Spearfishing & Trips!

Hello Divers,

We have a lot of news to tell you about since our last newsletter.  This has been our busiest month ever here at SSDS.  This mainly is because of you, our customers, that purchase your equipment, travel and training from us.  THANK YOU!  It also has to do with favorable sea conditions.  In the past three months we have only had one day of canceled diving due to bad weather.  This is remarkable and together we have taken advantage of such good conditions with having not only a trip every weekend, but most weekends having two or three.  In this newsletter you will see that we plan on keeping it up. 

As you are reading this, Mark is returning with another group of divers from Panama City, FL.  Mark runs a wreck trip to Panama City every few weeks and grew up diving in these waters for over 40 years now with his uncle, Bill Tant.  This weekend the group saw multiple Goliath Groupers, Cobia, a couple of Sharks and the largest Turtle that Mark has ever seen. 

Spencer is leaving Birmingham, joining our Dad Steve, in their camp near Nome, Alaska.  For the past 20 years, Steve Phillips, has been diving during the summer months in the Bering Sea of Alaska in search of Gold.  Spencer will usually join him for a month or so each year and that starts right now.  They also will host other divers that have Gold Fever and teach them how to dive for and find Gold like they did last year for the BBC's Bruce Parry.
In addition to all of the recreational divers that Mark and Spencer have been training, the two of them have just completed another local law enforcement dive team's training.  With all of the police cars out front you have probably been thinking we are in trouble again or that it is not safe to come in.  I assure you, everything is fine.  Walker County's Smith Lake Task Force has a new batch of divers on their team now.

Tommy Williams and Joe Quattlebaum with a nice Red Snapper
The Alabama Spearfishing Association just completed the longest tournament ever in Alabama lasting from May 20-June 25.  Due to the length of this tournament, and having good weather, all participants had plenty of opportunities to shoot a good fish in each category.  This made the competition very close.  Several divers from our area had a very good tournament and took home some very good fresh fish to eat.  Here are the results.

An impressive Snapper with impressive shot placement by Ron Having.

The next tournament is from September 17-October 15.  Go to Alabama Spearfishing for more info.  Here are some pictures of our divers during the last tournament.

Not all of the news is good.  We had a Bill in the State House, HB 104, that was to clear up a regulation regarding diving for isolated finds in the public waterways of Alabama.  HB 104 passed easily multiple House and Senate Committee's.  This Bill was not to change the law, only to make it easier to understand and enforce when it needed to be.  One Senator, Scott Beason, killed our bill.  Unfortunately, this gentleman, represents many of you that live in this area.  He clearly believes his opinion is more important that other Senators and Representatives by not allowing a vote on this and many other Bills.  Next year, when our lawmakers are in Session, we will be ready to introduce a new Bill and hopefully whoever is the head of the Committee's it goes to, will at least feel that our hard work deserves a vote.  In the mean time, it is still not illegal to dive for isolated finds in the Public Waterways of Alabama where it is not associated with an Underwater Cultural Resource.  The law is still vague though.  To be clear, you should contact the local law enforcement where you are going to dive.  Let them know what you are doing and that you will be in the boat with the dive flag.  You have nothing to hide, you aren't doing anything wrong.  Be up front and tell them where you will be.  If they say you are not in violation, go dive and be safe.  If they say you are not welcomed in the water in your own State, I wouldn't go there until we get this cleared up.

Upcoming Trips
SSDS has many trip options in the next few months & you can see the dates here on our calendar.  All of these listed have availability right now.  If you are wanting to go, please let us know quickly because we are selling them every day. 

Continuing Education
September 10, 9:30 am Enriched Air NITROX

Have you ever dreamed of having longer no-decompression limits to take pictures or explore a wreck? Did you ever want to be safer while diving concerning the potential risk of decompression sickness?

Nitrox is the key. Due to the reduced fraction of nitrogen in your breathing gas, your body will have less work and the de saturation times will be reduced.

In your ENRICHED AIR NITROX program you will learn all the necessary rules for planning dives with Nitrox and using Nitrox in a safe way. An important key point in the entire program is analyzing your own tank prior to any Nitrox dive.

October 1st & 2nd  Stress and Rescue Course
Stress is a major contributor to rescue situations and diving accidents. Through this course you will learn accident prevention, as well as how to handle problem situations if they occur.

The program is about avoiding, recognizing and solving problems on the surface and under water. The course runs two full days in which you will participate in academic and in-water sessions in the pool and in the open water. As a prerequisite for certification you will also earn CPR & First Aid certificate during this course.


* What Is Stress?
* Stress In Diving:Causes And Prevention
* Detecting And Dealing With Stress
* Accident Management
* Skills Needed To Deal With Panic And Rescues
* Conditions That Complicate Rescues

Forrest Phillips
Southern Skin Divers Supply