reef Alliance at
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